Friday, October 29, 2010

Tranquilli Regali Jewelry: Not Your Momma's Keepsakes

When my oldest daughter was born, a friend's aunt gave me a 'mother's locket.' It was a gold-plated, oval-shaped pendant with 'MOM' spelled out in curlique letters and small pearls surrounding a space to put a photo of my baby. It was a keepsake of the miraculous birth of my first child.

It was the ugliest thing I had ever seen.

Of course I never told her that, and I did keep the pendant. In a drawer.

Which is why I was so excited when my friend Michele came out with her own line of jewelry, Tranquilli Regali, and among them keepsake items that I would actually wear. In fact, she'll be making me one using a photo of my two daughters, now 12 and 14, but she told me first she needs a photo of the two of them really close together. After she said that we both just laughed and laughed and realized how impossible that would be and I told her she would just have to make me two separate pendants.

I've known Michele for a long time. Her husband and mine have known each other since high school and are in a band together, and they were one of the first of my husband's friends I met when we were dating. Obviously he ignored their advice to 'get out while you still can.'

Michele spent 21 years at Disney in event planning before starting her own jewelry line, and moms everywhere should breath a sigh of relief – keepsake jewelry that you can actually wear.

Here's her business in a nutshell, in her own words:

As a mom, I always found it hard to find custom personal jewelry pieces that represented my children. It was rare to find anything other than engraved pieces, and I could never find jewelry that would incorporate their photo. So after all these years of purchasing overpriced, mediocre personalized jewelry, I decided to start my own line. School spirit is huge at my son's school among the parents, so in the line I also incorporated custom pendants and key chains with the school crest, the student's sport and jersey number.

I've had a love affair with jewelry most of my life. My maternal grandmother loved jewelry and always wore a lot of lovely pieces. Even as she got older, she was always decked out in her jewels. To this day I still think of her whenever I hear the tinkle of a charm bracelet .
The unusual, hard to remember name: 'Tranquilli' Regali Fatti a Mano, came from 'Tranquilli', my maiden name, and 'Regali fatti a mano' meaning 'Handmade Presents' in Italian. 
But mom keepsake jewelry doesn't make up the entire line – there are some beautiful vintage-inspired pieces and as she mentioned, a line of pieces to show your school spirit. She even has – and I can hear some of my friends squealing now - keepsakes of your pet. Me, I refuse to get a piece of jewelry with a photo of my cat until the lazy bum learns how to bury his own poop.

The holidays are fast approaching, so check out Tranquilli Regali and give your friends the gift that keeps on giving. And that won't end up in a drawer. Also, place your order in October and a portion of your purchase will go to Breast Cancer Research.

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