Beads for a cause
Wristbands allow wearers to show support for charities
The company’s name may be Bravery, but Corey Ware thinks what he’s really selling is togetherness.
Whether you or someone you know is battling a disease like breast cancer or leukemia, or you simply want to display your affinity for a charitable cause, Ware said the concept behind his wristband business is summed up in its marketing slogan: “Together we are brave.”
“It’s kind of like a support system,” the 23-year-old entrepreneur from Clarks Summit said. “It’s a way of saying, ‘I support you with what you are going through.’ It’s about not going through things alone. It’s being brave together.”
Launched in July and so far strictly an online endeavor, Bravery produces and sells eight different beaded wristbands, each representing a different charity. Ware donates 10 percent from each $12 wristband sale through his website — ShopBravery.com — to the designated charity.
Ware, a 2012 graduate of Abington Heights High School who works full time as a manager at a fast-food restaurant, said he always wanted to start a business but even he seemed a bit surprised at how quickly Bravery came together.
“It really just happened in a matter of weeks,” he said.
Although he had never made jewelry or bracelets before, he settled almost at the outset on the wristband idea and decided there should be a charitable component.
“From there, it was like, OK, what is going to be special about the wristbands?” he said.
He considered silicone bracelets, similar to the popular LiveStrong wristbands that support cancer treatment and research, with different colors for different charities.
“But I wanted to make something that I would wear, so I picked the beads,” Ware said. “The name kind of just came after that — Bravery beads.”
He also kept the color concept. Although every Bravery wristband is made mostly with light- or dark-colored wooden beads, each has a single bead of a different color for the charity it represents.
For example, the National Breast Cancer Foundation wristband has a pink bead. Autism Speaks is dark blue. Orange represents the Lupus Foundation of America. Ware chose white for the Humane Society of the United States because he used to have two white dogs.
Ware, who makes each wristband by hand, said there was some trial and error along the way.
He initially purchased beads for the bracelets from craft stores but was not happy with the results. He quickly switched to higher-quality beads that he found online.
“This was new to me,” he said. “There were a lot of things I had to learn and a lot of things I am still learning about it.”
Ware said he contacted the eight charities and got their approval, including the right to use their names.
In the meantime, he secured a domain name through GoDaddy and started building his website using the ecommerce platform Shopify.
Ware, who has a background in art, came up with the Bravery logo and did most of the website design himself. He said he is fortunate to have a lot of friends who are photographers and were able to help with the site content.
Corey Ware of Clarks Summit holds some of the beaded wristbands that his company, Bravery, produces and sells. Each wristband represents a different charity.