There are lots of ways to celebrate anniversaries, but for a dozen Designers and Owlettes in Ontario, they decided the best way to celebrate Origami Owl’s one-year anniversary in Canada would be to unite their community in helping women and children after abuse.


Ontario Designers celebrate Origami Owl's Canadian Anniversary


They invited their VIP customers to join them in a night of giving, fun and celebration – and more than 60 guests arrived with donations in hand: clothing, bedding, handbags, jewelry, scarves, and personal hygiene items – enough to fill two SUVs! It was all in an effort to support the Chatham Kent Women’s Centre, a local shelter dedicated to providing “a continuum of services and a holistic approach to help women and children escape violence and rebuild their lives.”


Donations for women after abuse



“Origami Owl’s mission is to be a Force for Good, so we wanted to tie that in with our event,” said Mary Ellen Alward, a Senior Team Leader for Origami Owl. “A lot of times these moms coming to the Centre are in situations where they need help—they’re women that are leaving violence and abuse behind, and they have their children with them. We saw this as an opportunity to help gather items they needed, and also to raise awareness for the Centre.”

As part of the night’s celebration, Mary Ellen and her fellow Designers and Owlettes donated Origami Owl jewelry to be raffled—an effort that raised $425 for the Centre. They also shared the latest O2 Spring Collection that had recently debuted, dined and connected with one another.

Opportunities like this are one of the primary reasons Mary Ellen joined Origami Owl when the company first launched in Canada. She said, “I was one of the ‘Designers in waiting;’ I started right from the beginning in March of 2015. I identified with the Core Values and the mission of Origami Owl – and the product is something that is very meaningful.”






Mary Ellen juggles her Origami Owl business with being a busy wife, mother of two and working a full-time job. Despite the hectic schedule, she said it’s all worthwhile because she cherishes the opportunity to help others. Whether it’s supporting the women at the Centre recovering from abuse, or mentoring her Origami Owl team members, being there for others is what gives her that “live sparkly” joy.

“I love being able to be the person that people feel comfortable enough to reach out to for help, support, motivation, and to celebrate with,” said Mary Ellen. She also shared her gratitude for her team members who have been there to support her recently. “It’s been a difficult couple of months lately. My dad is dealing with some health issues and had to have a major surgery, and I have been dealing with that and have been distracted and absent. I’ve had to depend on my team to support me, and while it’s hard for me to ask for help, it reinforces that Origami Owl is a family who supports one another.”


Mary Ellen and her father


One of Mary Ellen’s team members, Karel Murray said of Mary Ellen, “I am so proud of Mary Ellen and her team, not only relating to their recent Force for Good event, but also for how they work their businesses everyday – supporting, motivating and inspiring every member of the team. This event was ALL Mary Ellen and her team – and they did a bang up job, if I do say so myself. I have been blessed to have Mary Ellen – and her whole team – in my downline. Under Mary Ellen’s direction and with her creative ideas, I’m sure this will not be the last exciting this you hear about her.”

Along with leading – and leaning on – family and team members, Mary Ellen has also found strength in creating a Living Locket dedicated to her father. “I put together a locket because I was going to be there with my parents the day he went into the hospital. It has the Papa Charm, because my kids call him Papa. It also has the Cross Charm, because faith is something that’s important to me and my family. I added the Nursing Scrubs Charm, because I knew the medical people that day were playing a huge part in what was going on. Depending on who the Hostess is at my Jewelry Bars, I will share this locket that’s really special to me, because it’s a great way to show how powerful and meaningful the lockets can be,” said Mary Ellen.


Living Locket for Dad


For her desire to help others – and her love for her dad and her family in this challenging time – we offer our gratitude and prayers to Mary Ellen and the caring team and family she helps lead!

To find out more about the CK Women’s Centre and help women and children rebuilding their lives after escaping abuse, visit