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Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

062219-Provincetown-ladies-modeling-lockets

In the picture above, my sister had already had a recurrence of glioblastoma. But, you know, while there’s life, there’s hope. We went on a junket to Provincetown.

Not long before our trip, Suzanne, who pays regular visits to antique shows in Brimfield, Massachusetts, found the perfect locket for my sister. By some implausible alignment of the stars, it was inscribed on the back with both my sister’s name and her husband’s name. Suzanne does keep an eye open for particular designs for particular customers, but only magic could have turned up a locket with both those names.

Later, Suzanne found a similar design for me. It had my husband’s initials on the back.

Longtime readers know that this blog got its start when Suzanne said that she needed a blog for her jewelry business and that if I took it on, I could write about anything I liked. The offer of freedom was too good to refuse as my knowledge of jewelry, despite having a grandmother in the business, too, did not extend to a post a day. And I wanted to write a post a day.

Here’s a thing to know about Suzanne’s company, Luna & Stella. From its founding a decade ago, it’s been about relationships and the meaning that special pieces of jewelry can convey. At first, Suzanne’s emphasis was on her line of contemporary birthstone jewelry, which remains popular. But as she began to introduce antique lockets created with the craftsmanship of the famed Rhode Island jewelers of the 19th and early 20th centuries, she learned something interesting. Customers not only appreciated the beauty of their lockets but also felt a connection to the previous owners. Some people chose to keep the time-worn pictures inside instead of having Luna & Stella size and place images of their own family and friends.

Do check out Luna & Stella for a holiday gift of meaningful jewelry, here. You can use the discount code CarolineFriend at checkout. And Suzanne even has an installment plan now.

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Well, this is a new one on me: a bookstore that sells only one title at a time.

Amy X. Wang reports at a website called Quartz that in September 2014, “Yoshiyuki Morioka, a bookseller who had been running a store in Tokyo, Japan, for 10 years, had a curious thought. Lots of customers, it seemed, dropped in during book launches and other events to buy the same title; others often appeared overwhelmed by all the extra variety. So why not start a bookstore that only sold one book at a time?

“Now, Morioka Shoten — Morioka’s new venture that threw open its doors in Tokyo’s trendy Ginza shopping district in May 2015 — operates around that very principle. The store stocks multiple copies of only one carefully selected tome each week …

“Takram, the design engineering firm that helped Morioka put together the look of his new store, says the experience highlights ‘the importance of a physical venue in the era of digital reading.’

“Books that have been displayed so far include Swedish-Finnish author Tove Jansson’s The True Deceiver, Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales, and works from well-known Japanese writers like Mimei Ogawa and Akito Akagi. Each title is displayed for six days in a row—Tuesday to Sunday—and then swapped out for a new book.

“And things are going quite well at the quiet little store. According to Morioka, Morioka Shoten has sold more than 2,000 works since it opened. Proof, then, that readers seeking deep, personal relationships with physical books are still around across the world.” More here.

You know, that last sentence strikes a chord. I was just explaining to a friend today how this blog resulted from my daughter asking if I would apply my love of blogging to support the vibe of the jewelry company she founded, which emphasizes deep, personal relationships.

If you’ve never clicked on the Luna & Stella site (or even if you have), please do now. Suzanne and Erik have posted a steady stream of new birthstone-jewelry designs and charms over the five years I’ve been blogging. Each one is full of meaning.

Photo: Takram/Miyuki Kaneko
The one-room bookstore Morioka Shoten in Tokyo

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Trade shows have been helpful to Suzanne’s birthstone-jewelry company, Luna & Stella, as it branches out from being strictly online to selling to retail outlets like Talulah Cooper Boutique in Providence.

A couple weeks ago, Suzanne took Luna & Stella to the trade show NewYorkNow (“the market for home, lifestyle + gift”). Today, she is making an impression at PlaytimeNewYork — while making friends with other relationship-oriented businesses, like Little Paisley People.

I love how the founder of Little Paisley People describes the origins of her business: “I spent the most memorable summers of my childhood in Amalsaad, a quaint village, in Gujarat, India. … I grew up watching my mom work with the local artisans to hand-make toys that would support the local community. Those are the toys you also see in the Little Paisley People line. And that’s the logo you see – the passing on of the thread over the generations. …

“We create handcrafted lifestyle products for children, never forgetting that kids need to be kids. The handmade nature of these products evoke an understated elegance but are always playful. Social responsibility, the people who make these products, and how they make them are very important to us.”

Here, she and her daughter model Luna & Stella’s mother-daughter heart rings. How nice that new businesses are emphasizing the importance of family and friend relationships!

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Have you started getting (or sending) seasonal greeting cards? I have received and answered two already: one from a cousin who wants to be sure folks have her new address, another from a friend in England who has to get a lot done before spending Christmas with her daughter in Hong Kong.

It’s the season of relationships.*

The Christmas cards I love best are photographic or newsy or beautiful or offbeat. Here’s something that would be offbeat. Imagine getting a holiday version of the leather postcards I read about a while back!

“Leather postcards were first made in 1903. They were a novelty that appealed to tourists. When stitched together, they could be used as a pillow cover or wall hanging. The holes along the edge could also be used to attach fringe.  The cards were made of deer hide and the pictures burned in. The U.S. post office banned leather postcards in 1907 because they jammed postage-canceling machines. Leather cards continued to be made as souvenirs until about 1910. Value of the cards today depends on their condition and design. Common postcards, including those with comical pictures, have sold at auction for less than $1 per card. Those with pictures of important people, like the U.S. president, sell for more. One very special leather card cut into the shape of Theodore Roosevelt sold for $325.” More at Kovels, here. Still more here, at Andrew Sullivan’s eclectic blog.

 

Because I have some new followers, I will point out here that Suzanne’s Mom’s Blog is for my daughter’s company, a contemporary birthstone-jewelry business that is about relationships all year long, Luna & Stella. There are some lovely stars and angels there, in case you were wondering.

Photo: Chris Bodenner
Leather postcards from the Albany Rare Book Fair

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