Jane: Carrying on Family Traditions

What did you want to see reflected?

The love I have for my family and the importance of carrying on our family traditions.

My father’s parents were married for 70 years. They grew up in a small town in upstate Pennsylvania, and when my grandfather went off to medical school at the University of Michigan, his parents forbade him to marry until he finished school. He was madly in love with his girlfriend (my grandmother), however, and when she went out to visit him for a fraternity party, they eloped. She went home to her family, and they didn’t tell anyone that they were married for four years. It was the early 1920’s, so this was quite scandalous! My grandparents built a wonderful life together, and weathered many, many storms, yet they were always madly, madly in love! They had three sons, and eight grandchildren. So many of our family traditions started with them.

When my grandmother passed away in 1995, I inherited her sapphire and diamond cocktail ring, which had been a gift to her from my grandfather. It sat in my drawer for years before I had the idea to take it apart and rework it into something I would actually wear. That’s where Claudia entered the picture!

What was going on in your life that prompted you to need this reminder?

I had just come out of a very crazy divorce. Instead of going to the “oh poor me,” victim place, I went straight to the “wow, I get a do-over,” place, and I was ecstatic. I wanted to get back to that place of honoring my family, and family traditions.

I also wanted to create something that honored the memory of my grandmother, but was more my style. I wanted to create a “new” family heirloom out of an old one, something I could pass along to the next generation, something my nieces might actually consider wearing!

Why did you choose this design? How does it make you feel when you wear it?

When I first met with Claudia and showed her the ring, and explained what I wanted to do, she started sketching and what she sketched was exactly what was in my head. It was a no-brainer!  

She incorporated the stones of my grandmother’s ring into a gorgeous, modern, simple, elegant piece. I wear it everyday. It makes me feel wonderful, knowing that I am wearing a little piece of my family’s history on my finger and it doesn’t hurt that it is gorgeous!

What’s your motto for life and why?

It may sound a little trite, but

“This above all else, to thine own self be true.” – Shakespeare

Words I have always lived by, I am all about authenticity, all the time!

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