Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fashion and Beauty: Canned Jewels

Can fashion accessories be inspiring? You bet they can! Phyllis Zuckerman, owner of Canned Jewels, not only turns trash into treasure, she's raising money for charity with her recycled creations. I'm so excited to share Phyllis' story with you. Her story is not only moving, it is a beautiful example that small things (like pop tabs) can have a big impact.

'I have two daughters with complicated medical needs. We have had to travel to, and stay at Ronald McDonald Houses in Hershey, PA, Chicago, Cleveland, Delaware and Cincinnati. One of the fundraisers for Ronald McDonald House is collecting soda tabs. We collect, our friends collect, and their friends collect.'

'Soda tabs aren't just for opening sodas. They are a major fundraiser for many non-profit organizations. Aluminum recyclers pay between 35¢ and 70¢ per pound based on the market price of aluminum. There are approximately 1267 tabs per pound. The tab of a beverage can is pure aluminum, unlike the rest of the can which contains an alloy of metals and paint.'

'...I wanted to do something with the soda tabs that was lasting. I started by making keyrings and eventually expanded to making bracelets out of the soda tabs and jump rings. I give a portion of each sale to Ronald McDonald Houses...The most I use is 28 tabs in one bracelet. Ronald McDonald houses gets 20% of the sale or $4.00. It is win/win for everyone!'

'My children inspire me. They have been through so much. My college freshman has Spina Bifida. We “forgot” to tell her that the doctors said she would never walk. She walks, drives, shops, etc...This summer she is going to be a lifeguard.'

'My high school freshman has a rare digestive disorder called Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis. It basically means her body is allergic to food. She gets an amino acid based formula through a tube in her stomach. That is how she eats. She is also hearing impaired and has tremendous joint pain. She misses weeks of school at a time, and still manages to be on honor roll. She plays softball, swims, and surfs.'

'[In the future], my husband and I would like to start selling at craft fairs...My life outside of Etsy is filled with more medical knowledge than some doctors have. Someday I hope to trade in all that medical knowledge for healthy kids, so I can create full time.'

Check out Phyllis' pop can tab creations at her online shop.These recycled creations are for a good cause.


  1. Wow... that is a great story. I love that even with those health complications, the "kids" still manage to live a normal life. (Can't really call them kids, I'm a freshman myself. :) And I LOVE that bracelet with the aluminum tabs! Fabulous way to recycle!

  2. Thanks Forest Faery!!
    Canned Jewels