This is the first in a series of blogs on how each of our pendants came to be. It makes so much sense that LOVE came first, but you may not know me so I’ll tell you why…
WOW, I love love. I love valentine’s day, I am deeply in love with my husband (he’s my second), and nothing makes me happier than adoring and loving people or seeing people who are in love. When I started dreaming the concept of Jane Winchester, it quickly developed into a line of symbolism. Each design would be centered around a word – whether you had a personal connection to that word or you were looking to add more of (insert word here) into your life. For Jane Winchester, I would start with pendants, but each word would later have an entire collection behind it, so you can collect items for the word that speaks to you (and that can be more than one!).
LOVE was the easiest place to start because that is how Jane Winchester started. Sounds strange but my path went like this: I met my first husband at age 21, moved in and married early, had kids early. It was all a whirlwind and FUN. Having two wonderful daughters was certainly the high point; they are proof forever that my first marriage was well worth 17 years of my life. When I got divorced it was honestly a surprise: I never thought I would get divorced! Unfortunately, it became obvious that I couldn’t stay in the marriage and I left. I was so sad I didn’t think I could survive.
Quickly, my daughters and I found a closeness and love that I didn’t know existed. With all the change that was going on around us, we became very close. We all shared a room and we cuddled constantly – I made them the center of my life so they (and I) could feel safe.
One year divorced and I had to move from what I thought was my gorgeous center hall colonial (the perfect ‘forever house’) into a small ranch. I decorated it like MAD and created something unique and special – a place for the three of us. On the day I moved in to my ‘divorced mom’ house, I got a call from Doug Paradis and he asked me out on a date. I remember sitting in my living room with no furniture making a dinner plan wondering if it was even worth the time.
Honestly, the two of us had zero expectations. Although we were both cautious, we definitely liked each other on the first date and then our relationship grew pretty quickly. Months in and we were in love! Like really really crazy love that annoys your friends and family. But we didn’t care...and I realized that I had the kind of love that people only dream of. Like when you see an older couple and they adore each other and look at each other a certain way, with sparkly eyes and respect and all that. We married in 2015 in our backyard, surrounded by 20-something family and friends, ate cheeseburgers from food truck, and toasted with champagne.
Okay...BACK TO JEWELRY. Because I am now in such a stable, supportive marriage, I can take the risky leap of starting a brand. Doug works on the company with me and our dream is to build it over time into a profitable company and engages with customers in a modern and authentic way. It comes from us and it speaks our personality and point of view (read about the core values HERE).
I had to start with LOVE because I have had it, I have lost it, I have found new kinds of it, and I now have a special appreciation for love that I hope for everyone (who wants it!).
Doug’s love gave me the confidence to start Jane Winchester. That’s what this pendant is all about.
- For my friends who are in their 20’s and all their friends are getting married and they want to find that special person – this LOVE pendant is for you.
- For those getting married – that precious precious excitement around joining your lives, this pendant is for you.
- For those who were married and it didn’t work and you need to figure out how to love again, this pendant is for you. I have many divorced friends who are truly looking for love and I want them to find it so so badly, it’s really hard and you need support and help – which may come in the form of a pendant you hold onto everyday!
- For those who have found a new kind of love as they get older and appreciate things with a new perspective, this pendant is for you.
I drew the pendant while on vacation in Italy. We had taken our blended family of 5 kids (plus a boyfriend) to Capri, Italy for the week. Capri is my special place – I adore it with all my heart. We were staying in a beautiful house on a cliff looking-over the Mediterranean and I drew every day. The doors to the piazza were wrought iron quatrefoils with what looked like arrows going in at four corners. Each pendant is high on symbolism (as is so much great art!) and the quatrefoil is a sign of luck. It has been used for generations to protect and bring positivity. So I placed a heart in the center of this lucky symbol, with a few arrows to protect, and the first design was done.
Quatrefoil: LUCK (awesome blog on quadrefoil symbolism HERE)
Arrows: Protection and strength (plus maybe a little help from cupid)
I know it is incredibly personal, but that’s my story. The Jane Winchester brand is NOT about me, or how I wear the pendants - it’s about YOU and making the meaning your own, adapting the style to your own. Please, please, please share your story if you dare – I would LOVE to hear about it.-->