This post was originally published on August 21, 2015.
Introducing the Morse Code Cuff this past February has definitely been one of the best business moves I've made yet: not only is it a wonderfully personal gift for yourself or a loved one, but it is so on-brand for me, and I never even realized it!
You see, story-telling is one of those core-values of Mary Frances Flowers that I've never even thought to give much attention to! I guess I've always told stories through my social media accounts/at trunk shows, but I never thought to put a spotlight on that aspect of my business. Pieces with a story, especially jewelry that often gets passed from generation to generation, are just one of those things that tugs on my heartstrings and instantly puts a smile on my face. It's one of my "happy things" that brings me a feeling of warmth and love and acceptance deep down, much like the sound of a sweet summer rain, cozying up by a fire while it's snowing outside, or my precious niece's laugh.
This past summer I've been really brainstorming, researching, doing some deep thinking about what my brand is all about. Who is this Mary Frances Flowers as a brand and lifestyle (not as a person--I think I've got at least a small grasp on that one ;)? Who are our customers? What do they like to do in their spare time (if they ever get it!)? Who do they love? WHAT ARE THEY ALL ABOUT? Story telling has come up again and again. They tell stories to their children at night as they fall asleep. They share their age-old love stories with their grandchildren. They jump for joy and cry in the arms of their best friends. They have words and phrases and expressions that mean something deeply to them. The Morse Code Cuffs have given them a chance to hold that story close to them, to share it in a new way, and to be constantly reminded of their loved ones and favorite things.
Some of my absolute favorite Morse Code Cuffs weren't the standard ones I offered in my Spring Collection, but rather the ones that held a special meaning to their owners: the Custom Morse Code Cuffs. BE STILL, SMILE, WANDER, and WILDFLOWER were really all created as a jumping off point. These are words that meant something to me, and they're words that I believed would have a general appeal to you, my customers, my friends. But what y'all did with the custom words, wow. You made me smile, you gave me hope, and you even put a few tears in my eyes. Every custom order was different, and every time I sat down at my bench to make it, it put a smile on my face. I loved imagining the person who would receive it.
Close up in wax of Linda & Jennifer's cuffs: grandchildren initials and MAKE, respectively.
Linda from Hillyer House was the first person to ever ask me for a custom code cuff. She has 6 grandchildren and wanted a sweet reminder of them to have with her at all times. She's asked me for 3 cuffs with 2 grandchildren's initials on each. I think my favorite part of her order was that she told me she plans to give her daughters the cuffs of their children's initials when she dies. I know that's a weird concept to consider, but the fact that she was actually planning to pass the jewelry from one generation to next made my heart skip a beat. That is why I make jewelry, and that is what I'm all about: sharing treasures with loved ones!
Another favorite custom cuff was Jennifer's from Stitch and Letter. She's a maker of all things and asked me to create a cuff that said MAKE. Her favorite phrase is "makers gunna make." I love that she now has a cuff that always reminds her of that phrase.
Along similar lines as Linda's request, I was honored when my dear friend Carolyn asked me to make a cuff for her children's grandmother, YADDIE. I spent all four years of college babysitting Carolyn's boys and watching them grow-so much so that I would sometimes claim them as my own (insert monkey covering eyes emoji). Yaddie and Wink (their grandfather) lived in the same town as we did so I often spent time with them as well. Knowing who the cuff was going to and knowing how much she would love and cherish it made the making of it that much more special.
When Hilliard Studio Method approached me about making an exclusive jewelry collection for their workout studio, I knew immediately that there would need to be a Morse Code Cuff in the collection. Their catchphrase BE POWERFUL is just so inspiring and uplifting. It was the perfect choice for the cuff, and has been an empowering reminder to all the HSM ladies. (PSST This one's not on my website so call HSM to get yours!)
Rachel's request for the Italian phrase UNA VITA BELLA (a beautiful life), held a special place in my heart. I studied in Italy in college and something about the culture, the romance, the language has always fascinated me. Oh and that Rachel was going to give it to her dear friend? Icing on the cake!
There have been many many more custom cuffs this past Spring and hopefully, many more to come, and I love each and every one uniquely from the others. Hearing your story and hearing why this phrase or word or name means so much to you, THAT is why I do this. That is why I'm making jewelry.
So, at the end of my long schpeel here (if you're still with me--you rock), I am officially announcing the Morse Code Collection launching with my Fall/Winter 2015 Collection very soon. There will be a Morse Code Bangle, Morse Code Necklace (customizable with up to 3-4 letters or numbers), Morse Code Ring (customizable for one or two letters or numbers), and of course, the tried and true Morse Code Cuff. Thank you thank you of your support this past year, and I can't wait to hear your stories.
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