Patty Freud – Partner
By the time she was in kindergarten, Patty Freud knew she loved to design things, heading to the art studio whenever she could. Her passion was nurtured during her years at Cranbrook Kingswood, the high school affiliated with the peerless Cranbook Academy of Art, an atmosphere that pulsed with creative energy. After graduating from Tulane University, she headed for the world's design capital.
Patty's New York life began in the world of magazine publishing, first as an editor at Interiors and then as an editor at Elle. She then founded and successfully led Freud Markman Public Relations. After years in business, the designer within her began to bellow. Patty's first step back toward the art studio came when she took a course in metal smithing. That was the turning point.
She continued to study metal smithing and wax work with noted jewelry designer Bianca Lopez, creating pieces for her own personal collection. Everywhere she went she was asked about the jewelry she was wearing, even fielding offers to buy the rings right off her fingers and the hoops right out of her ears. A seed had been planted.
When her sister, Joan, recovering from cancer, shared stories of her journey to healing, the two sisters decided to launch Melu, a collection of fine and fashion jewelry with spiritual inspirations.
Joan Frank – Partner
Raised among advertising professionals, it felt natural for Joan Frank to follow in her family's footsteps and she enthusiastically embraced the energy, diversity and creativity of the ad world. After receiving a bachelor's degree from Boston University and a master's degree from the University of Michigan, Joan settled in Michigan, working at an ad agency.
Within a few years, the entrepreneur in her was ready to strike out and she launched her own public relations firm, B Frank Communications, which she has been running successfully for many years while balancing career and family life, raising her two children.
Life was humming along, busily yet happily, when a cancer diagnosis in 2008 stopped her in her tracks. "It was the scariest day of my life, but also a gift," Joan observes. "The diagnosis quickly put my existence — and what was truly important — into crystal clear perspective."
After completing her course of treatment, Joan was in remission and grateful beyond words to the outstanding medical team that gave her a second chance.
Beyond the physical side of her healing, Joan's illness started her on a spiritual exploration that, quite simply, changed her life. Focusing on the things that brought her peace, that affirmed life and that encouraged growth and optimism, she studied how different cultures approach the art of healing. She began to learn about the symbols, the rituals, the crystals and other stones used to promote healing. She embraced meditation. Drawing strength from what she had discovered, as she was declared cancer free, she decided to reach out to those who might not be as lucky.
While working with Imerman Angels, The Pink Fund and the American Cancer Society, Joan came up with the idea for a jewelry line designed around the healing, empowering concepts that had become so important to her. Her goal was to create a collection to support organizations that help those coping with cancer. She approached her sister, jewelry designer Patty Freud, and Melu was born.
It's not often that one gets a second chance at life. And it's rarer still to be able to turn that second chance into a personal mission that combines beauty and spirituality with philanthropy. Joan Frank is grateful to be doing both with Melu.