Gems by the Foot Aids Refugee Women, Families

The online jewelry company gives 10 percent of its proceeds to benefit the women and families of the International Rescue Committee.

A new venture by a Highland Park entrepreneur and social philanthropist uses some of its proceeds to benefit a refugee resettlement program.

Elizabeth Carlock Phillips launched Gems by the Foot this month. It’s a jewelry collection that distributes 10 percent of its proceeds to North Texas women and families of the International Rescue Committee, PaperCity Magazine reported.

Phillips, 29, started making jewelry as a student at Highland Park High School and continued through college at Southern Methodist University. It’s not the first time that Phillips’ work has benefitted good causes. As a student, she donated large portions of her earnings to community charities, PaperCity said. 


And, her Elizabeth Carlock Designs brand created two nonprofit collections — one which benefitted the Dallas-based Akola Project that employs impoverished women in Dallas and Uganda to make jewelry, and the other for the Reconciliation Outreach in East Dallas, which helps women get out of homelessness, PaperCity said.

Phillips has drawn on friends to help with Gems by the Foot.

Michelle McAdam, the granddaughter of Dallas philanthropist Ruth Altshuler, and Alicia Duque, a certified gemologist born in Colombia, have joined Phillips in the effort.

Through Gems by the Foot, the women craft made-to-order bracelets and necklaces with semiprecious gemstones on gold and silver chains. They are sold online only by the foot — ranging from 1 to 4 feet — for $40 to $120, according to PaperCity.

Phillips told PaperCity that her goal is to employ many of the women of the International Rescue Committee who have come to Dallas from such places as Afghanistan, Syria, Burma, Honduras, and other impoverished countries. The company tells the stories of some of these women in a blog on its website.

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