If you love Nicholas Sparks, here’s another reason to keep doing so: he loves helping kids.
The novelist, known for tearjerker stories that sometime became tearjerker movies like “The Notebook” and “Dear John,” has created the Nicholas Sparks Foundation, which promotes learning, scholarship opportunities and cultural awareness for low-income families.
In fall 2013, shoppers at Joss & Main helped give his non-profit a boost through the innovative program, “Curate for a Cause.” Sparks worked with the retailer to create a collection of furnishings that reflect his personality and literary style, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit his foundation. The Nicholas Sparks-inspired collection included items with an Americana look and feel, plus some fanciful Southern twists and touches.
Along with some general items that reflect elements of his world and culture, vignettes were created that were inspired by several of his books.
• “The Notebook” jumps back and forth between the decades describing the lingering attraction between Allie and Noah and the correspondence between them that begins and ends in a nursing home. The collection included architect’s desks, plush headboards, patterned chaises, and comfy, yet classy furnishings. The pieces have to be strong and functional yet contain some elements of Southern charm in the 1940s and modern day, plus colors and shades that evoke the look, feel and mood of coastal North Carolina.
• “Dear John” shows how love remains strong over the years in spite of war and other forces that try to force it apart. As a collection of furnishings, think weathered coffee tables, throw pillows, and colonial-style décor – it’s sturdy, but also far from rustic.
• “The Longest Ride,” Sparks’ newest book, shares the story of two families separated by time. There are secrets revealed and forgotten memories unearthed. The action moves from World War II to bull-riding arenas. The story’s rough-and-tumble elements of Western living co-mingle with more refined pursuits like art collecting, so the furnishings reflect the different times and generations. You’ll see wicker tables, cowhide rugs, leather sofas.
Sparks isn’t the only celebrity who has been involved in “Curate for a Cause.” During the last few years, Joss & Main has invited other popular performers and writers to take part by coming up with their own lines of furnishings and charities close to their hearts.
Actor Orlando Bloom, known for his work in “The Lord of the Rings,” “Hobbit” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie franchises, was involved in 2012. His charity of choice was Epidermolysis Bulloma Medical Research Foundation, which seeks a cure for a devastating genetic disorder. The pieces in this collection were a little more eclectic than Sparks’ softer hues, such as Herman Miller Eames lounge chairs, but reflected Bloom’s diverse and fantasy-oriented film background and creative imagination.
Courteney Cox, star of “Friends” and “Cougar Town” also dedicated a portion of proceeds from her collection to the Epidermolysis Bulloma Medical Research Foundation. Her look was inspired by her own home, a blend of modern and classic styles. Her collection featured elegant poster beds, fun accent pieces, and bright throw pillows. She likes neutral items enhanced with a few bright splashes of color.