The Mother’s Day celebration continues with a mother-daughter duo found right here in the Red Stick.
We sat down with Michele Johnson, President of Red Magnolia Theatre Company, to speak about her mother Paula Taylor, and what makes her special. It is truly heartwarming to see how highly Michele thinks of her mother. We hope you enjoy her words as much as we did.
Michele and Paula
What kind of mother is your mom?
She is very strong. She was a single mom before she married my dad when I was eleven. So it was just me and her for a really long time.
It’s that time of year again! Mother’s Day is quickly approaching. A time to cherish our own mothers and spend time with family, Mother’s Day is the perfect holiday for reflection and gratitude.
Tom and Sheila and Their Sweet Granddaughters
As we gear up to celebrate the mothers in our own lives, I cannot help but think back to a special moment Jewel of Havana was able to take part in a few months ago. After Tom gifted his wife Shelia with one our Leaf Bell Necklaces, their two granddaughters, Finley and Emory, could not get enough of the necklace. Every time they saw their grandmother, they would inquire about the necklace, examining and admiring it.
So, for Christmas this past year, they gave the girls a special gift—two custom-made Leaf Bell Necklaces that were a bit smaller to fit them. We have a video of their reactions here. Isn’t that just the cutest?!
We spoke with Tom about his wife’s love for their granddaughters and with the girls about how much they love their grandmother, "Shoo Shoo".
Girls, what it was like opening the Christmas present from Buddy and Shoo Shoo?
Finley: Exciting because we had the same necklace as our grandmother.
What is special about your Shoo Shoo?
Emory: She is our grandma and we love her so much.
Tom, can you tell me a little bit about giving your wife the necklace?
Tom: Well, I'm not the best person on planet Earth with figuring out what to get for my wife, so she usually gives me hints. But I knew Shelia admired the jewelry, so it just gave me a jackpot way to get her gifts that she would really like. This particular piece was something that she really admired, and I knew she would like it and want to wear it.
In 2018, I was commissioned to create a pendant for the Red Magnolia Theatre Company. It’s a new theater group in Baton Rouge, Louisiana founded by some talented ladies to foster more opportunities for women in theater in our area. I worked with them using their logo as inspiration and created a piece of jewelry for all the founders to wear and to raise money for their theater productions. I loved how it turned out so much that I made a few extra for me to have available for my clients. (The magnolia is our State Flower after all.)
Last month the pendant earned a whole new meaning for me. On December 31, 2018 we lost my dear, larger than life Father-in-law. He fought the good fight with cancer and until the very end kept directing at his beloved Virginia Sanford Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama (the last show only two weeks before he passed.) That’s how much energy and love of life this guy had!
Through the whole journey, my husband kept saying, I’m so worried about my Mom. Dad has done everything for them their whole life together. But I watched her. I saw that quiet strength. The care. The willingness to do what ever it took to make sure he was ok. Even on the days he wasn’t the best patient, she knew it wasn’t him talking. He was in pain so she never took the bait and kept loving him and taking care of him.
We are a theater family, so in my head everything has a theater reference; a song lyric, a show title or line. When we were driving to Birmingham to what we thought was going to be a quiet evening celebrating New Year’s Eve with family, I was thinking, what could I give Philip’s Mom that would have meaning? We had planned to open Christmas Gifts that night too.
We didn’t know that our sweet Jack would pass that day, quietly with all of us around him singing to him and holding his hands. He was just waiting for us to get there but we didn’t know. What followed was a week of arrangements and family and grief and many, many God Winks from Jack to let us know he was still with us.
On the day we left her for the first time since his passing, I knew exactly which piece to gift his Mom. She is a Steel Magnolia. (If you haven’t seen the play or watched the movie, I highly recommend it. It’s a true story written by a Louisiana writer about his family) I gave her the Magnolia Pendant. I wanted her to have a reminder in times when she doesn’t feel strong that she is a Steel Magnolia and I know that beyond the sadness and grief of losing her Jack, she has a powerful quiet strength in her DNA and I know she will be just fine.
I read an article this week that got me thinking. Studies show most people break their New Year resolutions before the end of January each year. (I'm not shocked, I'm one of those people myself. How about you? ;)
But it got me thinking, when I'm feeling low in energy or want to manifest something specific in my life, I've been known to grab my favorite gemstone jewelry to help keep me mindful of what I'm working towards. I thought it would be fun to put together a little quiz to help find the perfect gemstone for keeping your new year resolutions all year long.
Whether you believe in the metaphysical properties of gemstones or not, they are a beautiful way to keep a goal front of mind or carry a reminder to live with courage, happiness, intention or whatever you are wanting to manifest in your life all year.
Take our quiz and let me know which stone you get in the comments below. Feel free to share with your friends too.
Happy New Year! xo Ana
I'm so excited to share something we've been working on for a few months. It’s festival season and we have been on the road. It’s my favorite time of year visiting cities we have fallen in love with and seeing all of you, clients who have become friends. As we travel, the #1 question we are asked by new customers is:
Why is it called Jewel of Havana?
