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Why does jewelry matter?

Why does jewelry matter?

While it hasn't happened often, people have made comments to us. "It's just jewelry," they've said. As if we didn't already know. To the outside world, this may be true. A piece of jewelry seems like a simple accessory. 

But, to me, it's so much more. And, since you're here, I'm going to assume you agree with me. Jewelry is a beautiful means of expressing ourselves, yes. And it goes far beyond even that. A piece of jewelry can act as a talisman for sharing a family's love, exploring the new parts of yourself and marking momentous moments in time. It is a tangible way to be thoughtful, intentional and kind. 

Allow me to share the ways in which jewelry has transformed me. And, if you feel so inclined, maybe you'll share your own story in the comment section below! 

Jewelry for sharing a family's love

I never had the chance to meet my maternal grandma or great-grandma, both of whom passed away many years before I was born. Mom has told me so many stories of them both that I feel as if I did know them!

I've been told I look a lot like Grandma Carol, especially when she was younger. And I always think of Great Grandma Lily when I see someone wearing little white gloves or red lipstick. Their love, tenacity and unwavering confidence are attributes that have been passed down to me through story telling and Mom's memories, but also through jewelry.

Over the years, Mom has gifted me pieces of jewelry that belonged to her mum or grandma, with a story behind each piece. When I wear my vintage pearl studs, I think of them and how they must have felt wearing them. How did they style them with? What would they think of my outfit? 

On my dad's side, I've also received jewelry from my Gramma that belonged to her mother. In particular, I received her 25th wedding anniversary ring on my 16th birthday and it is still one of my most treasured pieces. 

I have a small ring that was gifted to me when I was born. Earrings that were in celebration of birthdays. Necklaces that were gifts to express love. And even small, gemmed beetle pins that I've had since I was a child. As I've grown older, I have tucked many of these pieces away that no longer fit my body or personality. But, I bring out my jewelry box often to admire all the tokens of love that have been kindly bestowed upon me. And, when I do, I feel such an overwhelming sense of love and belonging. These pieces are truly treasures, in every sense of the word.

Jewelry as a means of metamorphism

When I was younger, I struggled with being multifaceted. I felt that I had to pick one side of me to show the world, and that left me feeling flat and uninspired.

I have often joked that I am just as comfortable in a gown at a gala, as I am camping barefoot in the forest. I love getting dressed up and embracing the finer things in life. If you know me, you know I love a good glass of bubbly, can never say no to a chef's tasting menu, and enjoy traveling the world. But, that's just one side of me! I also love the outdoors, camping in the middle of nowhere, and riding my horse no matter the weather. In the evenings, you'll often find me teaching riding lessons to children at the barn in my jeans, cowboy boots and spurs, smelling of hay and horses. This is another side of me that I love.

And, if I'm being honest, those are just two sides of me! There is a limitless number of ways I like to express myself and one of the ways I have learned to embrace these different aspects of myself is through jewelry.

Jewelry has been a way for me to experiment with colours and textures. It's a way for me to have fun with my outfits and stand out in a crowd. I love wearing things that I know no one else has, which is why I love one-of-a-kind jewelry and vintage clothing so much. One day, I might be wearing our Carolily...all 140 lustrous pearls gleaming across my chest. And the next, perhaps simple earrings and a stretch bracelet will do. There's no telling what I'll wear on any given day, and that's exciting to me! As I've learned to embrace all that is me, jewelry has been there for the journey to usher in this newness. 

Jewelry to mark memories

In the same way that jewelry was shared in my family as a means of storytelling, it was also often used to mark special occasions. I can pick up any piece of jewelry in my collection and recall the moment in time it was given to me. 

While a wedding is often the first thing that comes to mind, there are so many other special moments that call for celebration. Moments like expressing appreciation for a friend who has supported you through a tough time. A show of solidarity. The joy of a new child. The excitement of a grandchild's graduation. A close friend's birthday. A quiet moment with your partner you wish to remember. All of these beautiful moments can be marked with jewelry, so that when you look at the piece, you're immediately flooded with all the wonderful emotions that accompanied that time in your life.

While our memories may fade over time, having little, tangible reminders help to keep them alive. Similar to how a song or smell can transport you, a special piece of jewelry can forever mark something worth remembering.

Just a piece of jewelry

It's a simple thing, a piece of jewelry. But, the pieces in my collection are special because of the memories they hold and moments they mark. Jewelry has been a way for me to share my love with family members, celebrate life events, and express parts of myself I used to not share. I think jewelry is profound in its simplicity. You can impart as much value, sentiment and wonder into it as you wish. To the outside world, it's *just* a piece of jewelry. But, to you, it could mean so much more. 

For more stories from me and Mom, sign up for our Carolily family newsletter by clicking here. You'll also receive 10% off your first purchase and first access to all of our new collections.

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