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Fibromyalgia: Why Jewelry Is My Fashion Statement

Okay so here’s the deal, I’m trying to talk about my fibromyalgia and chronic pain a little more in an attempt to 1) get it out of my system and 2) make sense of it. I know a lot of people question fibro (as I call it for short) because you can’t see it. I struggle with that A LOT myself. I believe there is something else going on but we just haven’t found it yet. But there is no question that the pain is real. So if someone tells you they have it, don’t question it just try to understand they have something going on that makes them feel like pure A$$ sometimes! That being said, part of my jewelry journey is about the dream of working for myself and being able to make my own schedule and fill my day the best way I can for me and my health. Don’t get it twisted I know people who work for themselves work really hard, probably harder than most. But to be able to not have to be up at the sound of an alarm seems dreamy. Literally.

Because of how I feel most days, I like to be comfortable so clothes and shoes are not my first thought when planning my day. I have never been a fashionista. Being a beach girl for me means my favorite form of foot wear is flip flops. I also don’t have great feet so pretty shoes hurt. On top of that is my back. I have had a “bad back” since I was 16. High heels don’t agree with me either. Standing in general hurts my back so add heels and I need to sit or lay down for a very long time! I also have to be warm because cold hurts my body, too, so I can often be seen in a comfy fleece that is likely not flattering but doing its job.

I have been told fibromyalgia can develop after some kind of trauma like a car accident. When we lived in California my back bothered me but I can remember the number of times I had to lay on the floor because it was really sore. Twice. In six years. Three weeks before we moved home I was in a car accident and when we got home my back started “going out” on what felt like a regular basis. I’d be confined to the floor for two to three days in an attempt to get it to calm down so I could function again. A few different doctors, chiropractors, PT, cortisone shots, etc., etc., a back surgery and a minor knee injury and here we are. I am in a constant state of protection. I have a hard time relaxing because that may mean something will happen that causes me pain. It’s really no surprise that my muscles ache. My current chiropractor (who I’ve know since elementary school!!) and massage therapist (total bad ass) are my current go-to’s for all of the pain that I deal with.

This takes me to my point of jewelry being my fashion statement. I can wear whatever jewelry I want and it doesn’t restrict me or make me uncomfortable. My clothes can’t be tight and have to be soft. I do believe cotton is the fabric of our lives.

StacksAreTheNewBlack.jpgI can layer necklaces, bracelets, wear toe rings, multiple earrings up my ears and feel fine. I wear more rings on one hand than most people wear in total and all I have to do is take them off when I wash my  hands. Easy peasy. While I have always been into jewelry, it makes sense now more than ever what it means for me to wear it. It has become my form of a fashion statement. There is no doubt that I choose my jewelry most days before I choose my clothes. I get more excited to pack jewelry for a trip than I do clothes. On special days like holidays I choose pieces that have meaning while most people are probably choosing a new outfit, something flattering or dressy first before choosing accessories. Holidays also mean eating soooooo make sure those pants or that skirt have a little give in the waist!

I recently did a yoga video that I taped on Maryland Public Television. The woman said yoga is a practice of patience. Oh uhhhhh NO WONDER I have such a hard time getting (back) into it. I’d much rather walk on my treadmill and watch the latest Housewives because there is literally no thinking involved. Practicing yoga or stretching, for me, means slowing down and having to think about what I’m doing and feel all the tension in my body. Who wants to do that?! I do realize that I need to do this consistently in order to begin to ease the tension and that will take time. I stopped going to yoga about two years ago, maybe three. My BFF, Sam, is also the teacher of the classes I’d attend. She could easily say, “I told you so,” when I look back and think that just one class a week helped me. But she would never and she continues to talk me through a lot of what I feel.

I will try to get back to Sam’s Wednesday night class at Involution and in the meantime I will try to meditate and stretch or do my yoga video most days. It’s sometimes hard when Patches wants to join but it also makes it so much better. Don’t forget to check out my pieces that can easily be layered or make a statement on their own!

After reading this, my aunt sent me a link to a story on the famous artist Frida Khalo and how she, too, adorned herself with jewelry after a debilitating spine injury. Clearly, I’m in good company with my fashions sense.

 

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The Bahamas: I Just Want To Sit On The Beach

I recently traveled to the Bahamas with my husband for a work trip of his. We were in Exuma a few years ago also for a work trip. This time we were in Nassau. If you’ve read any of my posts on Instagram you already know that I’m a beach girl for life. I grew up at the beach on the east coast, moved to California for six years and lived near the beaches there then moved back to my home town at the beach in Delaware.

