Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Very Special Mother – My Mother-In-Law

This seemed like a very good weekend to spend a little time getting my website and other listings ready for Mother’s Day. In the midst of my frustration of taking pictures (I am still learning and not very good) my mind was wandering between trying to figure out the camera and thinking of my gorgeous mother-in-law. Whether she realizes this or not or even has a chance to read this (she does not own a computer), she has been my fashion muse for almost 25 years.

I vividly remember the first time I ever met her. I was invited to accompany my boyfriend (now my husband) to a Mother’s Day luncheon at the Ritz Carlton overlooking the Boston Public Gardens. This had been their tradition for many years before I came into the picture.
I took great care that day to find something to wear that was appropriate but, not too dramatic (navy suit with an ivory georgette pin tucked blouse – how strange that I still remember). As we walked up the circular stairs to the main dining room, I noticed a most regal white haired lady, impeccably dressed waiting by the elevator. As we neared the top of the stairs, she spoke to my boyfriend and I quickly realized that this stunning and fashionable woman would soon become a very important person in my life. Little did I know that at 35 my boyfriend had never, ever, brought a girlfriend to meet his mother!

Fast forward 25+ years and it brings us to this sweet photo of my mother-in-law holding our new grandchild a few months after his birth. At 90+ years old, she is still as fashionable and lovely as ever. When she began to have trouble wearing her gorgeous jewelry because she had trouble with the clasps, she inspired me again.

I created a line of jewelry that uses decorative magnetic clasps that proved to be just what the doctor ordered in facilitating the finishing touches for dressing to go to Symphony every Friday (she has gone faithfully since before my husband was born). Sometimes necessity is the “Mother of Invention”. As I tinkered around with this line, I realized that I could also create multiple ways of wearing the same necklace. By removing the pendant portion, it could be used as a simple choker-style necklace. During the design process, I also realized that some necklaces could also convert to a bracelet thereby rendering one necklace that could be worn three ways! Much to my delight, my mother-in law loved the idea and wears them frequently.

As an interior designer in Boston, my mantra was just because something has to be functional does not mean it cannot be attractive. I guess that lesson has translated itself into my jewelry designs as well.


purplbutrfly said...

Hi Karen!

I loved looking through your jewelry creations. I dabble a little bit in jewelry, too, but haven't touched my toybox for some time. Your blog made me think... maybe i should open that little treasure chest again.

Thanks. =)

Karen Sugarman Designs said...

Hi Purplbutrfly-

Thanks for posting such kind comments. I do find that jewelry design helps to fulfil my creative outlet. If you do what you love, success usually follows.