TULSA, Okla. — Among the hard-hit small business owners during this time are artists who usually make the most during community events like farmer's markets or art shows.
To help, one local artist is using her platform to help her fellow creatives in need during this time.
Rachel Dazey is a life-long artist who has been creating metal jewelry for the last 10 years and has had her own store front, Dillon Rose, for the last five.
"I've been making copper jewelry for about eight years now," Dazey said. "It a magical metal in it own right in how it anti-viral and anti-bacterial."
After reading another article about how Dr. Victor Bruq discovered copper was an antibacterial metal in 1852, she decided to start a fundraiser.
"I thought I should marry the two things; the anti-bacterial qualities of copper jewelry and how so many artists are struggling right now," Dazey said.
Dazey set a goal to sell $2,500 worth of her handmade jewelry and donate it all to Tulsa artists.
“It's like a symbol of hope because people are purchasing these and the profits are being donated and that’s just a beautiful symbol of how all of us can get through this together,” Dazey said.
She knew newer artists would need help as COVID-19 safety restrictions continued to slow business. She had spent the last three months designing and making a jewelry collection for a show, but that show is now canceled.
“When all of the coronavirus stuff started happening and all my spring shows started getting canceled, I realized how much this was going to affect artist," Dazey said. “It’s hard to think about people who are just starting out or who have only been in this for less time than we have because its big hit.”
One of those artists hit is Lydia Cheshwalla.
"There’s just a whole big swath of creatives that don’t have a safety net," Cheshwalla said. “When they canceled all of the events due to safety, I understood because we do need to flatten the curve, but that immediately meant the job that I had, I no longer had."
The entire situation has put her in a tough spot.
“I mean it's really stressful," Cheshwalla said. "It's a total 100% loss of income. I have no idea how going forward I’m going to pay rent.”
Which was an example of why Dazey wanted to help.
“I want them [artists] to feel how necessary they are to our society, how important they are and how much we value them,” Dazey said.
Dazey met her $2,500 goal within a week. Cheshwalla was one of the artists to receive funds.
"It felt really good to know people were thinking of me during this time," Cheshwalla said. “It helped buy groceries. It helped pay the bills. It helped me keep my cell phone on."
The funds Cheshwalla received also helped her pay for a computer program for current and future art projects.
Even if you can’t order one of her bracelets online, Dazey says there are still ways to support artist during this time.
"Donate to local artists," Dazey said. “Buy art. Buy art to send your friend's birthday, to give to your mom for Mother's Day."
To buy a copper cuff, click here.
Now, half of the proceeds will be going to musicians through the non-profit Red Dirt Relief Fund.
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