I’ve always been very inspired by words. I like the way they sound. I like the way they look on the page. I read the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman yeeeeeeeeears ago and knew immediately that my love language is “words of affirmation.” I love loving others with my words, and I love to be loved with words in return. I also have made jewelry as a hobby since elementary school, particularly beaded designs. When people started asking me to make them jewelry, I thought that maybe I was on to something — a little creative outlet. I was writing these notes to go along with the jewelry gifts I was giving my friends, letting them know how much they meant to me. And then it kind of just clicked. What if each of my pieces was customized with a compliment? The idea actually came to me while I was flipping through a magazine with my mom. The word compliment was in the title of an article. And it was just like, AH! I got it! I’m gonna run with this. And people responded with such positivity, I knew I was on the right track. Who doesn’t love a genuine, heart-felt compliment? There’s nothing better! Unless of course, it comes with a pretty, sparkly something with it! 😉
One of your passions is supporting education. Why do you think it’s so important?
My day job is as an English and AVID teacher. In my first year teaching, I was fortunate enough to get involved with AVID. I was trained in incredible teaching methodologies that support all students in learning. I was raised with the value system that education and learning were priorities. I always loved school. But that was something in which I was supported. What I came to learn early on is that so many students HAVE the potential, but don’t have the support for various reasons — most commonly that they are the first in their families to pursue a higher education and their families simply don’t know how to support them. In my years as an AVID teacher, I’ve met some of the most incredible human beings on the planet. Kids who come from all different types of situations — addiction, poverty, homelessness, abuse — and still have the drive and determination to say, “this is not what I want my life to be, and I’m going to do something about it.” Talk about daily inspiration! AVID’s mission is “to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.” This always struck a chord with me. Why should only wealthy white kids from two-parent households be given the best chances for educational success? I believe with all my heart that education is the number one way our society can and will evolve, and truly the future of our democracy depends on it. ALL kids should have the chance to have a real voice and choice in their lives. That doesn’t happen without education. Disenfranchisement is a generational burden until one person breaks the cycle. That happens through education. The scholarship fund I’ve set up with Compliment is a teeny tiny drop in a very large bucket, but it’s one way I can do more to contribute to a cause that is so important to me.
What are some jewelry trends we’re seeing as we move into the spring?
I’m seeing really feminine jewelry designs. Things that are colorful and sparkly and just girly. Color-wise, mint is still super hot. Also, whites and golds. I’m planning to launch a bracelet and necklace line in late February/early March and the designs are colorful but not too loud. Very sweet.
What should people keep in mind when shopping for jewelry?
Well, it depends on the type of jewelry someone is shopping for. I can’t speak to what people should look for when buying fine diamonds and rubies, for example. But when shopping at Compliment, or a store like mine, I think it’s important for my customers to remember that each piece is handmade. They aren’t uniform. No two pieces are exactly alike. I think there’s beauty in that and that’s one of the things I think my repeat customers love. My rings are free form and a little a-symmetrical. But that’s what makes them so cool in my eyes. Also, because they are handmade, they do take a few days to get to you. But good things are worth the wait. 😉
I think my favorite piece is the button ring. It’s super funky. The original design that’s pictured on my site was made from the leftover beads of a necklace I’d bought that broke several years before. Once I started wire-wrapping rings, I was only working with Swarovski bicone crystals. But these little gemstone discs were so different and fun to experiment with, and I think the end product is really unique and fun and interesting. I wear my button ring ALL the time, and I get compliments on it every time I wear it. It has a special little place in my heart. 🙂
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