Bahamas beach

This was the first vacation in which I only packed GOLD by Green jewelry aside from my wedding rings and a necklace I wear a lot these days. While were there I had planned to take photos of my pieces and do some drawing of new designs. The first day I took pictures of my pieces sitting on my lounge chair, with the ocean in the background and then walked down to the water and got some shots there as well. Wonder what all of these people think I’m doing? Do I care? Yes because that is how I’m programmed but I’m never going to see them again so screw it. goal digger BahamasThen I pulled out my Goal Digger journal and drew some new designs. What an amazing few hours! I got to be in my happy place, that was also beautiful, doing something that I truly enjoy. The beauty of the teal colored water just a few feet away and warm temps that soothed my aching muscles from my fibromyalgia just made for some really great alone time. Traveling for me is very stressful because I don’t like to fly. Like, really, really, really don’t like to fly. I know they say it’s the safest form of transportation but I prefer to keep my feet on the ground which helps keep the tension I carry around and anxiety somewhat at bay. My friend Barbara told me many years ago that once she started thinking of turbulence as just driving over pot holes and bumps in the road it didn’t bother her. I try to think like this but it only gets me so far before the sweating and white knuckling. Then there’s also a lot of sitting and lugging suit cases and bags. Typically, it does not treat my back or the rest of my body well so when I can just veg out and relax in a beautiful AND warm place, why leave? Leave me be and I’ll be just fine by myself.

I’m not someone who has to “do” things on a beach vacation. When we go to Puerto Vallarta we sit on the beach every day. For the first time this year we went on a boat trip snorkeling. It was a big deal that I got Frank to do this. We were glad we went but we agreed we don’t have to do it again. On these business trips my husband has to attend meetings and golf with customers. I’m used to hanging out by myself at least part of the time. Another couple invited me to go with them to check out Atlantis while he was golfing. I have always wanted to go to Atlantis. I thought it would be a great honeymoon location but Frank said no way because we got married in October and that’s hurricane season. I struggled with the decision to join them allllll morning. Most people probably feel like they are missing out if they don’t see the sites ,explore or shop. I literally thought I was going to miss something if I left my lounge chair. I went back and forth in my head for over an hour. This will be fun I’m goingI should go. But how long will they be gone? I don’t think I’m going to go. What is my problem? I will go. Nope not gonna do it. I finally gave myself a break and thought, why Bahamasare you worried about this if you want to sit your butt on the beach all afternoon, sit your butt on the beach all afternoon! Phew, okay glad that internal dialogue is over. Day two basically ended up as a repeat of day one. I bought a Starbucks because even in the Bahamas you can find in your resort, took more photos from a different vantage point then found my lounge chair. I enjoyed the beach and beautiful water colors again. And I didn’t worry that I was missing out on something. Don’t miss out on shopping all of my pieces currently available! Stay tuned to see some of those new designs I’m working on as well.

 

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Being A Part of Someone’s Milestone

Part of what I love about jewelry is marking life’s moments. Doesn’t matter if it’s a birthday, anniversary, holiday, vacation, death (yes you read that right), personal win, promotion, push gift, you get the idea. I can come up with any reason to buy jewelry! I can go through quite a bit of my jewelry box and note what life moment it represents. I have bought jewelry when my cat passed away, as a push gift when I adopted a new kitten (hey, I’m not having kids so it was my Carrie Bradshaw moment), my birthday, to make myself feel better when someone passed away. I have designed one piece for myself for a milestone birthday – check out my last post to see this beauty!

But, to be a part of someone ELSE’s milestone, WOW. So let me set the stage for this….

Back in the fall my husband and I went on a wine cruse in France with a group put View from Our Roomtogether by our local wine shop Bin 66. My husband was super excited about this and I was along for the ride. I left the planning to him. It was a river boat cruise which I was super excited about. Being on a smaller boat on a river means less people (HELLOOOO YES!!!) and you can see the river banks the entire time your cruising so there’s always something to look at!

Enter my friend Katie Downs. We have known each other for more than 20 years but haven’t seen each other except maybe in passing in a really long time. She worked at South Moon Under on Rehoboth Avenue the same summers I was working a few doors down slinging Auntie Anne’s pretzels every night. Mary and KatieWe ran into each other again a few times when her social circle collided with my job at the Lower Delaware Autism Foundation. But we never got together to hang out. Katie and her parents were on the same cruise. I was pretty excited! Katie, my husband and I brought down the median age of the cruise quite a bit – ha! However, I was probably still in bed before most of the rest of the cruisers!

We all rode the bus up to Philly together to catch our flight and we talked briefly about my new jewelry endeavor. I had just had my first launch the weekend before and I was pretty sure Katie had seen my social media posts about it. And then, we were off!

I got know Katie’s parents better throughout the trip and in fact sat with them one day at lunch. First, they are adorable. They are so nice and engaging and I can totally see where Katie gets her classiness. And her love of jewelry! She and her mom always had on jewelry that I coveted! We all hung out in the Leopard Lounge (you have to say Leo-PARD) with others from the group most nights and said when we get back we have to hang out! Well, of course that really didn’t happen.

