By Georgetta L. Morque
Shopping takes on new meaning when a portion of the purchase price is donated to a charity of your choice. Designs that Donate is a unique business that gives shoppers this special opportunity. With their motto, ‘We Find, You Shop, We Give,’ co-founders and sisters-in-law Keri Starker and Farrel Starker of Purchase set out to make a difference, and they have.
What started as a small grass roots company in 2014 has expanded throughout Westchester and beyond into the metropolitan area and the national marketplace. Designs that Donate has supported several hundred charitable organizations, and has over 4,200 followers.
“Our goal is to help a lot of organizations and get the word out about what they do,” said Farrel.
Customers can shop on the company’s website (www.designsthatdonate.com), through Instagram, or by private appointment. Designs that Donate also acts as a pop-up shop at charitable events where donations support that particular organization. The pair have frequented Rye Country Day’s book fair and have supported Pediatric Cancer at Willow Ridge Country Club, and Play for Pink at Brae Burn Country Club, to name a few.
Both savvy shoppers and designers, Farrel and Keri have flair and taste that friends have long admired. They enjoy scouring the marketplace for new trends and high quality finds from all over the world. “We’re always looking to satisfy customers,” said Keri, a jewelry designer for over 20 years.
Designs that Donate works with over 100 designers of fashion, accessories, jewelry, home goods, and more. Many items can be customized which is a big selling point. “People want to give a gift that’s personal,” said Farrel, noting their popular Lucite boxes customized with a school logo or special saying and monogramed blankets and bracelets. “And there’s an extra step in making it personal because it also supports a charity that’s meaningful to the customer.”
In designating their preferred charity, customers can choose from a long list or submit a new one. “We’re learning everyday about new nonprofits and new needs,” said Farrel. The Starkers find their work rewarding although exhausting, but at the end of a busy day they are happy about being together and feeling good about what they are doing.
Keri Starker and Farrel Starker