A local fashionista's dream is coming true this week as her jewelry collection launches in partnership with New York's BaubleBar. The collection, aptly named "As Good As Gold," is more than just an embodiment of Austinite Megan Runser’s passion for style — it's a testament to the tenacity and spirit with which she's currently fighting cancer.
Earlier this year Runser was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She says receiving the diagnosis in her early 30s was the extra push she needed to go for gold and become a "Guest Bartender" for BaubleBar, an online jewelry retailer that works with celebrity tastemakers and fashion icons to design special jewelry collections.
"It was on my list for a while, but it took cancer to convince me to do it," Runser, a brand and relations manager with Lululemon, says.
When Runser's cancer treatment began, so did the emails. Thanks to LinkedIn connections and the fact that she has "no qualms with emailing the bejesus out of people," she was able to share her story with BaubleBar co-founders Amy Jain and Daniella Yacobovsky.
BaubleBar worked with Megan Runser to create a collection inspired by her mantra to get back to being cancer free and "as good as gold."
"When we learned that Megan had been diagnosed with [cancer] and that, given her passion for jewelry, she had always dreamt of creating her own unique collection with us, the whole BaubleBar team was invigorated to get to help her tell the story in the best way we know how," Jain and Yacobovsky write on the BaubleBar blog.
It all began at the drawing board, or rather, the Pinterest board. Using her fashion pins, pictures of her own jewelry, and influences from her favorite designers, the BaubleBar team worked with Runser in a months-long process to create necklaces, earrings and bracelets inspired by her mantra to get back to being cancer free and "as good as gold."
The As Good As Gold collection, which launched October 21, offers a mixture of statement and understated pieces (ranging from $10-$58), with the hopes that you can layer them if you want to add extra flair.
"There’s something for everyone in there, whether you have the more bold, colorful, adventurous gemstone side or you’re looking for gold, dainty pieces," Runser explains. Runser, who is naturally drawn to "Mr. T" statement necklaces and "five-inch, coaster-sized earrings," says BaubleBar was particularly helpful when it came to the petite pieces.
Large or small, her aesthetic permeates the 15-piece collection. There's the Gilded Leo Cuff ("I knew I had to have a lion."), the Astronomer Pendant (her friends gifted her with crystals due to their rumored healing properties) and the As Good As Gold Bracelet, which is already sold out (don't worry, you can get on the wait list).
One-hundred percent of the net proceeds from the As Good As Gold collection will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a nonprofit organization that helps fund cancer research and patient services. BaubleBar is also teaming up with Runser to support LLS with a social media campaign. For every "original use" of the #asgoodasgold hashtag on Instagram or Twitter, BaubleBar will donate one dollar to the nonprofit.
"This project is what gave me the energy. There were so many days where I would be at the hospital, you know, just having a bad day," Runser says. "It made me feel more normal and less like a cancer patient."