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Mother’s Day Contest Helps Forge Emotional Connection with Jewelry

Parents, kids and staff all touched by kids’ drawings.

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Mother’s Day Contest Helps Forge Emotional Connection with Jewelry

LIZ SABA, OWNER of Presley & Co. Fine Jewelers in San Diego, found inspiration for a creative event by glancing at her refrigerator one day and seeing something she’d seen every day for the past 15 years: a kindergarten project her daughter, Presley, had created for Mother’s Day.

Presley had been asked to make a list of some of the things that reminded her of her mother.

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“It was so funny, some of the things she said at 5: Pepsi, Elvis, reading, baseball games, black and blue (my favorite colors), Zuzu pet racing, (battery operated hamsters we used to race around the house),” Saba says. In effect, a whole litany of childhood memories.

Saba considered what it would mean to moms to have these types of memories in picture form and even better, as jewelry.

Mother’s Day Contest Helps Forge Emotional Connection with Jewelry

“I thought how cool would it be to have kids draw something like this? We’d pick the winners and make their pieces into necklaces.”

Saba consulted with a client, a local art teacher, who loved the idea and asked students in kindergarten through eighth grade to start drawing something that reminded them of their moms. More than 60 kids participated.

“We picked the ones we fell in love with,” Saba says. “We chose drawings that hit us emotionally by making us laugh so hard, or because of how creative they were or how sentimental.”

Originally, they’d planned to have six winners, but they wound up making eight of them.

The winning kids were able to watch their jewelry being made by hand by a bench jeweler in the store. “They got to see the store, see the jewelers’ work area, and they were just as emotional as we were. They were unbelievably in shock that their art had come to life.”

Saba’s team also showed the finished jewelry pieces to clients, who identified several pieces they’d like to buy. Two of those necklaces — The Crazy Cat and The Flower — will be sold in the store and proceeds donated to local art programs.

Another of the winning pieces is an elephant because the mom adores elephants and had an elephant version of everything, but no elephant necklace.

Another piece was an In-N-Out Burger, the double-double. “We were not sure what the mom would think, but she loved it,” Saba says.

Mother’s Day Contest Helps Forge Emotional Connection with Jewelry

Moms and kids were interested to learn how the jewelry was made and delighted with the results.

“The moms were floored. They were so excited they couldn’t believe it. Of course, there were tears, lots of tears. For our staff, this was our favorite project we ever did. We couldn’t stop getting excited, although at first it was really hard because we didn’t want to let any kids down.” As a result, Saba also let the art teacher know that moms whose kids were not chosen but who wanted to transform their children’s art into pendants would be able to do so at a discounted rate.

Saba is now revisiting her daughter’s childhood art collection in search of something that she’d like to wear as well. And she’s started something of an entry-level custom business around the idea. “I’ve had a lot of calls from people who saw the pendants posted on Facebook and are sending me their kids’ drawings because they want them made,” she says. She’s offering them for $150 in silver and making gold pieces as well.

As for the contest, Saba plans to make it an annual Mother’s Day event and may expand to include a second school next year.

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