Fast forward to December. Frank and I were in Pittsburgh for a Steelers game and Saturday night our group went out to dinner overlooking the stadium. We made our way back to the hotel and my cousin and his wife had a room right next to us so they came over to hang out and I asked if she wanted to see my jewelry. “Sure,” she said! While she was looking at the few pieces I had I checked my social media and email on my phone. “Oh my GOSH!” She asked what was up. “I just sold these earrings,” I told her! I was so excited! This was my first sale through my website. And it was from Katie! She purchased the only pair of Francis Earrings with golden rutilated quartz and citrine thatFrancis Earrings Rutilated Quartz I had made. I loved the earrings and matching Sam Necklace and was really surprised that neither sold at my launch. (The Francis Earrings are named after Frank because he always says he loves a set and the Same Necklace is named after my best friend Samantha because of all the amazing support she’s given me in general and on this jewelry journey.) I emailed Katie immediately and told her how excited I was and that I would hand deliver them when we were back in town. She said she bought them for her mom for Christmas and she was excited to gift them to her and support my little dream! I packed them up nicely and visited her later that week.

Fast forward to February. Ironically, Frank and I were away again in Puerto Vallarta where we go every year with my dad for a little winter get away. I decided with the beautiful scenery around I would try to take photos of all of my pieces and post at least every other day to social media. When it’s fun, it’s not work on vacation! I posted a new Sam Necklace I had made with labradorite and green amethyst even though I hadn’t listed it on my site yet. I noted on my post to DM me if anyone was interested. The next day my friend Cathy had DM’d me that she was planning to have a necklace customized but when she saw this one she knew it was the one! I couldn’t believe it! I was SO excited to sell something while on vacation! Okay, I thought to myself, keep with this strategy of posting pieces in different surroundings.

A few days later Frank and I made our way back from the beach to the pool at the condo and he read while I checked my social media and email. The pool wifi wasn’t great and was taking forever. Can you say first world problems?! I happened to check my junk email and saw a notification from my site that the Golden Rutilated Quartz Sam Necklace was out of stock. My eyes almost popped out of my head into the pool! Wait. What?! I checked my inbox and there was no notification of payment which I’d gotten the last time I’d had an online sale. I tried to check my payment app and of course it wouldn’t load. Maybe that was okay considering I was on wifi in Mexico! HA! I kept checking different apps and emails. Finally, I figured out Katie had purchased the matching necklace to the earrings she bought two months ago! I told Frank, “I’m out! I have to figure this out so I’m heading up to the condo.” He shrugged.
Sam Necklace Rutilated Quartz
I had emailed Katie asking if it was in fact her who had bought it, I wanted to be sure, and how excited I was! She responded later that night telling me she had bought it for her mom as it was her parent’s 50th wedding anniversary later that week and she was throwing them an anniversary party. My heart sank a little knowing the necklace was with me in PV so I emailed her back and told her. She wrote back saying no problem enjoy your vacation! PHEW! I wrote back and told her I’d again hand deliver her order and I was overwhelmed to be a part of such a momentous occasion for her family. Did you read that?! FIFTIETH as in 5-0 as in half a century! Holy cow! My necklace marked this amazing milestone! I was so excited to pack it up and write a little note to her mom saying congrats and how excited I was to be a part of it! #gratitude

Mrs. Downs and Katie

We were all at the same birthday party this weekend and when I saw her mom my heart did a little flutter. She was wearing the earrings and necklace! They looked so good on her and I was beaming. Her dad commented on how nice it all was and then told us he had received a blue tie for the occasion. Mr. Downs doesn’t say much and when he cracked that little joke we all laughed! He did point out it was blue camo. NICE!

I wanted to write this post because like I said before, I love marking life’s moments with jewelry myself so how can you top marking a couple’s 50th wedding anniversary in your first year of following your dream!?

Check out my online shop to see if maybe there’s a special piece waiting for you or someone in your life celebrating something! Although I truly believe you don’t always need a reason!

 

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What’s Trending?

Many of the jewelry peeps I follow on Instagram will say this is old news or kinda old news. But I think there are probably a lot of you who read this, follow me or are friends with me that don’t really follow jewelry trends. For most people I think know what they like and what appeals to them and that’s all they know or people have their pieces they where all the time. When we lived in San Francisco and went to Napa all the time we learned the only thing that really matters when it comes to wine is knowing what you like. SIMPLE! I think the same goes for art, fashion and jewelry.

A skim of Instagram would easily clue you into what’s happening these days in the world of jewels. For me it’s just becoming more and more apparent as more and more of the jewelers/jewelry brands are including these trends in their lines. I took part in an online Jewelry Summit back in August and one of the brands that was on one of the panels talked about rainbows being “in.” I had seen them but hadn’t realized this was really a trend. I totally see it now and don’t really see it going away any time soon. So many brands are creating all kinds of rainbows. I think some of the pieces are literally part of their original brand and some have created pieces to get a part of the action. I think either way this is okay. I’ve learned that the people who love your brand are the people who will buy whatever you create because they want to be a part of your journey. So why not jump on board to not only be a part of the trend but to also gain new loyal clients? Seems like a win win! I’m not really a rainbow person (except for the real thing!) so this isn’t a trend I’ve jumped on. If I did though my favorites so far is probably Lulu Kachoo’s new Chakra Ring. But NO ONE does rainbows like Stephanie Gottlieb. She has an entire section of her website dedicated to rainbow pieces. She partnered with My Story Fine Jewelry to make a jumbo J pendant in honor of her son Jordan. Check it out!

