Recently I began sharing a new segment in my email newsletters titled “What’s Making Me Happy.” Here I share a new discovery, event, or activity that makes my life a bit nicer, and hopefully it will inspire yours too. The following excerpt is from last week’s mailer and I felt it was too powerful, too special to share only with my email list. If you like what you see, take a minute to subscribe. Enjoy!
WHATS MAKING ME HAPPY
This past September marked my second year of attending XOXO, an experimental festival celebrating art and technology, hosted in Portland, Oregon. The festival features live concerts, podcasts, and various meetups, but the heart and soul of the festival comes from its inspiring keynotes given by creators, designers and innovators from every corner of the Internet. This year’s list of guests included Heather Armstrong, “queen of the mommy bloggers” and author of Dooce, Lisa Hanawalt, designer and producer of Bojack Horseman, and former NPR correspondent Alex Blumberg (This American Life, Planet Money) who is the founder of the broadcasting startup Gimlet Media. Over the past few weeks these keynotes have been released online and I’ve been watching them once more. I’m so moved by the earnest and heartfelt stories from these creatives and entrepreneurs.
Some of the takeaways from this year’s talks were ideas of self expression, vulnerability, and failure, and even death. The presenters shared they ways they dreamed of new ideas. They adapted to chaos along the way. They told us how they overcame obstacles, including themselves. They revealed the raw and difficult emotions encountered when they made the decision to walk away from ideas–even if they were working. These keynotes are powerful conversations for anyone aiming to share their gifts with the world.
Featured below is what I believe to be one of the most powerful sessions of the conference with Amit Gupta, founder of Photojojo. He shared with us his vision, his tenacity, and the life-altering shift when diagnosed with leukemia and faced with his own mortality. Not a dry eye remained in the house.
My mother wears a ring on every one of her ten fingers. This is probably from where my fascination with gems and jewelry began, as a young girl I examined each of her fingers and coveted the colored stones set atop of her golden bands. She was never really one for diamonds. Her engagement ring was a pink sapphire with a star that danced across the surface as it moved. She preferred to collect gems of different hues and shapes, often looking down at her hands when we passed a jewelry store, humming “I could really use a green pear-shape for this finger.”
The list of her preferences goes on: Cabochons, yes. Prongs, no. And yellow gold only — That was, until her daughter was a broke college student crafting jewelry out of silver. She then graciously welcomed silver jewelry into her wardrobe.
This year she and my father entrusted me to redesign their wedding set. They married in their early twenties and began with a modest set of rings. They were lovely, but lightweight. For their 20th anniversary they had upgraded to a heftier set of bands, and 15 years later they found themselves ready for a third iteration. I was honored to take part in this new chapter.
We gathered up all 6 of their old rings and re-used the gold. The new bands would still contain elements of the old. I had sold my mother on the merits of diamonds over the years, but she was still drawn to the idea of vibrant colors (“I would really like a blue, and I think it needs to be square!”) Thus, the center gem for my mother’s engagement ring became a princess cut blue diamond.
We agreed upon a water-inspired motif for the new bands. Whether they’re on river with a canoe or a in a ship out on the ocean, my father and mother are at peace when on the open water. Growing up in Michigan our family weekends often revolved around the lakes and our boats. It seemed only fitting to draw upon these memories for their new set of wedding bands.
On the heels of our last custom project, monogram cufflinks, is this hand fabricated pair of cufflinks utilizing Egyptian coins. These coins, which are no longer in circulation, feature intricate imagery and two-tone metals. I placed into a simple heavy bezel with sturdy cufflink backs. The detail in these coins makes one want to dig the change from their pockets and dream about the possibilities.
This pair of silver cufflinks was a gift from bride to groom on their wedding day. They were created in partnership with Zaver and Mor in Berkeley, CA and engraved by Chris Neff.
In honor of our brand new website and our growing bridal collection comes the Corey Egan Wedding Giveaway!
In this Photo Contest one lucky person will win a $1500 gift certificate toward a ring to make your wedding dreams come true, or maybe a few fabulous pieces you’ve been coveting. How you spend it is up to you!
Our bridal collection pays homage to the adventure you’re embarking on together. Our contest has an adventure theme.
1. REPOST my Instagram photo announcing the contest and its rules. (You’ll find me @coreyegan)
2. SHARE a photo of an adventure you experienced with the one you love. In the comments, tell us your story.
3. TAG your pic with #CoreyEganWeddingGiveaway.
We’ll announce the winner here on October 5th. Stay tuned!
Kyrie and Zach had powerful, personal imagery that inspired this engagement ring she designed just for him. In their metaphor a balloon floats through the air at just the right height, tied off to a sparkling rock on the ground by a twist of gold and black thread. Together they can be it all: down to earth and still soaring to great heights.