Monday, November 26, 2012

Cookie Cutters?

It’s the season for shopping and it seems that so much of what I see looks the same to me. Is it just me or are all of the “big” stores selling identical merchandise? Of course, I look at jewelry a lot…come on, I design it, so it’s only natural I would look at what’s out there in the market, right? Spikes and skulls and druzy, oh my. While I am sure my likes and dislikes are age-related…after all I am no spring chicken. Hell, I am not even a summer or fall chicken…but I just can’t imagine wearing a piece of jewelry just because everyone else is wearing it, no matter their age.

I see stacks and stacks and stacks of “arm parties” on the wrists of instagrammers that look identical to me. Are the people who post on instagram called instagrammers…I don’t know, but you get the idea. While, I do love many big name designers, I love that I can mix it up with pieces from my own collection. Most of the fun for me comes from wearing pieces of jewelry and clothes, for that matter, in somewhat unexpected ways.

Alert the media – I am a rockhound at heart! And at some early age I figured out a way to wear the rocks that I loved. All those years ago I wasn’t excited about the “rockhound” jewelry I saw on the market – I wanted more than just a strand of beads or a giant cabochon caught in silver – so I started making my own creations, mixing things up a bit or maybe a lot and I hit upon a look that felt like me. Over the years, my collection has grown and with the advent of all this modern technology, I’ve been able to share it with all of you. That makes me happier than you know. I used to think I was nuts – after all rocks are just rocks, right? Well, in 1967, when I sold my first bracelet that was designed around a few of my handcrafted ceramic beads, a few pieces of polished agate and knotted (then called macramé) waxed linen cord, I realized that I wasn’t alone in this love of rocks.

While it does always start with the rocks or gems – I do like the hunt for all of the components that lend themselves to making the perfect mix. At one time, I thought I was a lone wolf in this thinking…until my first trip to Tucson for the gem shows. Well, that sealed the deal. I wasn’t alone in my love of rocks, minerals and gems – there are thousands and thousands of us out there; and in Tucson we found our own nirvana, of sorts. While I get to be part of a bigger group in that arena, I do strive to create pieces that aren’t cookie cutter in design. I think that has been my strength from day one; the first person to buy that bracelet all those years ago might just have been a non-cookie-cutter thinker, too. Sadly, I don’t remember who she was – come on, it was about 45 years ago. I can’t remember what I had for lunch today! But, I do know that she became a regular customer while I was in school and I am thankful for that.

Bottom line with this train of thought? At what age do we decide we don’t want to look like everyone else? Are we born with a gene that makes us want to be different from others or do we develop that desire along the way? For me, I think it was a combination of things – best saved for another blog post – but I do know this…the only time I want a cookie cutter look is when there is cookie dough in the mix. You?

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