Grandma’s got her Eye on You!

Grandma

Yesterday I was flying back from Minneapolis and had a really sweet chatty skycap. He asked me what I was doing in Minneapolis that I only came for one day. I said work and then he asked what I do. As soon as I told him I was a Jewelry Designer he lit up and showed me his ring. (This is one of the things I love about what I do. It allows people to open up and share a little part of their story with me.)

He began telling me of how when his grandmother passed he received one of her brooches which had several diamonds in it. He glowed as he told me that he took the largest one out and gave it to his wife. Knowing he wanted to keep a little piece of his grandmother with him all the time he kept the rest for himself. He told how he had played around with the stones for many months and was finally inspired to create a rings with an eye on it because, “They always said Grandma’s got her eye on you!”

#Gemstalking

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Girl Boss in the Boys Club

[DISCLAIMER: The following post is only a small percentage jewelry and does not feature the usual dosage of sparkle. It also may be perceived as highly feminist, boy bashing, not feminist enough, or just plain boring. Viewers not concerned with personal banter and rationalization should discontinue viewing immediately. Readers agree to risk wasting time and will not be compensated or reimbursed.]

Sometimes being in the Jewelry Industry is like being transported to the 1950s when women were good for typing, vacuuming and…..

If you are not sure what I mean, then clearly you have never been a young female on 47th Street. I encourage you to try it! It is somewhat like an obstacle course of sleazy marriage proposals and X-Ray vision checkin’ you out type look stare downs. Now before you start to place the blame on me or any other female with similar claims, I can assure you that I usually rocking some casual business wear and not some booty short crop top ensemble. Why do I dress like I’m going to the office when I am my own boss? Because I am a Girl Boss! (In a very Boys world).

GirlBoss

“OKAY So if it’s such a Boys world and you want people to take you seriously… why did you put ‘Girl Boss’ on your business cards?”

– Said No One Ever

Alright, so nobody said those exact words but a few of my closer male friends including my boyfriend have politely inquired and asked me if I was seriously going to put that on my business cards. And I am sure plenty of people think it. I was and still am serious. Why? Because lets be real:

  • I am 25 (strike 1)
  • I am a girl (Double Strike 2)
  • I have the audacity to start my own company (strike 3)
  • My company mission is Socially Conscious (Why are you even still swinging you are already out.)

And much to my own dismay, that my friends is exactly why nobody would take me seriously if I put:

Constance Palelei- CEO

Constance Palelei- President

Constance Palelei- Principle

Or whatever other fancy titles you can think of, that in my opinion people over use anyways (No seriously, check out Linkedin, it seems like everyone and their freaking chihuahua is the president or vice president of something or other.) Who would really take me seriously?

So rather than fighting the current, I chose to smile, ride the wave of condescension and build a name that nobody forgets. After all ‘Coco’ began as a  name that  patronizingly referenced her bar songstress past and she grew it to one of the most recognized brands in the world. (CoCo Chanel…. if you weren’t on the same page.)

Aside from the general cheekiness (which I always appreciate) there have been other benefits to the adopted job title/life decision. There is a sense of instant camaraderie from other women with similar experiences.

I recently started working with a female jeweler on 47th who came out to look at my job request and when she saw my card. she said, “I can’t tell you haw many times men come in here and ask me to speak to the boss. And I say ‘I am the boss’.” She addresses my returned jobs to: Constance P.- “The GIRL BOSS” and I have her in my phone as: Aimee- Boss Lady Jeweler.


My now attorney who also happens to be under 30, own her own practice and be very very pretty, shared with me that at an attorney’s networking event a man came up to her and asked if she had been invited by someone. When she replied yes he then proceeded to ask her if she was thinking about attending law school. As she informed him, “No, I am a practicing attorney.”

He proceeded to make the “Aww…” sort of sound people googoo gaga at babies and puppies and then follow up with “That’s cute!”


……… Obviously, it is not a completely unique experience to the jewelry world. However, I know have heard some real winners. What’s your Girl Boss in a Boys Club story?

