To quote John Lennon, "Some may say I'm a dreamer...but I'm not the only one." As the designer and manufacturer of Matter of Love Jewelry, I really hope I'm not the only dreamer. My dream is that people from all stations in life can experience love and compassion; to feel worthy and important. I believe so much of the cruelty humans perpetuate stems from insecurity, whether that be resources or personal self-worth. We hurt before we can be hurt and we furtively protect our finite resources. When we feel secure in the love of the people around us, a community to protect us, it's much easier to act out of love than harm. There are many human and societal complexities beyond this very myopic philosophy, but on a micro-level, kindness makes a difference. Everything we do impacts the people and the world around us and sets off a ripple effect. You have no idea how something insignificant can impact a person to do something magnificent or horrendous. So be conscious, be thoughtful, and choose kindness.
The mission of this company was born out of multiple personal life experiences. Firstly, and most importantly, I was born into a family who loved and encouraged me. They had expectations that I would strive to be the best version of myself. I never wanted to disappoint them and I still don't. I'm part of a family, a community, so my actions are automatically bigger than myself. They are a representation of them and an impact on them. As I grew older my family expanded to include life-long friends who have shown me unconditional love and support. I am humbled and so inspired by this network of people that I want to pay it forward. I feel so blessed and secure and I want others to be able to feel the same.
I went to college and studied anthropology and sociology. I was swept away into the ideas of different cultures and social theory. All the ideas I'd had of normalcy or concepts that I thought were universal to human behavior, were quickly washed away. It really shaped my understanding for how I perceive other people. We're all shaped by personal, societal, and cultural circumstances and I recognize that in order to understand a person and their actions, I need to think about them within the context of those circumstances which shaped them. From that viewpoint, I have found it much easier to connect and truly respect people. It seems we're all on this journey of life, just trying to do the best we can with the circumstances we're given.
When I graduated college I became a social worker for a county welfare agency in New Jersey. I worked as an intake worker in emergency services and the majority of my clients were homeless or on the verge of homelessness. I listened to their stories everyday. I heard the helplessness and fear in the voices of some and the resigned acceptance of others. I watched their tears fall and batted off the curses and insults. And I went home and would lay in bed at night, unable to sleep, frustrated that this was the reality of our country. The cycle of poverty seemed endless- institutionalized on a societal level, and a hopelessness that pervaded on a personal level. Recognizing that I did not have the power or intelligence to address our country's economic and political structure, I returned to a theory of collective consciousness that I had learned in college. The idea that a society has a collective sense of ideals and morality that shape the way the society operates. Because of the size and prevalence of so many sub-cultures, the US seems to be devoid of a true collective consciousness. I think that there's real power in the idea that as a society we place compassion as a higher priority to greed. So the seed was planted that maybe I could help people on a micro-level to help them feel love and understand their potential as a unique person in this world.
The vessel I chose to share my love with you was jewelry. It's so beautiful and expressive like an extension of ourselves. It's a thoughtful and long-lasting way to share love with someone. It's tangible, but it means so much more than just the physical representation.
So, I hope my intention is clear. I shared my story with you because this is more than jewelry to me and I hope you feel the love!
I hope this page can be a place where we can share the stories of the people and and circumstances that inspired you, too!