Next up is piercing parties. At first I started to notice lots of studs, huggies and ear cuffs in my IG feed. For those of you who don’t know, huggies are little hoops that “hug” your ear lobe. They are dainty and cute. Ear cuffs are not actually earrings in the sense that they go through a piercing. A cuff just wraps around part of your ear like a bracelet cuff wraps around your wrist. These days, they are all being stacked on ears! It’s made me put earrings through my second and third holes again and the one I have at the top of my ear that I got the first week of college. I was happy it hadn’t closed! I think bracelets have always been easy to stack, then necklaces and of course my favorite pieces to stack: rings. A very popular hashtag on Instagram for rings right now is #StacksAreTheNewBlack created by Benjamin Guttery of Third Coast Gems. Now, earrings are being stacked and honestly, I love it! Right now I think Melinda Maria is rocking this look the best! This is what has led me to notice so many brands throwing “piercing parties” for customers in which they bring in a high profile piercing person (think on the level of having a high end tattoo artist) to do piercings with earrings from their lines.

The last one I’ll talk about is charms and lockets. This trend ties into personalization of pieces. This actually may have been the trend first, I’m honestly not sure. Lately a lot of different brands are creating charm lines so you can customize your necklace or bracelet with pieces that have meaning to you. Not that this is new, many of our moms had a good old fashioned charm bracelet. Many looked like they would weigh down your arm but how cool was it to go through those charms and have her tell you what every single one meant! And dream of the day you could wear it! Okay, back to My Story Fine Jewelry for this one. Designer Jackie Cohen adopted a baby in her early 40’s and created a piece of jewelry to commemorate this amazing occasion which led to her building a brand around personalization whether it be initial engravings on rings or lockets, using birthstones or both! She is one of my favorite brands to follow right now on IG because her story (Get it?? I mean come on even the name of her brand says it all!) is REAL and it flows through everything she does. I LOVE this trend because I love making things personal.

The first piece of fine jewelry that I created for myself before starting GOLD by Green was to commemorate a birthday and included my birthstone, amethyst, diamonds for my husband and two sets of peridot for my parents who were both born in August. This was about three years ago so hey, maybe I was a little ahead of the trend although I think this trend has always been in and will NEVER go out of style. Heidi Lowe brought this one to life for me and I love that it ties together the three people who are most important to me. And if Samantha is reading this she shares my husband’s birthstone so she can claim a diamond if she wants! XO

 

 

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A Look Back at 2018

Greetings and happy 2019! I rang in the new year with my Thomas Ring and Sam Necklace! I thought on the one year anniversary of launching my blog I’d take a look back at 2018.

NYE18

2018 was exciting for me as I started my jewelry blog and jewelry line! I’d be lying if I said it was all rainbows and roses though! It was fun, stressful, frustrating, exciting, etc., etc., etc. I really never thought I would be a business owner for one and starting a jewelry line seemed like a far off dream. So when I think of it that way I say DAMN you go girl! I still have a lot of growing and learning to do but don’t we all? If you’re interested in becoming either a better person or a bigger bad ass you better believe it!

Some highlights from 2018 include getting my first pieces, getting my last pieces and getting the other pieces in between! Revealing pieces along the way was fun and seeing everyone’s reactions. Launching my blog was fun as it became an outlet to just talk about jewelry even if no one was reading it! Starting my e-commerce site was a huge goal for me as it was so daunting to just think about before I finally did it! I also took part in the live stream version of the Jewelry Independent Summit. It was really cool to listen to super successful people in all parts of the business talk about their experiences. I’m looking forward to the next one in February! Selling a few pieces for Christmas gifts was awesome, too! I loved getting to play Santa.

Some low lights from 2018 were frustration over waiting for stones, the USPS destroying one of my pieces and the utter freaking out over this feeling that I had to create something new for the holidays. Happily I walked away from that notion and didn’t feel like I’d missed out on something. And the ring that the USPS destroyed was fixed by my partner in crime jeweler and the blessing is that I freakin’ love it and try to wear it as often as possible. All things to learn from!

Goal DiggerI’m not sure what my 2019 goals are yet. During that holiday feeling of having to make new designs I told myself walk away and regroup in January. I really want to hustle but I also have to maintain my sanity. So I have realized that I don’t have to rush it all. Learn. Experience. Learn more. Enjoy the ride. I have ideas and plans that aren’t formulated so onward and upward!

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Oh. My. God. Becky! Look at her…JEWELS!

I recently had the opportunity to meet one of my jewelry favs. I wanted to attend the Anna Beck trunk show at Nordstrom at Tyson’s Corner last year but didn’t want to make the drive to be honest. When I saw the event posted again for 2018 on their social media I thought I would go this year. Back in November during a day of shopping which I of course turned into an impromptu happy hour I asked my BFF if she would go with me. She instantly said yes. Perfect, I thought, I’ll have a navigator. I’m much better as the driver. A few weeks later she ended up having to decline to attend a family friend’s celebration of life.

