Written By: Samantha Hart
Many components come together to make every parade season special and new while honoring traditions. Fostering community is the most important (and in my opinion, the best) part of the Steuben Parade. In preparation for the 2018 parade season I have been chatting with our sponsors for some participant insights. One thing has become abundantly clear through these interviews: our sponsors are as much a part of the parade community as our visitors from Europe, those with Germanic heritage in the US, all the way to our canine participants! Sponsors feel connected either through their specific products or their own Germanic heritage. Keep coming back to read more on our “Sponsor Series”.
As the daughter of the biggest FREYWILLE admirer, fan and collector, I was thrilled to get an insider glimpse into this sponsor. I was more than happy to check out their latest designs and find out more about the connection to the parade with Ani Bobeva, International Area Manager.
This Austrian jewelry company has been around since 1951- only 5 years before the first Steuben Parade was held in New York! It was then owned by Dr. Friedrich Wille and his wife Simone Gruneberger-Wille. There are currently about 70 boutiques in more than 35 countries worldwide, and the first American boutique was opened in 2006.
FREYWILLE celebrates artistic achievement, brilliant enamel colors and highest quality. The uniqueness in the jewelry should also be recognized alongside the influences of famous artists such a Gustav Klimt, Hundertwasser, Mucha, Van Gogh and Monet. My interview always came back to passion and its importance. As many have asked, what is life without art anyways? Ani explained that, “…at the heart of the work done by our artists at FREYWILLE are two things; joy for the arts and a passion for design. Each collection is different but the common element is an enthusiasm for pure art”. She has been working within the FREYWILLE company since 2012.
FREYWILLE will be a part of the Silent Auction and it is Ani’s favorite part of the Gala. She stated that it is her favorite since there are always different items every year and attendees are always curious and looking forward to learning more. While she has not come to the Gala and Parade yet, she might be this year and we are really excited about having a visitor from Bulgaria!
If we do miss you at the Gala or Parade, you can always purchase FREYWILLE jewelry at the following website, https://shop.freywille.com/usa/ or visit the many boutiques throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania (for the tri-state area). Hope to see you all in September!