Montreal moms find creative ways to raise money for autism

The duo have made jewelry and make up, and are giving the proceeds to local organizations

Charlotte Flannery with her daughter Ariana

A local jewelry-design duo have launched a new cosmetic line to raise funds for charities that support children with autism and their families.

The cosmetics collection, called Ariana’s Sparkle, is named after co-founder Charlotte Flannery’s 4-year-old daughter, who is on the autism spectrum. “She really loves sparkly things,” Flannery says. “She loves playing with my makeup, and she’s a very girly girl.”

The new products include glitter eye shadow in a variety of colours as well as a sheer lip-gloss. All profits from the makeup collection will go to Autism Speaks Canada, an organization dedicated to promoting solutions for the needs of individuals with autism.

With two young children on the autism spectrum — Charlotte and 6-year-old brother Thomas — Flannery says she felt driven to raise awareness of the disorder and help other families cope with the unique challenges of parenting children with special needs.

A year and a half ago, Flannery teamed up with jewelry designer and longtime friend Tracy Gartner to make jewelry to raise funds for Trails of Summer, a camp for children with special needs in the West Island. The collection, which features necklaces and bracelets decorated with silver puzzle pieces, Swarovski crystals and blue tassels, has raised more than $1,600.

After that success, Flannery, a professional hair and makeup artist, decided to expand into cosmetics. She introduced Ray of Light Canada’s cosmetic collection last spring with various liquid lip colours. The new makeup products will be available on Nov. 10.

To see the cosmetic collection, visit etsy.com/shop/arianassparklecanada.

To see the jewelry collection, visit etsy.com/shop/rayoflightcanada.

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