In the meantime, the wildfires were running rampant through California and quite a few jewelers were offering sales in support of people who lost everything, abandoned or displaced animals and the fire fighters battling the fires day after day. Anna Beck posted one day on IG that 100% of their sales that day were going to support some of the charities helping out. I text my husband and said I’m buying my Christmas gift because they are supporting this cause. I picked something out, entered me credit card and was excited to support and get something by a brand that I love. Win.WIN!

At this point I figured I wouldn’t go to the trunk show. I didn’t have a navigator and had just bought something. I had been planning a purchase at the trunk show from my husband for Christmas but since I made the purchase to support the fires I didn’t think I’d make a second one. And don’t even get me started on how early I’d have to get up to get there when it started at 10 am so I could ensure I’d get a decent parking spot since it is after all just before Christmas. Read as I am NOT a morning person. Like ever. Like really never ever.

After talking to my husband about it more I realized I would be really disappointed if I didn’t go. Miss meeting the designer and owner of Anna Beck because of a little drive by myself on the beltway (I’d almost rather stick a fork in my eye) or because of having to get up early on a Saturday (I’d almost rather stick a for in my eye). So all week I told myself I was going. I printed directions, painted my nails, picked out my jewelry and what I’d wear. Of course nails and jewels were most important! And of course I had to include some GOLD by Green pieces (moonstone and amethyst ring below).

The next morning I got up, got ready and hit the road. Of course I almost left the directions on the counter. And yes I’m not so old that I didn’t also plan to use my phone for directions, too, but typically the GPS lady and I don’t get along, so me by myself, I needed a printed set of directions. Which I never even looked at…..

I set off in the rain (ugh the RAIN) with my big coffee and a bottle of water. For at least 30 minutes I still questioned driving over there. My back instantly told me I had made the wrong decision and it just kept reminding me. I put on Christmas carols and drank my coffee. My BFF called me at some point and we talked for quite a while. It helped to pass the time. I still hadn’t made it to the Bay Bridge yet.

I turned up the Christmas carols, continued to drink my coffee and sang out loud. As I drove on the rain got so much worse. I white knuckled it onto the beltway, cursed (quite) a few people along the way, ‘Tis the Season after all, and continued on. About this time I started questioning how much longer. I’m like a man when I drive. I don’t want to stop until I am there and I want to make good time! But wow did I need a bathroom! And then boom – traffic! On a Saturday! In the pouring rain! COME ON!!!! I could still see red noting congestion on my phone along my travel path and I’m pretty sure I did three things at this point. I started praying for a bathroom and started shaking it off along with Taylor Swift (temporary station change from carols). Then I actually started to consider having to pull over on the side of the road – actual pit stop or not! Finally! My exit! I had a conversation with God at this point and begged that there would be a bathroom as soon as I exited. I must be on Santa’s nice list this year because as soon as I pulled off there was a gas station! Under normal circumstances I would never stop at a gas station and I try to avoid public bathrooms at all cost. I grabbed my wallet, jumped out of the car (locked it thank goodness) said out loud, “I will buy something if I have to!” Then I saw the sign for the bathroom pointing to the side of the building. PRAISE BE TO GOD! And it was empty and not bad for a Shell station. I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier to find a public bathroom. But I digress, ironically, Tyson’s Corner was literally, around the corner. I never would have made it though….

I made the turn in and saw Norstrom’s immediately on my left. Yes! Next I saw a parking garage practically attached to it. Even better! I pulled in knowing red lights meant the spots were taken and green meant spots were open down the long lines of spots. I found a spot close to the entrance and headed in.

I walked to the signage stating what was on what floor and saw I only had to go up one Anna Beck set upfloor. I took the escalator and started to get excited. At the top I saw the jewelry section. I looked around and started perusing the area looking for the Anna Beck team. I walked around the entire section and thought – where?!!?! I started back near the escalator and realized they were right at the top near where I’d gotten off. GEEEEZ Mary….open your eyes! I kinda stalked the set up and checked out everyone behind the counter.

Par for the course I got a little star struck when I saw designer and owner of Anna Beck, Becky. She came out from behind the counter and I approached her and said, “Hi, I wanted to introduce myself I’m kind of a super fan.” Did I just say super fan. Oh GAWD Mary get yourself together! I have never been successful at talking to people who are either famous or that I don’t know but admire. Open mouth. Insert foot. THAT is what I’m good at.

Becky talked to me like we were friends. She asked where I was from and I told her Mary and BeckyDelaware and in particular Rehoboth Beach. She asked me how long it took me to get there. “About two and half hours,” I replied. ” You drove over two hours to come today?” I was like, “Ummmm yeah!” She was even familiar with Rehoboth because South Moon Under carries her collection. We also talked about Gypsy Teal in Bethany Beach as they also carry her pieces. I was so impressed that she knew both stores! I tried not to stare at her perfectly stacked and layered jewels. In my head I was thinking oh my God her jewelry is perfection just look at it! I wanted it all. We continued to talk and I told her how I loved her business model that gives back. I didn’t want to take up too much of her time as I know she was there to sell her jewelry and talk to customers. I said how nice it was to meet her and told her it was now time for me to shop!

