On the middle finger of my left hand I wear a "I-don't-need-a-man-to-buy-me-a-diamond-ring" ring. This antique ring brings me joy every time I look at my hand--It's a talisman of power and strength; My reminder to be a strong lady and always try to flick off negativity with sparkle, beauty, and grace.
The Time person of the year was announced as “The Silence Breakers”--the women who added their voices to the chorus of individuals who will no longer stand for sexual harassment and aggression in the workplace and their lives. My heart swells with pride to see that the "person" of the year could conceivably comprise 51% of the population in the United States--the women who acknowledge their value and will not stand for mistreatment any longer.
I am incredibly thankful for the strength of the intelligent and amazing women I have in my life. The #MeToo stories on my newsfeed were written with such eloquence and truth that I could almost feel the unwanted hand traveling down the side of my face and my ears burning with vulgar remarks.
During these weeks, it has been an amazing gift to have two beautiful women in my life ask for items to celebrate self-love.
The first is a friend, a mother, a wife, a creator, a baker, a painter. She is colorful and bright; generous and kind. This is a woman I will always associate with the combination of lime green and teal, two cheery saturated colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel, warm, yet positioned firmly on the cool side of things--just like her.
This project was the recreation of an opal pendant she had received. This opal took on the strong lime green and teal hues I so often associate with her, but when I removed the opal from its original setting, I discovered that the setting had been painted black beneath a jelly opal cabochon, giving the appearance of solid lime green and teal colors to what was actually a clear stone with hints of lime and teal when tilted.
Rather than discard this opal as a misrepresentation or something pretending to be something that it is not through this optical illusion, she embraced the opal's authenticity, allowing it to be as it is. This jelly opal started a new life as a beautiful 18k yellow gold ring using the design motif of my Azores collection.
The second woman is a friend from studying abroad in Italy. She has one of the most lively spirits I have ever encountered, captured in a bubbly, pint-sized person. When we first met, her crazy curly hair and self-cut bangs were as fiery red as her patent leather red heels—it’s only fitting that this blazing stone be hers!
With Etruscan design inspiration, we created a custom oval ruby ring in 18k yellow gold. The form of the basket and width of the band borrow from Etruscan aesthetics to create a timeless, yet modern, piece of jewelry.
A unique faceted pattern extends from the ruby to create the hexagonal face of this custom ring. With a smooth, sloping knife-edge emphasized by a directional brushed texture, a low-set basket, a tapered band, and a smooth, high-polished interior, this ring is incredibly comfortable to wear--perfect for this woman's career as a caretaker for small children.
It is not lost on me that these two beautiful souls have more in common than being powerful, self-loving women who understand their self-worth. They are also proud alumnae of Mount Holyoke College, the all women’s liberal arts school in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Their campus was fueled by female ingenuity. Their classrooms were free of mansplanation. And, no doubt due in part to this experience, they are two of the strongest women I know. They deserve unique talis-wo-men that celebrate their achievements and purpose.
It was such a pleasure and honor to create these rings for these strong and beautiful women in my life.