The year was 1998. It was the era of Manolo Blanhnik heels scampering down the cobble stone streets of the meat packing district, back when the streets actually smelled of freshly slaughtered livestock. YSL, Chanel and John Varvatos had not yet invaded Soho. Patricia Fields, Betsey Johnson, & Canal Jean jeans filled storefronts before large rents ran out little designers and artists but every IT girl had to have a Fendi Baguette on her arm, the original one, circa 1997. Cosmopolitans were the drink of choice and I had many with my crew at the Soho House. We were regulars there and all the bartenders knew us. One in particular was my fav, and we may or may not have escaped into a dark corner to steal a kiss once or more times. That's just one of the many unavailable bad boys in my long list of dating in Manhattan in the '90's. It was an innocent time, when the revolutionary term "He's just not that into you" made me reflect upon some of the poor choices on my quest to find my Mr. Right. Such a simple tag line, but yet so telling. Rather than listen to the deep insight gifted to me via Cynthia Nixon on SATC, I decided to listen to my heart and not my head and continue to chase Mr. Wrongs for another decade.
Fast forward to 2010 I was 39 and dating Mr wrong #306956. This particular edition was Italian (from Italy) and super romantic. He loved to hold hands, and drink champagne, while shopping in Soho. We had nothing in common, except we were both 39 and never married and wanted kids. I flew to Italy to meet his family. It seemed like I would finally get my fairytale ending....after all this time. Luigi, rich, handsome and Italian, like the real kind, from Italy. We would live in NYC for school and summer in the South of Italy with family. So glamorous, so chic! Except I didn't love him and he didn't love me....he wasn't my home. He wasn't my person. I didn't want to marry the wrong guy for a baby, and then go thru an ugly divorce years later, only to fight over money, prenups and custody agreements.
Two months after a bitter breakup with Luigi, I walked my ass into an IVF clinic. After many attempts and some losses, I was broken and in a very dark place. How can I make a family if my body can't make a baby? I decided to adopt. In a miracle of all miracles....I got my baby girl in just 8 days!
Flying home with my perfect angel, I decided to make myself a piece of jewelry celebrate my journey to motherhood. It's still my best seller; the Julia.
I blissfully raised Julia, navigating life as a single mom in Manhattan. I never went out again with a Mr. Wrong, I never dated. I wouldn't let the bad boys invade my perfect world of mommy and me. There was no one worthy to take a moment of time or love away from my baby....except one man....my one true love from college, the handsome Brian.
I met Brian in 1992 at a bar called Sante Fe, at University of Maryland. Boyz II Men was playing in the background, a handsome surfer boy in a faded yellow Billabong T-shirt introduced himself, “Hi I’m Brian” and flashed his toothy white smile at me. The music faded and chatter behind me stopped as he spoke to me “I’m Jackie”.
Occasionally, over the past 23 years, I would pull out an old tattered Tiffany box full of pics and cards he wrote me in 1992. We always got along, never fought, but sadly parted ways as he was Catholic and I was Jewish. But, he was always my one who got away. Well, as the world gifted me Julia in just 8 days & just as I wasn't trying to date... the world gave me back Brian.
In 2019 while walking in Newark airport....I ran into Brian's best friend, Vas, and the first thing he said to me was "Jackie, Brian is divorced." Vas snapped a pic of the two of us and shot it off to Brian.
I knew at that very moment, I would be with Brian again. On our first date, he walked up to my house...I tried to be my cool self from the 90s, but my legs came out from under me and jetted off running up to greet him. I held his face in my hands and looked into his eyes.
Yes, he was still my person.
I didn’t know how or what would happen in my future, but I knew I would be with Brian, forever this time.
My B+J Story is the root for my LOVE pendant. All my pieces come from the heart and tell a story. Perhaps of a new love, an old lover, love for your kids. Perhaps it tells the story of generations and grandmas, and sometimes sadly, even loss.
Thank you for letting me share my story, for reading this thus far and I hope you find something to cherish, and wear everyday to tell Your Story.