Today, on National Siblings Day, I want to celebrate my beautiful, talented and supportive sister, Kathy - without whom my life would not be the same.
Few people know that my sister helped me build Suetables. Kathy worked with me for a few years after Suetables took off in 2005.
She was the one who drew Suetables designs, hand stamped most of the orders (still, the best hand stamper yet) and traveled to Mexico with me, dangerously winding her way through the narrow cobblestone streets of Taxco in a car - with me giggling nervously in the passenger seat.
I have been following @Blumenbabe’s, aka Heather Lafleur’s, high-fashion original illustrations on Instagram. Along with many others (including designer Anya Hindmarch), I have regularly commented on them and LIKED many of them.
So, it was to my great delight, that these beautiful Suetables illustrations appeared on my Instagram feed via @Blumenbabe http://instagram/blumenbabe
On a gray and bleak January day, my graphic designer friend, Pia Nummi, who oversees the branding and look of www.suetables.com, took me to Toronto’s Interior Design Show.
Our friendship spans over 20 years; we share a love of beautiful things, an interest in fashion, design, Pinterest, good food and good wine. Her beautiful daughter, Sofia, age 11, is my Goddaughter. Pia takes me to fashion shows, art galleries and often helps feed my creative soul. I feed her daughter’s jewelry collection.
I am at my farm - my happy place - with three of my best friends.
It is foggy, icy and snowy outside but friends are drinking coffee and chatting happily inside, covered in fur blankets.
We have lots of magazines, food, chocolate, candles, chatter and laughter. And, of course, yummy chardonnay - even with lunch. With only a few texts and conversations, meal planning was sorted out with everyone bringing something delicious to the table.
This is what is is like with old friends - simple.
Right now, our studio is full of new shipments of blank sterling silver charms, orders and words as people are choosing a word to act as a touchstone for 2014. According to the Chinese calendar, it is the year of the horse.
My word for 2014 is 'rooted'.
It ‘arrived’ this week while listening to author Danielle Laporte in my car. She said to put aside, for a moment, all your ‘to do's’, colour-coded charts, goals and five-year plans and focus on how you want to feel in 2014.
“What is success,” she asked, “if you don’t FEEL great?”
We get such joy in creating stylish and meaningful sterling silver jewelry that celebrates life and loved ones. Our job gives us front-row seats to so many personal stories. Every once and a while, a story stops us in our tracks.
Once upon a time, I was inspired by hand-stamped baby spoons and butter knives I saw on the coast of Maine. I bought vintage silverware and learnt to painstakingly stamp them with letters as housewarming or new baby gifts.
Stamping letters on these uneven surfaces was difficult but friends loved their personal nature. Once I had the skill to personalize silver, I really wanted to find flat charms to stamp my kids' letters and names.