My Team Jewelry Turns Crafts to Cash
Paula Mattei, founder and owner of My Team Jewelry, has been finding ways to give back to schools, clubs, and communities since 1999 when her children started attending elementary school. The former teacher and coach decided to become a stay at home mom so she could focus on her two sons, Matthew and Michael. "With the time I now had, I felt it was best served getting involved in my children's schools," says Mattei. "I started volunteering in their classrooms, joining PTO and booster club boards, and coaching their recreational sports teams. It was an amazing time and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been there full time for my children. Now that they have grown up, I still wanted to find a way to help schools and clubs."
This is where the jewelry comes into the picture. Paula discovered her passion for creating jewelry around 2000, a time when the beading craze and custom mother's bracelets were just taking off. "I was hooked! I have always loved crafts and this was a new hobby for me to enjoy just for myself. I never planned to do anything with it but as I was amassing several designs and pieces, I thought I would try my hand at selling a few."
By 2006, the Mattei family had moved to McKinney, Texas. They were members of St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church in McKinney and when Paula saw the notice for the annual craft fair she signed up. "I had no idea what I was getting into," laughs Paula, "but I figured if anything it was a way to support our church. Here I am, sitting at my little card table and I'm looking around at about a dozen beautiful jewelry vendor booths! I had to find something that set myself apart."
It did not take Paula long to figure out which direction she would take. As a lifelong fan and participant in athletics, she decided she would focus on making sports jewelry. As she continued to volunteer at her sons' schools, she noticed that spirit wear needed some extra accessories to accompany the hoodies, tee shirts, and yard signs. "People love their sports, they love their teams, and they love to show their pride," says Mattei. "I wanted to create affordable, durable, and quality spirit accessories for all fans to enjoy whether it was on the field or in the office."
But still, Paula wanted it to have even more meaning. She wanted to use her creations to benefit the schools and teams some how. "Schools, teams, and other non profit groups face the challenges of fundraising year after year. Because I have seen it first hand, I knew what I wanted to do." My Team Jewelry started adding fundraising services and now assists schools, teams, and other clubs across the nation. Her most popular option is an on line shopping fundraiser. Paula creates a custom shop page complete with up to two dozen products featuring their logo or graphic of choice, including jewelry, personalized bag tags, and lanyards. Shoppers can safely and conveniently order on line year round with the club earning a percentage of the sales.
"I know how hard non profit volunteers work so I try to make it as easy as possible for them to participate," says Paula. "I also offer local on site fundraising and if I can, I will donate a prize or gift to charities and auctions. 2020 was a very tough year for fundraising, including My Team Jewelry, since schools, events, and activities were closed or cancelled. "However, this past year I was able to donate over $3500 in products and cash."
No small feat for a small business that was hit with her own set of challenges this year due to the Coronavirus. "It is something I am very proud of. It brings me such joy to be able to give back and to help others. I've been very fortunate so I wanted to share it."
My Team Jewelry offers retail, wholesale, and fundraising options for all teams academic, athletic, business, charitable and social. Whether it's designing custom gifts, promoting school spirit, or raising awareness, My Team Jewelry will create items that will endure long after the season is over. You can find out more about her products and services by visiting Paula's website at https://www.myteamjewelry.com.