Thursday, August 28, 2008

April Star Davis featured in World Artisan gems

On Aug12, April Star Davis, founder of D4A and a very talented designer got featured on World Artisan Gems. To check out the entire feature, click on the exclusive featured badge

Here is the interview part of the feature...

Name: April Star Davis

Website Link:

Where are you located? San Diego, California

Tell us a bit about yourself:

My Bio: April Star Davis started making jewelry 14 years ago while working at a bead store. There was and still is a lack of well-made affordable designer jewelry. “I wanted to make things that myself and friends could afford. I got the idea to make my own jewelry when I was working in a little bead store. I decided to go for it, so I quit my job. In the beginning, all I had was $60 and some beads. I certainly wasn’t making a lot of money, but I really loved what I was doing,” says Davis.

Stores were hesitant about purchasing from an unknown designer. Frustrated and broke, Davis had an epiphany one night while watching “Melrose Place.” She noticed that none of the actresses were wearing jewelry. Without any Hollywood connections, Davis took a D.I.Y. approach to getting her jewelry seen by the wardrobe folks at the hottest shows. “I bought a copy of Variety and the Hollywood Reporter and figured out who to call,” says Davis, who also is a painter that has shown in Los Angeles underground art venues like Cannibal Flower and Hanger 1013. “I was very surprised to find that the shows were so receptive to me and much more responsive than any of the stores I had tried to get my pieces into. Melrose Place was the first series to purchase my jewelry, and then it built up from there. To this day Denise Wingate, costume designer from Melrose Place, continues to use my jewelry & has on movies like Employee of the Month and The Wedding Crashers as well as Ghosts of Girlfriends Past with Jennifer Garner.”

For the last five years, Davis has created one-of-a-kind rings, bracelets and necklaces that have been showcased on cast members of Nip Tuck, Friends, ER, Charmed, All My Children. Desperate Housewives and Private Practice. Celebrities like Kate Moss, Jessica Simpson , Justin Timberlake and Tommy Lee have worn April Star Davis jewelry as well.

April Star Davis is an amazing jewelry designer that has been featured in In Style, Lucky, 944, Marie Claire and many more fashion magazines. She was showing her designs at an Accessories Show in New York City and she shared what buyers from Anthropologie, Free People, Henri Bendel and writers for Womens Wear Daily and OK! liked the most. She said 2-tone silver and gold jewelry was a really strong trend. Working with a chef’s butane torch and her favorite materials such as sterling, semi-precious stones like jade and pearls, Davis whips these gems up in her San Diego studio. Me & Ro Jewelry are a huge inspiration. Their look is great and they are one of the most involved with donating to charities as well as supporting causes like Doctors Without Borders and are a part of Designers 4 Africa. Designers 4 Africa is the brain child of April Star Davis. Designers 4 Africa is an organization which helps raise funds for different non-profits to help with projects in Africa. What makes April unique and stand out amongst others is that she makes everything herself. It is not “farmed out.” The more work she receives she is able to hire local women whom she knows from volunteering in the refugee community in San Diego.

Davis was also invited to teach jewelry and micro business to women in Gulu Uganda by 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee and star of a Fall Out Boy video Jolly Okot. April is currently assisting the director at the San Diego South Community Center and hoping to go to both Sudan and Uganda this year. Some companies say buying from them helps different organizations, however with April, you’re truly having a part in everything from local refugee resettlement to teaching in war torn countries. “My desire is to teach women a skill they can make money in & still be with their children while working, just like myself!”

When did you start designing jewelry/art? I don’t want to say as a child like most artist because it’s just silly (lol) so I will say 14 years ago when my friends and myself couldn’t afford to buy any nice jewelry so I started figuring out how to make my own.

What do you make? Everything (lol) - no Chinese or Burmese stones for political and humanitarian reasons.

What materials and methods do you use? Mainly recycled sterling and I use a simple cooking torch in my home studio. For casting I enroll in a class at UCSD to use their studio.

