Butterfly Collection Helps Jeweler Raise Funds For Pollinator Preservation
By Karen Dybis | March 11, 2022
With their delicate nature and innate beauty, butterflies serve as a harbinger of spring and floral bounty. These pollinators face threats not only to their habitats but also to their migration patterns, something the team at Holly Yashi jewelry knew needed to be addressed.
To help protect monarch butterflies in particular, in 2019 the Northern California–based jewelry brand began donating a portion of its Bella Butterfly collection to Monarch Joint Venture, a nonprofit organization in St. Paul, Minn., with the mission to protect monarchs and their migration through collaboration, habitat conservation, and education.
To date, Holly Yashi has raised more than $10,000 toward the Monarch Joint Venture with plans to continue its partnership long into the future, says Paul Lubitz, president of Holly Yashi, which he cofounded with his wife, Holly Hosterman, in 1981.
Lubitz says part of their desire to honor the butterfly and other pollinators comes, in part, because their beauty has inspired much of their jewelry. And also because the flowering trees and bushes they planted on the grounds around their studio and store in Arcata, Calif., attract butterflies during most of the year.
“From the time we launched it, the Bella Butterfly Collection has been one of our best sellers. We knew we wanted to do something tangible to help the pollinators that inspired it,” Lubitz says. “We looked up butterfly groups, and the Monarch Joint Venture was just such a good fit.”
Indeed, butterflies are found as a motif throughout the jewelry industry; many collections have sprung up around this insect’s visual perfection. Lubitz and Hosterman credit its long-lasting popularity, in part, to millennials, who are noted with starting the fad, and Gen Z, who has sparked interest in all things from the 1900s and early 2000s, perhaps as a nod to their Gen X parents.
Lubitz also says butterflies have been a long-term inspiration for the couple, who work side by side in the business. Hosterman is the company’s creative director, and Lubitz describes himself as its engineer, coming up with innovative ways to push jewelry’s boundaries as well as use one of his favorite jewelry mediums, niobium.
Niobium is ideal for sculpting the butterflies for Holly Yashi because of its unique qualities blending flexibility and strength, Lubitz says. Niobium has an appearance and hardness rating similar to titanium or platinum and has an iridescence that reminds him of a butterfly’s wings.
“From a human point of view, we just think [butterflies] are beautiful. Who doesn’t? For us as artists, we just want to make something beautiful for its own sake,” Lubitz says. “But I also enjoy the engineering aspects of creating the work. We’ve captured the iridescence, the detail.”
The long-term donation is just one of the ways Holly Yashi connects with its local community as well as national causes it cares about, Lubitz says. As Hosterman is a breast cancer survivor, Holly Yashi also designed and created a Special Edition Cancer Awareness ribbon jewelry collection and pledges $5 of every sale to organizations dedicated to raising awareness, sharing resources, and patient advocacy for breast cancer.
“We definitely want to be a part of the community—it’s the least we can do,” Lubitz says.
Iridescence draws your eye to the Holly Yashi Bella Butterfly collection, which the brand created in 2019 and has used a portion of its sales to fund more than $10,000 in donations to Monarch Joint Venture so far.
This fundraiser has ended, thank you for your support towards this cause.