A year ago this week, I found out I was pregnant. It was the most exciting and terrifying news I’d ever gotten, and I spent the next 41 weeks preparing for my little BabyBug.
Now my Audrey is here, all big cheeks and giggles, and she’s the light of my life. I can’t imagine not knowing her. But I know that’s a heartbreak so many families are going through. My own journey to and through pregnancy was not the most direct or complication-free, but it’s nothing compared to moms and dads who are unable to get pregnant or have had tragic turns in their pregnancies.
Jasmine is one of those people. I’ve “known” her for a long time through blogging, but I only recently learned her story. From her etsy shop:
When my husband and I lost our first and only pregnancy (twins) in February of 2012 after years of infertility, I was shattered.
A born creative, I immediately found myself scrambling for a way to work out this grief in the only way I know how: by creating. For the majority of my career, I’ve vacillated between writing and making jewelry, the two passions and skill sets that I know best, without ever landing on the one that really “fit.”
I walked away from [a trip to Seattle] with … a realization: I didn’t have to choose between my passions. I didn’t have to be a writer or a jeweler. I could be both.
Of this grief and the process of working through it, bama + ry was born.
(I’ve chopped some of the story but the whole thing is worth reading here.)
Jasmine now creates some of the most stunning and inspired jewelry I’ve ever seen, and I’ve now had the opportunity to get two of her pieces for myself. When she reached out to me to see if I was interested in working with her on a few custom pieces (full disclosure below, but we’s bartering some social media work for the products), I laughed because I’d already bookmarked several of her necklaces for future purchases. So the answer, of course, was yes.
And while I knew what I wanted — a necklace to celebrate Audrey’s birth — I didn’t have much else to give her in the way of direction (I’m no artist but I imagine that that’s sometimes as frustrating as someone coming with too much direction!). Jasmine not only ran with my idea, she plussed it.
The resulting necklaces (we added a version for my mother, Grammy) are absolutely amazing. They’re mixed metals and Jasmine had the fabulous idea to add a small charm with Audrey’s birthday. There’s room for future additions but it also looks great as is.
The pieces are all hand-crafted in Jasmine’s Portland studio and she stands behind her work. In my case, she sent me a proof to look at after she came up with the idea, and would have accepted any suggestions (I had none, because it was better than I could have imagined). In addition, if you receive your jewelry and have any issues, she’ll work with you to make it right.
My pieces came in a bubble mailer with gorgeous wrapping and hand-written notes. This would make an amazing gift, and because it can be customized, you could make just about anything (check out the stunning bridesmaid and flower girl jewelry my friend Meghann had made).
I asked Jasmine what she wanted my readers to know and I was really struck by her answer:
More than anything I just want people to know that I’m a woman just playing the deck she’s been dealt. Life is challenging and we have to make the best of what we have. Years ago, I heard this funny little quote that Angelica said on the cartoon, Rugrats. She said, “When life hands you lemons, make applesauce.”
Though it was meant to be simply cute, I think it’s sort of true. Sometimes, life hands you lemons that you really can’t make into something sweet. So, make something else instead. My business is my applesauce.
It can be terrifying to chase a dream, and given what Jasmine has already gone through, she could have easily just settled into what she had and never take a business risk. She didn’t and I’m so thankful.
One more note that sealed the deal for me. Again, from the artist:
I owe every ounce of artistic ability I have to my mother. She is a talent I will never rival. Her creativity, sense of humor, and sweetness show up in my work over and over again. If my jewelry makes you think, however, that’s a trait I owe to my father. If, by chance, a bittersweet saying makes you cry, that is my broken mommy heart. I am in repair, and this jewelry is a part of that.
If you’re inspired to shop from bama+ry on etsy, you can use the code KATY20 for a discount. Here are some of my favorites:
- a stacked copper and nickel necklace like my “Mommy”
- a stacked copper and brass necklace like my “Grammy”
- this miscarriage tribute reading “Someone I Love Was Never Born”
- this copper and nickel “Stronger Than Yesterday” necklace
- a stamped name cuff (ssssshhhh, I may be getting this for my husband)
- a heart trail necklace featuring your two favorite states
- miniature Key to My Heart necklace (Valentine’s Day?)
- copper birdie earrings
Isn’t it more fun to buy things when you love the person who’s responsible for creating them? You can also keep an eye on the bama+ry Facebook page for giveaways, discounts and news on new pieces.
(A disclosure I’m thrilled to offer: Jasmine originally reached out to me to see if I was interested in doing a review for her shop. I so believe in what she’s doing and in the quality of her work that I instead offered to accept the products in exchange for social media work for her business. I absolutely would pay — and plan to pay in the future since my wishlist keeps growing! — and the above review is 100% honest and authentic.)