Former FOX 9 news anchor Robyne Robinson is bringing her message about the connection between communication, art and philanthropy to the St. Thomas community in a lecture at 6:30 p.m., Friday, March 16, in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium.
Robinson left her anchoring position to travel the world, collecting beads from exotic locations to use for her jewelry line. Although some thought this was a strange move, Robinson said she is passionate about her new challenge.
“I think when people see you on television they think that’s it,” she said. “I say all the time that you can’t just be your work. You are three-dimensional.”
Robinson said that making jewelry has been her passion since she was 12 years old, and when the opportunity presented itself, she decided to make her jewelry business a philanthropic effort as well.
“I didn’t want to just make jewelry that was pretty and that was that. I wanted to do something. It needed to reflect that sense of awareness about the world around me,” she said.
Robinson fulfilled her wish to incorporate the world at large into her jewelry by partnering with “Bags by Hand,” a group of South African women. Each piece purchased from her line comes with a unique, handmade bag. The proceeds from the bags go to help the children of the Good Hope Orphanage in Pretoria, South Africa.
Robinson’s contribution has already made a difference in many lives.
“Some of the women, because of what they’re doing, decided they want to go back to school, which is great,” she said. “I feel really good about that.”
Although this partnership has ended, Robinson is hoping to strike up a similar relationship with the Nibakure Children’s Village in Rwanda.
“We’re trying to come up with a way that we can raise money for getting this bag program started there,” she said. “These are kids that have been scarred horribly by war.”
Robinson said she wants to convey the message that the world is a small place. She said that although people like to talk about this idea in terms of the social media revolution, there is a deeper connection among humans that has lasted for centuries.
“The one that is older, more ancient, is textiles, and fabric and stones,” Robinson said. “They have been speaking to us for centuries.”
Robinson said her interest in philanthropy is a result of her family values.
“I come from a family that was always taught that whatever you take, you have to give back,” she said. “My way of giving back is my bags. My jewelry, in that small way, makes a ripple around the globe.”
Robinson’s jewelry, along with other pieces of artwork, are currently on display in the OEC lobby. The jewelry displayed is for sale, and thirty boutiques around the world also sell her pieces.
Baihly Warfield can be reached at email@example.com.