I poked around, tried on rings – of course I tried on rings! I looked at the beautiful earrings, some of the necklaces and kept going back and forth along the counter to ensure I didn’t miss anything. I settled on a cuff bracelet that is part of her classic collection. An adorbs Nordstom’s sales associate checked me out. A co-worker of hers came over to talk to her and she looked at me and said, “I love your stacks, you’ve got a good eye. Want a part time job selling jewelry? It’s not a bad gig a lot of customers do it for the discount!” In my head I yelled brilliant! I pointed out that my ring and pendant were mine as I had started my own collection recently! I still had to tell Becky I was an aspiring designer. That was 50% of the point of going!

I thanked the girls for their help and headed on. Becky was busy helping others so I walked out into the mall. Good Lord it has been a long time since I have been in a mall. During the holidays. Sooooo many people. And even at a high end mall, sooooo many random outfits. Do people look at themselves when they leave the house?! I’m not going to lie I go to the grocery store or to walk the boardwalk without checking the mirror but I was kinda surprised by some of what I saw. I bought a few things (cursing the sales tax!) and got my lunch, an Auntie Anne’s pretzel with cheese reminiscing about working at the one on Rehoboth Avenue when I was a teenager. I loved that job! I walked back to Nordy’s and slowly approached Becky again. I apologized for interrupting and told her I just wanted to say thanks and it was really nice to meet her. She said, “Oh my gosh you’re still here!” Then she gave me a big hug. I was so happy I kept both feet on the floor and not in mouth this time. She told me about another trunk show in February in the area and said I should come. I told her I would if it wasn’t during our annual trip to Puerto Vallarta.

I got back in my car and headed home. I immediately heard my husband asking what she had to say about me starting my jewelry line. UGH I hadn’t told her. She was there to work and she was so kind in taking the time to talk to me and take a photo! I thought about what it would be like to some day have someone be that excited to meet me! The closest I have gotten to that was when I went shopping (ironically) at Gypsy Teal’s pre-holiday sale and one of the girls who checked me out said, “oh you’re the ring girl!” I literally almost fainted when I realized that she knew who I was from IG.

Becky was so gracious and I was so happy I braved the dreaded beltway, in the rain, almost having to make an unauthorized pit stop along the way! When you meet people you admire it’s really great when they are genuinely that same person you pegged them to be.

On the drive home I started thinking about writing this and the part of me who can’t take anything seriously started hearing a little Sir Mix A Lot in my head. Oh. My. God. Becky! Look at her jewels! Then a little Ice Cube….I really do have to say….it was a good day.

And even when it’s raining, don’t forget to always stay GOLDEN!
Mary Green #goldbygreen

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Don’t Worry. Be Grateful.

I want to control everything. And that, we know boys and girls, is just not possible. Or reasonable. I have become a worrier. It’s so annoying.

Yet, I have a lot to be thankful and grateful for. Like most people. And like most people I can easily forget that. First, I have checked the family archives multiple times. I am never going to be an heiress or socialite. Believe me. I’ve done the research. Facing reality, I am grateful to have a job in the small beach town in which I grew up that is less than 10 minutes from my house, offers good benefits, consists of a good team and is something I can believe in doing every day. I’ve never worked for another organization this long. Granted that is because we have moved for my husband’s job a few times. I am thankful to have a good job that I enjoy at Beebe.

I am thankful for my family, my blood relatives and the crazy family that I married into that I consider my blood relatives. They are my people and I love spending time with them. I can’t imagine having more fun than with anyone else than my husband. Although I must admit, my mom is pretty darn fun. And my dad enjoys a good dirty martini as much as I do. I have learned throughout the years that I thought I was my mother’s daughter because of my love of all carbs and in particular French fries, but it has become apparent, I am my father’s daughter. And therefore, I must say, watch out world! Okay watch out Puerto Vallarta!

I currently have three cats. And I have had more that I have lost. I have loved each of them as mush as they have unconditionally loved me. There isn’t anything like the love an animal can give you and believe you me, I love walking in the door to see the little nugget come to greet me. Maybe it’s because she knows I feed her and that’s okay – I will take it!

