One of my favorite things growing up was to read the newspaper. I was a little as the age of four when this started. “Slightly odd reading material for a four year old”, you are probably thinking right now, but I can assure you it’s as true as my love for gems. What may help you to get a clearer picture as to why is the fact that there was only one page and one very particular thing I was interested in; the daily cartoon.
The most famous newspaper in those days in The Netherlands was called De Telegraaf. It had a daily returning cartoon of the famous New Zealand illustrator Kim Casali on one of the pages called “Love Is…”. For those of you who’ve grown up anywhere between the 60ies to 90ies are probably familiar with her work, for those of you born after I ask you to please google her. The cartoon is only basic frame and has a very simple set up; it features two characters, a cute and innocent looking boy & girl, both naked.
Each cartoon starts with the phrase “Love is…” at the top and is followed by Kim’s definition of what love actually is (“what you fill your home with”, “wearing something of his when he’s away”, and “being partners for life” are some of the endings to give an example). From the age of four this cartoon was one of the highlights of my day, each was another opportunity for me to see these uber cute idols teaching me what love truly meant.
It was something I looked forward everyday, every day being a new opportunity to learn about love and it’s meaning.
Little did I realize that it slowly created a belief that love was something you needed a partner for. Love to me was something that looked like the cartoons I had grown up with. I didn’t have the clarity or mental capacity to see that love comes in many different shapes and forms, the “Love is…” cartoon only being a very small part of the entire spectrum of love that fills this world.
One of my favorite things growing up was to read the newspaper. I was a little as the age of four I love it when I get a chance to spend quality time with a client. Most of the time this will happen via the phone or Skype, but it’s such a joy for me when I get to meet them in person and truly get a chance to connect, and when I say connect I mean REALLY connect. Not on a client-business owner type superficial level, but on real soul level. Simply exchanging real stories and good energy, as two humans, nothing more, nothing less.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting up for a coffee with one of my clients for whom I had made an engagement ring. We met up to discuss his ideas for his proposal and location.
He hadn’t fully decided on the exact location yet but it would be something romantic and nice looking. He wanted to give her the princess treatment she deserved, he explained. He told me that they had recently started to discuss wedding plans and had actually started to make some concrete steps towards planning this.
What she didn’t know is that he had already started to plan a proposal and had already ordered the ring with me. She had told him that she wasn’t bothered about him giving her a proposal, they were already living together and their lives were so beautifully synched that she already felt like they were married. She had told him she thought the actual act of getting married was simply a formality and a signature.
He didn’t quite feel the same, he told me.
He had grown to love and respect this gorgeous and humble girl more with each day that had passed since meeting her, only a year earlier, and he felt that she deserved way more than being seen as worthy of “just being a signature”.
He told me it was the same as likening a hand brewed cup of high quality third wave coffee to a cup of instant Nescafe. “Surely you can’t give these two the same treatment or value”, he said with a very serious face. When he said this my heart literally did a little jump for joy inside my chest! This man not only knew very clearly the value of the girl by his side, and wasn’t afraid to show his love for her, he also knew the value of a good cup of coffee!
He told me as grown up as he had felt these past few years, he had stepped into a whole new level of his manhood by taking this step. He had been someone that had always had experienced thoughts of doubt with every decision he had made, but this was the first time his mind had been at complete peace and surrender with the decision to marry this girl. As much as his life had its ups and downs and twists and turns, this woman had been the strong rock in the midst of it all, time and time again. He knew that with her by his side, they will conquer the world and create a beautiful life for themselves.
And this story here, my beloved reader, is only one small but powerful example of why I not only do what I do, but also love what I do. Every piece of jewelry I create has its own unique story and is a celebration of love in all its beautiful shapes and sizes.
I’m incredibly grateful for every opportunity I receive to create a part of the puzzle in the life of it’s new wearer and owner. A wearable reminder of hope, a visual and physical representation of love being the essence of who we are and of everything we do.