*Oh yeah and if you haven’t read #GIRLBOSS yet…. Do it now. For Real.

Twerkin Gems

Okay so they don’t actually have to be real gems, but props if they are!

Now I have never particularly been the (Pardon French about to escape these keys)

twerkhoopsmiley-cyrus1“Face down,

A$$ up,

Booty jiggling up out your jeans…”

-Ludacris

kind of girl….. but if you are a Twerkalicous little Kitty… Hey Girl Hey, no judgments here…… but for Godsake Girl get your bling right!

 

Here are the redeeming Bling essentials for that #TwerkLife:

1.) At least one multi finger ring: preferably one that says something like “Werk” or “YOLO”, Sure there are classy multi-finger rings but if your going to #beaboutthatlife, PLEASE fully commit!

Multi-Finger Word Ring

 

2.) A slave bracelet… either doubled with your multi-finger ring or on the other hand! That’s why you have two hands, duh. (no but really I ma actually obsessed and trying to figure out which stones to use in mine bc I really think they are a must… twerking or no.)

3.) A name plate. A BIG name plate!!!

The Nickname PlateThe Name Plate

4.) Giant Hoops, preferably the kind that tell everyone what nickname you like to go by or who you plan to vote for or just GIANT no you’re not thinking big enough still GIANT HOOPS. (Did anyone else grow up in a neighborhood where the saying was “bigger the hoop, bigger the hoe?”—- No Girl on Girl crime here just question….)

GIANT hoopsElection Hoops

 

5.) A Grill. So Def a grill…..

6.) Big Chains

7.) Body Chains.

The Body Chain

8.) a Hand Cuff (not the kind the police use…. although that may or may not be a part of “that life” I don’t really know.) Less confusingly known as a Palm Cuff.

9.) Claws. Diamond Claws.

Sparkle Claws

10.) more. More. MORE. Because MORE IS MORE.

Whatever your lifestyle choices are… I love you…

Just don’t ever forget to “Shine Bright like a Diamond” Open-mouthed smile

“I want to be the Pretty Tiara Girl!”

Constance Finally Gets her Tiara!

Constance Finally Gets her Tiara!

[Disclaimer: I am attempting to break my bad habit of writing posts and then waiting to re-look at them and edit them until the content is so old it is no longer relevant. That said I have decided to put myself on a time limit and simply submit my post to you all with no editing. very little editing.]

Like most girls, I have had an affinity for tiaras since as long as I can remember. However, the idea of having to marry someone (since obviously I already missed the whole be-born-into-a-royal-family boat) did not ever sit well with me. :/

So instead I decided to enter beauty pageants because I like many other young women I wanted a tiara that basically says “I’m Pretty!”

Unfortunately, I never win or even place in these things because who really knows how to actually be the prettiest girl in the room. It’s probably part luck and part… I don’t know something I obviously didn’t have any of the times I tried. The point is one day while I was pouting my sister reminded me that I am a Jewelry Designer and can always just design my own tiara, just like she did for a class project (I swear my sister is part 11 = part genius!) So I did, for Femme Luxe and it will be available for sale in Canada this week. 🙂

The Shopping Channel

Tiara for Femme Luxe Fine Jewelry

Tiara for Femme Luxe Fine Jewelry

Check out my sisters Crown she made for a class project using aluminum foil, cardboard and broken jewelry!

#ShesOnly11 #Genius

My sister is an 11 yeasr old Boss!

My sister is an 11 yeasr old Boss!

#GirlBoss

#GirlBoss

#Gemstalking 101

[Disclaimer: While the events of this story did actually occur, and do have quotations, it is safe to say that I probably am paraphrasing a little and may have forgotten the exact words, or order, or even some strange things in between and seeing as I was the only one present who is involved in writing this blog, it is obviously a one sided story.]

