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The Real Gift of Mother's Day

Mother’s Day makes me think of all the wonderful women in my family and friends circle, matriarchs who have been nurturing and encouraging of me and my jewelry career since I was a young girl. I would be nowhere without the championing by all these wonderful ladies, both in terms of, but not always inclusive of, self-purchase power and cheer-leading.

My two grandmothers were among my very first supporters – proud recipients of necklaces made out of plastic beads, safety pins, and fishing wire. While the materials themselves were not pricey, their frequent wearing of those pieces was invaluable to me – it gave me confidence at a very young age that I could create something beautiful and desirable, something someone would pay money for (even if it was just $10)! Not only was this encouraging, but I was honored that two women with such chic style counted my jewelry as something good enough to wear with their exquisite wardrobes.

The original "Cay-Cay Beaded Necklace"

I realize that maybe there’s a part of me that always channels my grandmothers when I design. Occasionally I’ll finish a piece, like this aquamarine nugget necklace and say to myself, "gosh, this reminds me of Cay-Cay," because she loved the color turquoise and ocean-hued blues so much. Or the Maharaja necklace, which brings to mind the necklace I first made for Oma, my Dutch grandmother. It’s a nice way to keep them close to my heart and mind.

Now that my grandmothers have passed away, their treasured necklaces have been returned to me. Every so often I look at the jewels, which reside in my studio, and see this tangible link to the significant women who now live only in my memories. It warms me to see pieces of my original handiwork and think about our deep connection. And this, in turn, propels me to keep going, keep creating, and keep expanding my jewelry family – one admirer, one promoter and one buyer at a time.

Oma, happy in her "safety-pin bead" necklace I made her around age 9, and the new Maharaja Necklace today.