Jackie's Journey - How this all began

Jackie's Journey - How this all began

The MY STORY collection came about from a simple piece of sentimental fine jewelry I designed to commemorate my very unconventional journey into motherhood.

A few years ago, I was a burnt out Wall Street trader. Although I had a successful 12 year run in finance, I was left angry and unfulfilled. A naturally free spirit, unnaturally confined to white button downs and a strand of pearls for far too long, I decided travel was what I needed to clear my head. So I up and quit my job to leave for my first stop, Africa.I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for, running away from, or chasing, but I knew I needed to get away to find myself, and find my happiness.

As long as this journey had already taken, when I put my new plan out into the universe things started moving in the right direction, and fast! Africa was a place I had always dreamed of and for some reason felt magical to me. The continent seemed so raw and untouched, yet also held a chaotic and wild mystique. Perhaps I was just projecting my own emotions at the time, but my intuition dictated that I do something challenging to tame the noise inside me. I decided that climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was just the thing I needed to jump start my healing process. So I sweated out the toxins of my corporate life and began to see the world from a very different place.Out of Africa I was on to India.

In Jaipur, the warm glow of ‘The Pink City’ welcomed me. I was charmed by it’s vibrancy, colorful culture, textiles and architecture. There was so much to absorb here, but the highlight, and what I took with me was a deep appreciation for fine jewelry. The stores of the city seemed to burst with pounds and piles of richly hued 22K gold, finely crafted, and intricately set with colored stones and sparkling rose cut diamonds. I picked up a bangle or two which I treasure, my only regret of the trip being that I hadn’t purchased more. The beauty of their craft coupled with the richness of the materials awakened something in me, I was so impressed by what could be done by human hands.From India I went on to Israel after a visit in Europe with family. In the Land of Milk and Honey l volunteered for the Israeli army. I stayed on a base, learned how to clean a gun and other important survival techniques. By day I toiled for the military under the desert sun, but at night in the shadow of the mountains at the Lebanese border I found peace and solitude. I had never slept better. The Israelis sense of nationalism and pride resonated within me. The stories of my parents escaping Castro’s Cuba meant even more to me now. I had come back into the fold of my religion but from such a different perspective than I got from the Long Island temple of my youth. My life had come full circle and I was now ready to go back and face New York.

Upon returning home, I joined my family’s jewelry business. My brother Bryan had been learning the ropes from the time he was Bar Mitzvah’d. He invited me in as a partner to help grow the business. I felt rejuvenated and alive again. I threw myself into creating new designs and took on sales. Our business grew and I was much happier, but still I felt there was something missing.

I had an absence that wouldn’t go away. I yearned for a family of my own. I wanted a baby. I was 40 and single, which as you can imagine makes the logistics of conception that much more difficult. I plunged thousands of dollars and emotions into multiple rounds of IVF. After my results produced nothing but sadness and loss I resigned myself to the hard truth that my body was just not meant to make a baby. When I was able to think straight again, and push my disappointment at my physical limitations aside, I realized I still had another option to explore- adoption.

From the very first phone call with the very first potential birth mom I spoke to, a solid connection was made. 

We talked for hours, and she didn’t mind that I was single as she was too. Everything felt so right. At the end of our conversation, she sheepishly told me, so as not to scare me away, that she was due in only a few days! Her admission filled me with excitement and joy.

Once I got the go ahead from my lawyer, I flew right down to Indiana. I was instructed not to get my hopes up, not to buy an open ended ticket or any baby things and I complied, but as I mentioned before things started to move fast. My daughter Julia was born that very weekend and I had the absolute privilege of being there! Of all the breathtaking sights I had seen in this world, bearing witness to my daughter’s birth was the most beautiful of all. It was the miracle of all miracles that I had gotten my adopted baby in just eight days! I finally felt that my heart was whole.

My journey to motherhood was anything but ordinary, and turned out to be an extraordinary story of luck, perfect timing, and my happily ever after. I learned about a love I never knew was possible and it produced in me an undying need to give back to the process that helped me realize my dreams of motherhood. 

Naturally, I wanted a piece of jewelry to commemorate this unforgettable moment. Back in the shop I created a ring I could wear everyday featuring Julia’s November birthstone and had it engraved with her name and birthday. I found that the ring sparked conversation wherever I went. As I began to share my personal journey and unconventional road to motherhood, what I received in return were other people’s stories and struggles, a connection to them, and more than a few special orders!

What started as a simple ring to celebrate Julia’s adoption evolved into a complete collection by our company.

So that’s my story. Of course I reflect on the challenges at times but I know now that every bump in the road led me to the fulfillment and family I always knew was possible. Today Julia and I live in downtown Manhattan together. We are fortunate to be able to spend plenty of time with my recently retired parents and Julia’s two cousins, Bryan’s boys, Coby and Dean who she adores. One day I know Julia will want to know more about her background. I can’t wait to share it with her.

Every woman has a story.
Tell yours in color, share it, celebrate it,
and always keep it close to your heart.