My very first #GemStalking moment was almost a total disaster! After walking around with my first batch of cards for an entire week, I almost had the courage to approach a girl wearing a beautiful two-tone rose cuff. From a distance I could tell it was made well and I wanted to see more….

cgjb.killercuff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

….And then I trip. So now I’m embarrassed because when you walk around NYC in heels everyone secretly hopes you will trip and fall on your face, and there is ALWAYS someone around to see. Maybe you think that is just something I am paranoid about and/or am totally making up, AND maybe if I wasn’t me and my luck wasn’t mine, you would be right. BUT YOU ARE WRONG! Just as I catch my balance and narrowly miss falling into the pile of trash they keep on our sidewalks for cityscape, I hear it and it’s not one of the voices I use inside my head. She says, “Don’t worry, they’re totally worth it!” and at this point I’m not totally sure if shes being sarcastic or not, but she is talking to me, (which is totally A-typical of New Yorkers and why I really wished we had gone to get a drink after and became really great awkward/strange friends, but I failed). So a little bit flustered I blurt out my whole story of how I have a blog and I’m trying to do this new thing where I ask strangers to let me take a picture of them and their jewelry, blah blah blah…. And she says, “Oh my god you totally should, they would be so excited! They would be like ‘Omg really? We just got here from Jersey…’” and then thinking maybe she knows them, and is just the one brunette friend lagging behind, I ask,

“Oh do you know them?”To which she light heartedly responds,

“No, I’m just being a bitch for no reason. I don’t know why I’m being such a bitch.” (And to be perfectly honest I didn’t know either… but I did know that I wanted her to be my friend.)

Then things got more awkward and there were street lights and I was going to turn south to escape the awkward, and the group of girls were going east, and the brunette girl was lost in the crowd somewhere, but I could still here her voice saying, “Uhh, it’s getting away!”

[At this moment in time I am starting to think that this “Brunette girl” is just figment of my imagination because this is ReDiculous.]

With the heckling of my possibly made up new friend, I change course and approach the blonde trio studdering something about a blog and blurting out “Can I have a picture?”

From this point, everything was fairly painless. Everyone was very nice. They all worked for Tom James, and said they felt my pain in approaching strangers in New York as its part of their jobs to bring in their own customers. (Shout out to custom clothier www.tomjames.com for hiring nice people!)

killercuff

After I got the picture and then walked a little to far with them for socical acceptability, I hurried on my and across Vanderbuilt Ave. towards Grand Central. And that when it hit me, Why did I not get her name, a picture of her with the cuff, and where she got it? Well….. Lesson Learned.

Luckily I am a proficient cyber #Gemstalker and was able to find more information via google images! It’s a collection titled Aimez by a company called Beaucoup Designs. (I reached out to them about doing a little piece on their collections etc. So if they contact me back, I will Another day, that iisn’t today.)

Athough you don’t seem to be able to retail purchase anything from the site, http://www.beaucoupdesigns.com/ has some really cute things and the cuff is appearantly a birth flower cuff for the month of June (Although it is entirely possible she just liked the roses, it’s crazy the things you can learn about someone from noticing the detail of what they put on their body, ie. Birth month flower cuffs). From an industry perspective, it is kind of brilliant to do birth flowers because so often zodiac/birth month things are tacky and largely unwearable. And, as a wholesaler, trying to convince major retailers to purchase 12 new skus that all script the months of the year is like trying to use the letter z in scrabble. But flowers, Flowers are great! People could just have more choices. You couls take your birth flower or just your favorite flower. (It’s different with zodiac signs. Wearing the wrong sign would be like borrowing someone’s name tag, which I can see a few reasons you might come to that point but they are all severely strange scenarios.)

 

Check ‘em out (in the privacy of your own home 😉 #GemStalking

 

 

 

“Is that an Engagement ring?… So then, dinner?”

[Disclaimer: While the events of this story did actually occur, and do have quotations, it is safe to say that I probably am paraphrasing a little and may have forgotten the exact words, or order, or even some strange things in between and seeing as I was the only one present who is involved in writing this blog, it is obviously a one sided story.]