My answer is always, "It’s named after my Mom who is from Havana" but that doesn’t really tell the whole story.
I was looking for a better way to share why I was inspired to do what I do. So with a big thank you to my brother, his camera and many of our beautiful customers, we put together a short video (ok… it was really long but we cut it down to 2.5 mins) I hope it will help you see why it was so fitting to name this company after the woman who's stories of family inspired my connection to jewelry. I'm excited to share our story with you. xo Ana
P.S. If you are inspired, I’d love to hear some of your stories. Do you have pieces of jewelry that remind you of someone you love or a special time in your life? I’d love to interview you and tell your story on our blog. It’s quick and easy and so much fun and if you are in the Baton Rouge area you’ll even get a free photo shoot out of it! Just click here to get us started. I'll be in touch once you fill out the Share Your Story Form.
In case you missed it this morning, I was on WAFB Channel 9 The Big Xtra Hour talking all things Covington Three Rivers Art Festival in beautiful Downtown Covington, Louisiana this weekend, November 10-11. Check out this interview featuring Jewel of Havana Handcrafted Jewelry along side Baton Rouge artists Nanci Charpentier of Nanci Charpentier Fine Art and Ghada Henagan of Ghada Henagan Ceramics.
When people ask me what I miss most about my Broadway career, I always say, “The girls in the dressing room”. I suppose it’s not unlike having an office full of people who become your family (only in really tight quarters) visiting and trouble shooting and supporting each other in life, love and business. Our work was on stage, our dressing room was your break room or water cooler so to speak (only with a lot of clothes flying on & off very quickly ;)
There is nothing like a room full of creative, soulful, taking life by the horns, carpe diem kind of people. I miss it. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my jewelry business but outside the days I’m at shows or my MVP is here to help, it’s a pretty solitary job. So, I’ve sought out ways to fill my need for the “girls in the dressing room”. Surrounding myself with fellow creative entrepreneurs to support each other in our marketing efforts, trouble shooting the challenges of running your own business, you name it. I treasure the time I get with these beautiful women and we collectively help each other continue to grow and challenge ourselves to be better at what we do.
A few months ago, I was searching the web for other businesses in my area that I could possibly collaborate with and came across the Rising Tide Society. Who knew it would lead to this award?!!
What is 20 on the Rise?
Sponsored by the Rising Tide Society, Honeybook, Peerspace and Gusto, 20 On The Rise celebrates individuals who are "raising the tide and making waves, rocking their respective industries through hard work and creativity."
According to 20 on the Rise: "This isn’t a popularity contest nor is it a ‘most liked’ list. 20 On The Rise is a curated list of 20 rising stars in 5 categories nominated by their peers and selected based on: empowerment, impact, purpose, and passion."
"It's a list of people who believe in community over competition and support their communities as they build businesses they love."
Thank you to the the Rising Tide Society, HoneyBook, Peerspace and Gusto for this honor and for the work you do fostering community over competition. You can check out the full list of incredible creatives on their website at ontherise.honeybook.com
Known as the Stone of Unconditional Love, Rose Quartz dates back as early as 7000 BC.
As folk lore would have it, rose quartz derived it's color from the blood of Aphrodite as she tried to save her love, Adonis. The dying lovers blood on the stone became the symbol of eternal love. The Egyptians believed the stone could prevent the effects of aging. Native Americans continued the tradition of the "Love Stone" believing it could calm anger, heal disappointments and bring love to the wearer.
Rose quartz is a crystal made of silicon dioxide. It's soft pink color is the result of trace amounts of iron, titanium or manganese combined with microscopic inclusions of pink fibers within the stone that keep it from being completely transparent.
Rose quartz can be found in mines all over the world. The most common sources are in Madagascar, Brazil, South Africa and India.
This heart chakra stone brings the energy of compassion, tenderness, peace and healing and supports the capacity to truly give and receive love from others. It attracts love and aides in developing closer bonds with friends and family.
A great gift to exchange between friends and loved ones, Jewel of Havana has a nice selection of sweet rose quartz pendant necklaces and earrings as well as new rose quartz clips for our popular Leaf Bell Necklaces or Calla Lily Earrings. Add this stone of love to your jewelry collection. It's is sure to bring you many years of happiness and contentment.
Beautiful red ruby is the birthstone for July and the anniversary stone for the 15th, 40th and 80th year of marriage. It is one of the four precious stones along with Emeralds, Diamonds and Sapphires. The name comes from the Latin word “ruber” which simply means “red”.
Ruby is red corundum and derives its color from the presence of chromium. Corundum is a mineral that produces sapphires of every color. All other corundum colors are called sapphires. Depending on the iron content, rubies can range from pinks and purples to orange and brownish reds; the most desirable being deep blue red which is referred to as “pigeon’s blood”.
