Looking back at Hydrangea

It all began with me wanting to make cute earrings for my girlfriends.  I remember my friend Jeannine saying that she couldn’t wait for me to open my Etsy store. So when my 4th boy went off to Kindergarten I did it. On January 1st, 2016 I posted one pair of earrings on Etsy. I remember the joy of that very first sale and the excitement of having my own small business. I remember the late hours making jewelry, taking pictures, making listings, researching, marketing, and setting up for local markets. And yes I did google how to use Instagram. I was a true newbie to it all!

There were many highs and lows and a huge learning curve . It took time to develop my own unique style and ultimately finding my own voice. With the Hydrangea Collection came a clearer sense of direction.  It was the moment when things started to come together.

I discovered a new technique to preserve foliage in silver and I wanted to experiment with it.  My parents were visiting from South Africa at the time and could help with the kids, so it gave me the gift of time to explore this newfound method.  I remember searching the garden with my mom, looking for leaves to use when my eyes caught the petals of the hydrangeas.  I loved how they had movement to them and how delicately intricate the veins were.  And that is how my love affair with hydrangeas started. In the garden with my mom.

The first Hydrangea Necklace with the flower petal I picked from my garden.

That summer my friend Tiffany from True Freedom Company convinced me to do the Northwest Flower and Garden Show with her.  This was a big step into the unknown, but lead to Hydrangea becoming a Collection. 

Every piece from the Hydrangea Collection was one-of-a-kind and started with a new flower petal. I sorted for hours to find two similar petals that could be a matching pair for earrings. Because the technique I used to make them was so unpredictably complicated, not every petal survived this delicate process. I have a box full of failed attempts.

It took many failed attempts and a long time perfecting my technique, but the end result was very well received. 

At the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, February 2017. On the left is Amanda and on the right is Tiffany. This was one crazy week, but created the the sweetest of memories. I love these girls with my whole heart.

The Hydrangea Collection not only showed at the Garden Show, but led to my tiny little business being recognized in the UK.  It was published twice in British Glamour Magazine and in HOUSE of COCO Magazine.

That lead to 3 more Collections that were also published in Britain.  By the end of 2017 my jewelry was in 16 magazines in the UK including, Glamour, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Brides and House of Coco

This rollercoaster ride set the stage for a new path I did not think would ever be possible. I dared to dream bigger and started to design my first fine jewelry collection.

I dedicated the Hydrangea Collection to the strongest woman I know, my beautiful mother. Like a perfect hydrangea she’s not just one simple flower, but many flowers, each little petal intricately created and unique. She has bloomed in many places, and with her talents, blessed many people. She taught me to follow my dreams boldly and like she always says: ‘Remember you like a challenge!”
Photo credit: Neyssa Lee Photography

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