This is the story behind the Little Drop Of Strength necklace that is online at last!
It was March 2018
I was reading my DMs on Instagram. Mika @All Things Mika had messaged me.
She said she had been sorting out her jewellery box, found this necklace, and thought of me.
You see, Mika knew my background is jewellery design. She also knew my story regarding blood cancer (you can read it here if you would like to) Something inside her put those things together and the photo was sent. Along with the message that went like this ….
That small thought, the short message.. what was to follow has taken months of work – plenty of late night face timing and brain storming – blood sweat and tears – I see the irony in the shape of all those things!
I was on it straight away and we chatted a lot about it over the next couple of hours. Dms pinging back and fourth like nobodies business
By the end of the day and after a lot of googling I had set up a meeting in Melton Mowbray with a small family run business, who I hoped would be able to create something for me.
I quite like a long car journey – as long as the sat nav works! Its about 3 hours drive, so there was plenty of time to think, on the way.
I bought a packet of blue tac at the services on the way – so I could show them what I was hoping they’d be able to make.
When I got there I was met by the family spaniel who is the ‘office dog’ so I immediately felt right at home!
We spent the next couple of hours making ‘teardrops/raindrops’ out of the blue tac and together we made quite a few prototypes !
The company is lovely – family run – not too big – and really really helpful and friendly. I was shown around and got to see diamonds being set, molten platinum being poured, the design process from start to finish, including wax molds, and did I mention the diamonds!!
I really wanted the shape to be right – a teardrop that was about to roll from your eye. You know that moment when it is all fat at the bottom, just as it is about to fall? Also a raindrop – one that’s just about to drop off the leaf. Also, bearing in mind my link to DKMS and our story of blood cancer – a nod to the shape of a drop of blood, too.
I wanted the shape to tell a story. It was never meant to be straight – no path in life ever is, and I wanted my Drop to reflect that. I also asked that the Drop had a tactile nature and wasn’t perfect – formed by hand not machine, with the makers pinch marks and chinks not polished out.
And the shape needed to be able to relevant to each person that wears it.
To me, its the shape of a drop of blood, but it is also very obviously a teardrop or a raindrop. The common thread that ties all of those drops together, is that they all signify LIFE. After the rain, fresh life springs forth and I feel like that about tears that fall too. I know I feel better after a good cry! But they can also be happy tears! All very life affirming and rather lovely when you think about it.
I truly see beauty in imperfections and wanted the Drop to be beautifully imperfect. And to remind its wearer that there is beauty in their imperfections, too. Perfection can actually be ugly. Even the most beautiful face is not perfect and have you ever seen the results of taking one side of a face and creating it’s perfect symmetry for the other side? It’s not good! lol
So, the brief was – an imperfect, squiff, teardrop shape – formed by hand, perfectly imperfect and made from recycled silver. And in my head it would signify Beauty, Hope, Love, Life, Forgiveness, Acceptance, Kindness and Fresh Beginnings.
I never planned it to be a profit making episode – I am donating proceeds from every sale to DKMS. I am so proud to be a UK Ambassador for the charity!
It was at this point that Mika told me she is a graphic designer – as lots of you know, my website was designed by Charlotte from Whitespace and she was wonderful when I chatted to her about working with Mika – a brand within a brand so to speak.
Mika and I worked together really closely on the packaging. Her designs are amazing and she came up with the concept of a book – telling the story on each page, until, on the last page, the necklace is revealed. You know when you look at something and it gives you goosebumps? That happened to me so many times during the design process. We seemed to really get in each others heads.
I can’t recommend Mika enough if you are searching for a wonderful person to work with, she is absolutely brilliant and her creativity blows me away! Her portfolio spanning 11 years of working both freelance and for some of the UK’s most respected agencies, ranges from big household names that we all know and love, to small independent brands just starting out.
Anyway, she totally ‘got’ me and I am so so grateful to her for what this has turned in to.
I hope you see and feel it when you receive your parcel.
I hope you find the packaging so special that you take the time to read the pages. It truly is a work of art, and is the best place to store your necklace if you aren’t wearing it. And I really hope that you find comfort wearing the necklace – I fiddle with the pendant all the time – it is so tactile. It is comforting to know that other wearers are feeling the exact same chinks and faults, feeling the same shape between their fingers. Our little club. Our little invisible support network.
Like I said earlier, it’s a solid pendant made from 100% recycled silver. It is also hallmarked. There is a laser hall mark on the bottom of the pendant – in the shape of a clover leaf – I chose it especially – an extra little piece of luck for its wearer.
The name… what to actually call it – we considered all sorts – ‘A Drop of Courage. A Drop of Faith. A drop of Bravery.. ‘ pretty much a drop of anything you can think of!! Strength though, is something we all need – no matter what the situation – Strength can turn to courage, bravery, faith. Strength is the common denominator.
A Drop Of Strength. It feels just right.
Mika and I hope it brings you the strength you may need. In whatever situation you find yourself in. It is created with love and eternal optimism. Please click here to be taken to the shop to order. (this will take you to the 14/16 inch chain Drop – don’t forget there is the longer version too)
As ever, thank you for reading, and I can’t let this opportunity go by with out asking… If you are under 55 please please take a moment to register to save a life on the DKMS website. It takes 5 minutes and to be matched with someone and save their life is about the coolest thing you’ll ever do.
Ps we have created a hashtag! #alittledropofstrength and we would love you to use it!