Jewelry Artist and Cancer Survivor offers inspiration, encouragement

The love and encouragement Ana Maria Andricain received during her 2014 battle with breast cancer inspired her to create a special collection of jewelry designed to support those undergoing treatment or to help survivors celebrate their recovery. It has also become a meaningful way for her and her customers to support healthcare organizations providing care to cancer patients in the Baton Rouge area.

Ana is the award-winning jewelry artist behind Jewel of Havana, an international business designing handcrafted pieces with custom metalwork and natural stones, and her “Draped in Love” collection of copper and silver jewelry has become one of her signature designs. For the past five years, she’s used the collection to fund ongoing donations to the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and the Dodi Groves Breast Cancer Fund. This year was no different, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, sales of “Draped in Love” pieces supported the Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Institute.

“When I started Jewel of Havana, I wanted to create jewelry that makes you feel beautiful; that celebrates life’s special moments and connects you to those you love,” said Andricain. “I also wanted to be able to give back to some of the causes that do good in our community and make the life we are celebrating that much sweeter.”

Without a permanent storefront, Ana sells her pieces online and by appointment at her Baton Rouge studio. She also participates in the downtown Baton Rouge Arts Market and juried art festivals throughout the South. She credits her online presence and strategic use of social media platforms for saving her 16-year-old business during the pandemic. She’s now using short videos posted as Reels on Instagram to extend the store’s reach beyond those who follow the page, with recent videos racking up thousands of views – and leading to new customers and online sales. But she’s also using Facebook and Instagram to share posts of her cancer story and remind others about the importance of screenings and early detection.