As someone who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia last year, I can throw myself a really good pity party, but I can also say I’m thankful. I have had chronic back pain since I was a teenager. I have struggled with it. I was lucky enough that the first major pain I had at my summer job my dad happened to be at the restaurant having lunch and could take me to the ER. A few years later when it happened again, my dear friend was able to take me. Both times my mom was around to give me mom love – which is the best – for the three days I was confined to laying on the floor – doctor’s orders. When I was in a car accident years later before moving home from California, a co-worker was able to come and get me and take me home since my car was totaled. I have since learned this is likely what led to my chronic pain and fibro diagnosis. This has helped the crazy inside of me that has to have a reason for everything and know the WHY for every little thing. I have always been surrounded by an inner circle of good people even though I continue to struggle with being open about being diagnosed with fibro (as I call it because I don’t feel the need to say the entire word over and over….) and talking about it. How can it be real if it’s something you can’t see? The pain is real, believe you me. There are a few people I always talk to about my pain and they just listen. That is what I need, someone to listen so I don’t feel so isolated. I even have an IG friend in Australia that I send questions to who also has the same diagnosis! (See social media isn’t all THAT bad!) It can be very hard, and you feel like you are a burden on everyone. These few people make it okay. And for them I am SUPER grateful.

beachGrowing up in a beach town, I have learned that I can’t live anywhere else. I went from Delaware to San Francisco to Huntington Beach and back. I realized this summer that for my body, the beach is my happy place. One day on the beach in July I felt the best I had physically felt in a few months. I felt so good that it became apparent all of a sudden and felt like it hit me like a ton of bricks. Well, maybe like a ton of feathers because for the first time there was nothing weighing down my muscles! There is something about the every part of the beach. The warmth of the sand on your feet, the smell of the salt water and the suntan lotion, the feel of the water as it washes away all the stuff and the sound of the seagulls – yes even the seagulls. I’ve tried to start going down to just walk on the beach for even just 10 to 15 minutes this late fall when it’s cold. Just being there is so calming. It’s a natural stress reliever.

I am a self-proclaimed music junkie. I love most music. It takes me to my happy place. My husband is always kind enough to sit in the car in the driveway with me and listen to that one last song before heading in for the night. Sometimes he will even sing with me but never as loud as me. There’s nothing like a good dance party and it’s not only good for my soul but almost nothing soothes my body like dancing around my living room (or Sam’s) to old music or honestly, good old smooth jazz. Don’t get it? Doesn’t matter. It’s all about the music. I realized when we recently saw the Gypsy Kings at the Freeman Stage (my favorite venue for live music!!) that when people where my jewelry I want them to get the same feeling that I do when I listen to live music. There is just nothing that compares to that feeling!

This time last year I started on my jewelry journey and if you told me that I’d have a website with items for sale, would have had my first launch party and would be thinking strategically about my next steps…I’m not going to lie I probably would have told you I didn’t believe you. I have thrown out my wildest dreams and maybe those haven’t exactly come true yet, but I also know I need to hustle a little (okay A LOT) harder. One big lesson I’ve learned though is that I need to come up with a plan that works for me and continue to educate myself. Then, I think things will begin to fall into place more for me and my dreams.

For now, I’ll just continue to rock out to whatever comes on the radio and throw out my hopes and dreams to the universe because I know she’s listening. And I bet she’s got a lot of the same music on her playlist that I do.

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Sometimes You Just Have to Walk Away

Well, once again it’s been a while and I have been lacking in my blog posting! We did take a little vacation but still no excuse. I’m feeling either underwhelmed (personal favorite word with a funny story behind it) or maybe I’m feeling the exact opposite. Completely. Over. Whelmed. It’s interesting to think I started on this journey almost a year ago and I’ve held my first small launch and sold quite a few pieces! But back to today….the holiday season is coming and I feel the pressure to get pieces made for people to purchase as gifts! I feel as if this is an opportunity I should capitalize on. On the other hand, I have a tendency to sometimes fly by the seat of my pants which actually makes the OCD planner in me crazy. As a Pisces, I am walking contradiction. I recently learned from my fellow fish, Tara Lausch, that we crave freedom and stability. We are wild but responsible, spontaneous but a planner – word for word from a post on her @soulfishtribe Instagram. I titled my first collection, First Flight because I felt exactly that way – like I was just flying by the seat of my pants! But it was fun and sometimes you just have to trust the journey. Yet, I can hear my husband Frank in my head, “You need a plan.”

So, on this journey I am really surprised at what I’ve created. I am a self proclaimed ring whore. Okay that really isn’t nice so let’s say ring addict. I figured I would want to make lots of rings and maybe I will but I haven’t yet. I have learned that rings are harder to sell because they are size specific. Who knew!?! Not me!

I am finding more and more that I am loving necklaces and pendants. When I say that I mean designing them although I did buy a new necklace in Beaune, France on our recent vacation. Okay and a ring. Kind of a matching set. I also find it really interesting that to date I have sold all but one necklace that I had made! And I’m also surprised that I only sold one matching necklace and earrings set. The one pendant I decided to keep because I love it SO MUCH is probably the one piece that I have gotten the most compliments on. My husband says everything has a price tag, but in this case I beg to differ. I made three pendants and I donated one to the Meals on Wheels Celebrity Beach Brunch and I was super excited to hear that it almost went for the full retail value!

I guess then it will come as no surprise that I have three custom one of a kind necklaces in the works. (But I’m not sharing any previews YET!!) Sitting here today though my head is spinning. I have had so many ideas that I just can’t commit to for one reason or another. Oh wait, did I just hear Frank again?

