A Puppy-Upper For the Dog Days of Summer

Monday, July 10, 2017

The bracelet line, Guide, was designed with one mission in mind: to help the blind. Created by 16-year-old Charlotte McEvoy, the jewels will be sold for $20 each at Gloria Jewel in Bridgehampton as well as Trish McEvoy and the RAC (Random Acts of Creativity) pop-up in Southampton, from now until September.

One hundred percent of proceeds from the sale of Guide bracelets benefit the Guide Dog Foundation in Smithtown, to provide free guide dogs for the visually impaired. “My grandfather is an eye doctor, and while interning at his office, I realized many people needed help to live independently due to their loss of sight,” said McEvoy. As a longtime volunteer of the Best Friends Animal Society, she has been around animals since childhood and has three dogs; Eloise, Olivia and Dakota.

The Guide Dog Foundation breeds its own canines for temperament, gentleness and physical soundness. This summer, McEvoy will be in the Hamptons volunteering to foster a two-week old Lab, the first step in the lengthy process of guide dog training, which costs more than $50,000. Her responsibilities are to teach the puppy basic obedience and socializing skills by exposing it to different environments such as restaurants, parks and beaches. 

Typically, when a dog reaches 14 to 18-months old, it will return to the foundation to move forward with formal training that is tailored to the incoming client’s lifestyle. “The organization does a great job matching guide dogs to people in need,” said McEvoy. “Once trained, they can help with everyday tasks including walking, opening refrigerator doors and picking up credit cards.”

The charm of each Guide braceletwhich started off as sketches in McEvoy’s notebook—is a motif of an eye with a paw print as the iris. After hiring an artisan in Asia to create the charms, which come in gold and silver, the pieces were assembled by hand with silk cords in a variety of colors.

“I wanted to make items that people buy not only for charity, but because they really love it,” said McEvoy. “To me, the bracelets can be worn with anything and at the same time, it contributes to a worthy cause.”


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