I have lived in New York now for 1 year and 9 months and not a single person from New York has actually asked me on a proper dinner date. Until today. I was at the café downstairs from my office (which I go to at least once a day, either for coffee or lunch or both.) when a tall man said “Hi.”

I awkwardly responded, “Hi.” (he totally caught me off guard.)

As I proceed to look for a bag of chips or a drink or something so as to appear busy he says to me, “I saw you out of the corner of my eye.”

I respond with a flustered, awkward “Oh.” And continue looking for chips or something, but at this point I’ve forgotten and really want him to just turn around so I can remember what I was looking for and then sit down to eat because I’m hungry.

“What’s your name?”

(awkward pause as I think whether or not I should lie to this man, I would but I work right around here so god forbid I lie and then see him again NY is such a small place sometimes) “Constance”

“I’m Keith”

“Hi Keith”

Blog.NYCDate

Then I turn away and proceed to reach for a diet lime coke (I have acquired a new horrible habit of drinking diet sodas) but he (out nowhere) intercepts my hand and says, “Is this an engagement ring?”

Now, thoroughly shocked, I snatch my hand back and say, “No. Wrong hand.”

To which he responds, “Right… I mean some girls wear them on their right hand so I thought I would ask. Why do some women do that?”

“I don’t know. When they are married and move it over to the right to make room for their other ring on the left.” I’m now trying desperately to get out of the corner of this café and make a B-line to cash register, when he says,

“So then, dinner?”

“No thank you” and at this point I have maneuvered my way out of the corner and am backing away while simultaneously shaking my head no.

Blog.NYCDate.stranger“Lunch?”

“No. Sorry.” I continue shaking my head and backing away until I get to the cash register and head directly back to my office.

As soon as I got safely onto the elevator I realized that this form of awkward me is EXACTLY why no one asks me on dates and even if they do I probably don’t actually go. I know it was a strange reaction to a moderately attractive man in a café near my office, but that isn’t actually the part of this situation that perplexes me the most. In truth and hind sight, I am really disgusted by my answer to his whole “why do some women wear their rings on the right hand?” question.

You see the truth is, at that moment, I realized that I did have a decent amount of knowledge on engagement ring history, but I didn’t feel as though I was expert enough to give a full dissertation on the significance of fingers chosen and the cultural ramifications. (Not that this poor guy who I made out to look like a stranger offering a small child candy to help him look for his dog wanted a dissertation on the significance of engagement rings and their placement on hands.)

So here are the ‘cliff’ notes of my research:

  • The tradition of wearing an engagement or wedding ring on the left ring finger comes from the ancient Greco-Roman belief that there is a vein in this finger leading directly to the heart.
  • Some cultures (Polish, Greek, Indian, and Columbian to name a few.) wear engagement rings on their right hands because of the negative connotations of the left hand. (This dates back to Latin influence as the words for “sinister” and “left” are the same, which is also why many super religious discourage left-handedness.)
  • I found a source that Nigerians wear their engagement rings on their left middle finger to show that they are close to being married, at which point their left ring finger will become occupied. (small disclaimer: The site I found this on was a weird comment thread, and I am not particularly confident in my internet savvy, and I can’t seem to find again so if anyone could verify I would be greatly appreciative.)
  • Apparently, some left-handed women wear their Engagement rings on their right hand to avoid the wear and tear of dominant hand activities. ( I am left handed…. Never once crossed my mind.)
  • Some sources are still sighting that homosexual couples choose to wear engagement/wedding/commitment rings on their right hand but I liked this bloggers perspective, (http://www.ourlesbianmarriage.com/weddings/lesbian-wedding-rings/lesbian-commitment-rings/) which was basically that their relationships are no different than heterosexual ones so they too now wear their rings on the left ring finger.
  •  And some of us just don’t always have enough fingers to fit all the rings we want to wear…. So that could get confusing, I guess.

_____________________________________________

Of course after thinking about it perhaps this poor man had just been lied to about self-purchased right hand rings by other uninterested women with enough couth to not simply shake their heads in fear and back away slowly.

The Beginning of the End