For instance, I just went from this…..
fluorite layouts
To this…..
fluorite loose

Do I have to make sets? Do I have to make earrings and necklaces? Rings to match? What about the price point? Does it make sense? Is it reasonable? Is it enough or will people think it’s too much?! Ugh the struggle is REAL. Sometimes you just have to walk away….

Speaking of price points….I am trying to learn to not make up people’s minds for them and my customer may not always be who I think it is. That is probably the hardest part for me. It’s really hard to put a price on pieces because you are basically putting a price tag on yourself! It’s scary and intimidating and I wonder what people think. Just because I have my own personal price range when buying jewelry doesn’t mean my ideal customer’s is the same. So, I also hear Heidi Lowe telling me, “You aren’t your customer so you have to think beyond that!” #goodadvice

Once again thanks for reading and for your support! And don’t forget. Christmas is coming! Check out my jewels currently for sale here.

Stay GREEN!
Mary #goldbygreen

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Check Out All Angles

I’ve admitted before that I stare at my rings during throughout the day. I would probably stare the rest of my jewelry if I could easily see it without a mirror. Most people probably only really check out their jewelry when making a purchase or when it’s new. My question for you today is do you check out the back of your jewelry? I take off my rings a lot throughout the day as I wash my hands a lot! Often when I put them back on I check them out.

I think everyone should do this not only to make sure everything looks okay but to see the beauty of your pieces from different angles. First, yes make sure things are right. I looked down at my engagement ring about 10 years ago and saw a prong had cracked off. After I recovered from my heart attack and realized that my diamond was fine I moved on to getting it fixed. Side note, because we had insurance on it we had it reset by a professional jeweler in a brand new setting at no cost. Get your good jewelry insured! That’s for another post though….

Stones that are faceted are beautiful from all angles. Typically, the point of the stone is heidi ringset facing down and I think this part is just as beautiful as the top of the stone which can be faceted, have a table (flat surface) or if it’s smooth it’s considered a cabochon.

I love this setting that Heidi Lowe did for me. I designed the look but she set the stone so you could see the bottom of it. A really cool hidden detail.

Also, check out the setting underneath and all around. Nowadays, many jewelers hide something special in the setting like a tiny birthstone inside the band of an engagement ring to represent the husband
or one for each of the couple. bandOld jewelry may have a special inscription for that someone special or the jeweler. My husband had my initials and 5-year anniversary date added to this band. The setting is really where the magic happens. While stones are beautiful the setting is their little home! Many stones are set in a way to let in more light from the different angles of the piece. Light amplifies most stones. Look at the craftsmanship. And maybe it’s not perfect and that’s okay!

 

I like to check out the back of this pendant that is actually one my designs! The back of the stone is so pretty.

back of pendant

Finally, check out the detail on the sides of this Jane Taylor Rosebud ring. Not only is amethyst is my birthstone but my mom called me Rosebud when I was little so it makes me love it even more!

rosebud2rosebud

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Inspiration

I have been way overdue in writing a post so here goes. As the last of  my first pieces are being finalized I start to think what now? When do you start making plans for what’s next? How much is too much? You haven’t even launched the first collection yet! I have never denied that I am flying by the seat of my pants here. It’s really ironic, too. Having held the title of Director of Events at a nonprofit in southern California and Event Coordinator with two nonprofits here locally,  I am typically really organized. I love a list that I can cross things off of that includes specific times as to what will happen when and who is involved…the caterer will be on site at 4 pm, food and bar will be set up by 4:45, guests arrive at 5, speaker will being at 7, event ends at 8 and event breakdown will begin at 8:15 and all rentals will be picked up at 9 pm. Check, check, check! THIS type of organization makes me UBER HAPPY! That is all matter of fact work. Jewelry is creative so I’m way out of my element on that part of it. While there is creativity in event planning, it’s on another level from this at least for me. For a true artist, it’s probably in their blood.

So I start thinking what will the next pieces look like? I see people posts photos on IG of what inspires them. I don’t get a lot of that personally, at least not yet. For me, ideas just literally pop into my head. They may ebb and flow before they are finalized but that is how it works in this brain. The disc necklace definitely had some thought around the ocean although you probably can’t tell from looking at it and I think that was more the original idea in my head which was not the final product.

My porch is by far my favorite room in the house. I was sitting out here one day and realized the color scheme out here mirrors a lot of what I’ve done in the first collection. I look around and see purples and greens – different shades and I love them all. We decorated this porch five years ago so it’s kinda cool to see these colors now coming through in what I’m doing. And while the two on the chairs at the table were gifts, I also never knew I had a thing for pillows…..

I want to point out that the color on the walls is called Shaken Not Stirred. It was a no brainer decision! I added glitter to the paint after seeing it where a friend worked. When the sun hits the walls they sparkle! I also realize that the little jar on the glass table is from my friend’s wedding, the friend who just bought my first piece. 💚

Stay gold and green and apparently purple!
#goldbygreen