Key Rings for Change

change-ring.jpgBryan Davis used Landmark’s Self Expression and Leadership Program to partner with his friend AJ Bontempo to create a novel key ring: The ChangeRing. Inspired by Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and its message of change, the key ring has a delta symbol, the Greek symbol for change at its heart that is also used in Obama’s logo. Part of the proceeds of sales of the ChangeRing go to charity, while some go to the Obama campaign. The ChangeRing is made from recycled materials, and is packaged by disabled Americans. On August 6, the first ChangeRing concert fundraiser was held in New York City. The project recently caught the attention of Elle Magazine.


by Samantha Fennell

The new must-have accessory for Fall isn’t necessarily the It bag of the season or the shoes you began coveting before they even made it into production. No, the accessory of the season is a key ring. Really. But not just any key ring: the ChangeRing. And like so many brands created by design duos (think Domenico and Stefano or Jack and Lazaro), the ChangeRing is the brainchild of just such a pair: former restaurateur Bryan Davis and former model AJ Bontempo. I met Bryan at a lunch at Pastis on Friday with my friend Cynthia and became enthralled with the project.

The ChangeRing is a wearable key ring that displays two delta signs (the mathematical symbol for change—get it?). The idea is that you show your support for the Obama campaign and the Senator’s message of change.

Think of the Yellow Livestrong bracelets, 70 million of which are in circulation.

But it doesn’t end there. You can’t just buy one—because it’s all about giving, too. For just 20 bucks you can buy one online, and they will forward a second one to a friend or loved one. You can’t do that with a Downtown bag or a carry-all from the Hysteria Collection!

Part of the proceeds go to the Obama campaign (although ChangeRing is not officially sanctioned and is a for-profit operation). Another portion goes to one of many charities of the buyer’s choosing. And as if that weren’t enough, a slew of musical artists have gotten on board with the project as well, and they’ve created a compilation of songs about change, such as Bowie’s “Changes” and Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” performed by bands such as the Bowery Riots and Fishbone. Given that Bryan’s partners in his Miami restaurant venture were music insiders Lil’ Jon, Big Boi (of Outkast), Lil’ Wayne, and Chingy, this was a no-brainer.

And to round out the social-consciousness angle to perfection, the ChangeRing is made in America, creates job opportunities, is Green (from recycled steel to soy-ink-and-recycled-cardboard packaging), and if you lose your keys (and who of us hasn’t?), it’s got “Boomerang” technology—a retrieval system that uses text messaging to link lost keys with their owner, giving new meaning to the saying “what goes around, comes around.”

To see the magazine article in its original format, go to the Elle website.

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