Where do your design inspirations come from? Sculptures like Alexander Calder and modern art.

Where can your products be seen?

Upcoming events: August two events in San Diego (see web site)

Magazine articles or press: September Riviera Magazine Oct SD union tribune fall fashion spread

Who are you a fan of? Me and Ro, Tracy Matthews and all human rights activists!

Price range: $50- 400

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: My Tommy Lee necklace…it’s made from recycled sterling silver and looks great on men and women.


Thank you April for this interview. It is wonderful to meet people like you who strive for change and work to make it happen. We hope this brings more designers to join Designers4Africa.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Next auction to support "water for Darfur"

With our last auction, we have been able to buy a pump for school in Uganda thats now bringing safe water for over 1,200 kids.. we have helped the San Diego South Sudanese Community Center to keep their doors open & now were helping another org to
bring safe water to Darfur!

Dallas Artists Rally for Urgent Response (D.A.R.F.U.R.) hosts a silent auction to benefit Thirst No More

Caught in the midst of an on-going, five-year conflict, Darfuri refugees and displaced people suffer from malnutrition and dehydration as they wait for peace to settle in Sudan. At least 4.5 million Darfuri people rely on international aid
for survival. Over 2.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes, and over 400,000 have been killed.

Thirst No More is a humanitarian relief organization dedicated to relieving the suffering of people around the world. Sudan Project coordinator, Charlie Michalik, is a U.S. Army veteran of the first Gulf War and has extensive experience
in the Mid-East. For the past three years he has been restoring broken water wells in Darfur and laying the groundwork for a water drilling operation that will begin shortly.

D.A.R.F.U.R., as part of Art for Darfur, asks for your artistic contribution to raise funds that will bring water to the suffering people of Darfur.

For jewelry and small items such as handbags etc., please send your contribution directly to

Ashley Epes
7601 Churchill Way #1738
Dallas, TX 75251

Event Date: Saturday, September 20, 2008
Event Time: 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Event Location: The Cameron Gallery
1414 Dragon Street
Dallas, TX 75207
Installation: Thursday, September 18
Drop off: On or before Thursday, September 11
Medium: All mediums welcome.
Size: No taller than 8 ft., no wider than 5 ft.
Commission: Donations only. All proceeds will be donated to Thirst No More.

Monday, August 11, 2008

100 pieces for Uganda

Buy a beautiful piece of jewelry and Help empower women in Uganda

Most of you know that last year I formed designers4africa, a non-profit organization and have been able along with the group of designers do some great things for non profits serving africa (see blog

Last year I met 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Jolly Okot of HEALS & Invisible Children .

She was watching me make jewelry in my studio in my backyard & asked if I could teach this to her girls in Uganda...
These are young women & teenaged girls who were abducted by ( ) & cast off once they were impregnated by their
captures... I couldn't say no & Im HONORED to do anything I can for these women.

Well now comes the part of raising enough money for travel & bring supplies to teach. (next year d4a will be a fully accredited non profit but it takes up to a year to get that documentation).

So I had this idea... If I sell 100 pieces of jewelry at an average price of $50 I will have all the money needed to see not only this dream of teaching in Uganda but starting schools there in the next 5 years!

Everyone who orders off my web site & give permission, their names will be published on a special supporters page both on d4a &
asd web sites.

Here are my first five wonderful supporters! 95 to go!

Shreya gardiner
Sheela rayala
Leah Gordon
Gayleen of Bubbles Boutique
Indra Gardiner Bowers

We can help atleast a few women re-create their lives and gain financial freedom.
Please visit and order a piece today.
- April Star Davis, founder of Designers4Africa.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Darfur San Diego chapter to be started

Apart from starting and continuously raise funds for Africa through Designers4Africa, April is starting a San Diego chapter for We all know and are aware of Darfur and the cause can use all the help it can get. I will post more details about the chapter but if you want to help or participate in any capacity, please email to April .