I am not embarrassed to share with you, that I come at my love of personalized jewelry from a love of words first - poems, quotes, sayings and books. I love the idea of wearing something so meaningful - knowing it is unique and made just for me.
It is something we all crave in our life. Jewelry is such a lovely, fashionable and special way to create this for yourself and others.
I love hand stamping names, letters and words onto modern designs and a thick modern shapes - of solid sterlings silver and 10K gold. It is so relaxing and zen as the hammer hits metal with a BANG, spelling out people's wishes, desires, names and our clients want to celebrate: CREATE, LOVE, DREAM BIG, LET IT GO, HAVE FAITH, PAUSE, BREATH, EMBRACE THE NOW, FAMILY FOREVER ALWAYS NO MATTER WHAT and, of course, names of people's children to keep them close.
Set your intention
I am thinking about how we beat ourselves up when little and big things don't go well. I am thinking about how important it is to invite happy things into your life, listen to your inner voice and create space away from your swirling thoughts so you can really hear. A personalized message on beautiful jewelry is such a pretty way to set an intention.
During my "business in my basement" days, I wore a necklace that said "I CAN , I WILL" - inviting more customers and success into my life. Fast forward, five years, and we now have two Toronto retail locations. If you told me three years ago that I'd have a two shops and a 24/7 online store, I'd would have laughed out loud and asked you to poor me a strong cocktail.
When actress Rachel Skarsten wanted to celebrate a moment in her life and growing career we collaborated on a design. We decided on a tree of life engraved on a signet ring. The tree represents family roots and the branches are growing and reaching for light. We filled one maple leaf with her birthstone, a diamond. For others, we filled multiple leaves with birthstones of children. I wear this ring, imagine roots under my feet, grounded solid from my family and upbringing - reaching for light and growth every day.
I remember a client wanting something a Mother's Day gift. After much searching, we engraved in a tiny script, "Always my mother, forever my friend". Her mother had a tear when she opened it.
Charms to celebrate your journey
When I was 24, I travelled part of the world with my good friend, Tonya. We bought a long leather cords and added charms as we travelled. A desire for a dolphin tattoo became (thankfully, in retrospect) a dolphin charm for the necklace which reflected the freedom of our trip, driving in a yellow and rust beat-up old Chevy (lovingly nicknamed "Rusty"), up the coast of Australia.
We added charms along the way that reflected our journey. We bought a tiny upside-down person charm in Christ Church, New Zealand to celebrate our epic (and, perhaps on reflection, stupid) bungee jump, a wire-wrapped quartz crystal gemstone in Byron Bay for positive energy and a Buddha charm in Asia to celebrate the zen of it all. Thai people seem to smile more and we wanted a bit of that for ourselves too.
Keep loved ones close
My father, my mentor and anchor, died when I was 25.
I took three things from him - three blue hard-cover books of quote (filled with his hand writing), his wood antique work bench/desk (now the check-out counter at our Toronto shop on Roncesvalles Avenue) and his family signet ring. Wearing this personal ring gave me so much pleasure and I felt a part of him with him. Recently, I surprised my sister a sterling silver signet ring with our family crest hand engraved onto it. She loves wearing it and, although it is a new ring, the engravings make her feel connected her to our family history and my father who wore it daily.
A client wanted his partner to know how much he loves her with something she can carry with her all day. An incredibly talented master engraver, David Davidse, hand engraved for us our a bracelet "I am catastrophically in love with you." Our client had changed his whole life and moved across the country to be with his girlfriend - all for love. This quiet, beautiful and subtle message, hand engraved on a bracelet said it all. She wears it everyday.
Your jewelry should tell the story of who you are, and be a collection of what you love and gifting someone something personal is so gratifying when you see them light up with a smile (or maybe even a tear).
Jewelry to keep children close
When I first stamped my sons’ initials on my neck over 13 years ago, my boys were three and six. They loved playing with the tiny circle charms around my neck. I would look at their sweet faces and explain, “those are your special letters around my neck so I can keep you close to my heart”.
My boys are now 18 and 16. I had almost forgotten this sense of wonder they had with seeing their letters around my neck. With one gone to university and the other busy with friends and sports, I still love wearing their "love letters".
Good-luck & symbolic jewelry
When I have an important and stressful day, I like to wear a special charm like this elephant. Elephants, with an upwards pointing trunk, bring good luck and remind us to live large.
Despite my business side - my determination to get things right, curate and design jewelry that is better and less expensive that others, high energy (ok maybe even 'rushy', I literally run to my car to save time...), I love to get lost in words & images - on instagram, in books and quotes. Adding a word or special anti stress gemstones, like labradorite, to my bracelets or necklaces, gives me a sense of happiness and calm - whisper reminders to slow down and pause.
Sometimes we need a traveling companion gemstone, word charm or symbol to remind us to be present to the beauty and truth that surround us. These treasures remind us to stand tall and help us gently to find our way to joy and fill the cracks that life creates.