Christie Buono, Senior Manager of Community Partnerships, asked Melanie Auld, owner of Melanie Auld Jewelry, why she is supporting women’s health by giving back through her business.
CB: What first inspired you to partner with the BC Women’s Health Foundation?
MA: We, as women, have to prioritize our health and the health of women everywhere. BC Women’s Health Foundation is doing such integral work and I think that being able to utilize our platform to showcase their dedication and advancements in women’s health and research is something Melanie Auld Jewelry (MAJ) is honoured to be a part of!
CB: How do you feel your personal/company values align with the Foundation’s mission?
MA: MAJ is a company built by women and is for women. The health of our staff and customers are so important to us, and making sure that women have the best possible care should be a priority to all.
CB: Why is women’s health a particularly important cause for you to support?
MA: As women, we are the caregivers, always giving to those around us. If we don’t prioritize our health, who will be left to care for those we love? My daughter, my mother, my friends. They should all receive the best possible care when they are most vulnerable.
CB: Do you have a personal story you’d feel comfortable sharing that inspired you to support women’s health?
MA: When I was pregnant with my son I had to be induced due to pre-eclampsia. At 27, having my first child was one of the most terrifying moments of my life. We were living in the States at the time, and I was incredibly lucky to be delivering at one of the best hospitals (Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston) and that he was born healthy. If my pre-eclampsia wasn’t caught early, things may have turned out much differently for my son, Sam, and myself.
CB: What women’s health statistic shocks you? How did that change how you perceive women’s health?
MA: The fact that historically women’s health has been understood through men’s health research was shocking to me. Without the proper research and education, that puts women and their health at an extreme disadvantage. We need to advocate for ourselves, now is the time.
CB: Finish this sentence: “I believe that the most powerful tool for advancing women’s health is ____.”
MA: Knowledge. I don’t think people realize how underfunded and undervalued women’s health is. If they did, more would be done to further it.
CB: In one word, what would you like your legacy to be?
CB: Is there a woman, or women, in your life who inspires you?
MA: My daughter. She is kind, funny, and fearless when it comes to connecting with others. She is still at an age where the world hasn’t told her who to be yet. It’s very inspiring to watch.
CB: What inspires you most about giving back to your community?
MA: If I am being honest, it just feels good. When I had both my kids, it was the most vulnerable I have ever felt, both physically and mentally. It humbles you. When we are strong and able, we need to give back.
Partnering with organizations, like your Foundation, is one of the most rewarding things we do. This will be our third community initiative since January. We are grateful to learn more about organizations that are making our city and province better, passing that information on, and aiding with funding.
CB: If someone else was interested in giving in their own way, what advice would you give them?
MA: There are many ways to give back: donating your time, spreading awareness, and of course, fundraising for these causes. When you are in a position physically, mentally and/or financially give back, that is the time to do so. At some point, you or your loved ones may be on the other end of it.
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