The largest producers of rubies are Thailand, Madagascar, India and Sri Lanka but they can be found in Africa, Australia and the U.S. Rubies are the second hardest natural stone after diamonds which makes them perfect for jewelry.
Larger high-quality rubies are rarer than diamonds of the same size and for that reason can sell for a significantly higher price. The “Hope Ruby” Ring sold for 6.74 million at 32.08 carats and Elizabeth Taylor’s 8.24 carat ruby ring sold for 4.2 million at auction. (That’s $500k per carat!!)
Ruby jewelry was a favorite among royalty around the world. They were a symbol of power and believed to be a stone of protection. In India, rubies were believed to help them stay at peace with their enemies. In the Bible rubies are associated with wisdom and beauty.
Today, rubies are said to attract good luck to the wearer, protect you from misfortune and shield against negative energy. They symbolize passion and love, release limitations, help with focus and clarity and strengthen energy, courage and joy.
Who couldn’t use a little ruby jewelry in their life? Check out Jewel of Havana’s new raw ruby necklace and earrings just in time for July birthdays!
For those of you who have worked with me before, you know I LOVE being part of the special moments in your life. It’s why I do what I do. That something I’ve created could live on in your family, make you feel beautiful, help you feel close to the ones you love, remind them of you or a special time or celebration in your life, all of it!! It’s what excites me to get up in the morning and keeps me up late in “the zone” with a smile on my face.
Recently, I had the absolute pleasure of working with a bride and groom to be. I had tears in my eyes when she started sharing photos of their beautiful wedding.
So today, I’m featuring the lovely Mr. & Mrs. Ricardo and Kami Gallardo with photo assist by the talented Gary Blake Photography. He’s so good at his job, I felt like I was at the wedding through his gorgeous work.
Mr. and Mrs. Ricardo and Kami Gallardo
How did you meet?
My sister had been bugging me for months to get on an online dating site. I’m currently writing this book, called “Confessions of a Grad Student”. It’s about how the female scientist can survive grad school.
So how did she pick him out of all of the people she was checking out?
She biased herself to education. He has a master’s degree and he’s actually going back in the spring to get a degree in analytics… and he’s cute!
Well come to find out he had booked a photographer to capture the moment and there was a mix up with the time. Rick was trying to stall till she got there. She shows up and he pops the question! It was so sweet!
How was the process for you from finding the color to coming up with the final design?
I mean, you were really instrumental in that. I’m a scientist and my fashion sense lacks sometimes so I took a lot of my cues from you. Everyone loved their gifts. I was not expecting my mother in law to like it so much but she texted Rick the day that she wore it and said I’m wearing Kami’s necklace to this important conference I’m going to and she loved it!
I noticed you were wearing your wedding earrings in your honeymoon pictures
Oh yeah! I’ve worn them to church ever since then because everything in my wardrobe is blue and they match everything.
How was the reaction from your bridesmaids?
I think they really liked them. They matched the dresses really well and they looked so nice on all the bridesmaids.
So hopefully, they will think of you every time they pull them out to wear!
I hope so… I hope so!
Tell us your story!
Would you or someone you know like to be featured on the Jewel of Havana blog? Click the contact us button and let me know! I'd love to tell your jewelry story or honor someone you love!!
This Mother and Daughter Have Alot to Celebrate!
Mother's Day is around the corner and the kids are graduating this month! Today we feature, Elena and Amy (with a little assist by her sister, Catherine).
Elena is a mother of five and her youngest daughter is graduating from 8th grade to high school next week.
Elena and Amy
I asked Amy and her sister, Catherine to share a little bit about their Mom.
Even with an unusual gait, she was always smiling. Fortunately, she takes medication that keeps symptoms at bay most of the time and she is able to function normally. With the amazing work of our school system, her teachers and therapists, Amy overcame her delays and is now on the other end of the spectrum shining on stage in dance, theatre and singing.
For all the new readers of the blog, you may or may not know, Jewel of Havana is named in honor of my Mom. It is because of her I have such a connection to jewelry and how it can carry the stories of special moments or celebrations in our lives and even more importantly, remind us of the people we love.
With that in mind, we're bringing back my favorite series! "Celebrating Moms and Mothers Day"! Over the next two weeks I'll be sharing a few more VIP Moms and their daughters. You can keep up with all the stories by going to the Mothers Day page or joining our VIP list if you aren't already on it.
Happy Mothers Day!!
Becky, Joelle & Josie
I asked Becky:
Do you have a piece of jewelry you own that has special meaning for you?
I have two favorite pieces of jewelry. A few of years ago, Joelle realized that we have recurring first initials in our four generations (Josie, Becky, Joelle and Bryce). So she made all three of us bracelets with our birthstones and “BJBJ”. My other favorite piece is a necklace from Jewel of Havana (imagine that). It is an opal quartz and three small amethyst crystals. I call it my “grandma necklace” because it represents my birthstone and Bryce’s. I liked it so much that I now have matching earrings….a previous Mother’s Day present from Joelle !!!
Is there anything you'd like to share about your beautiful Mom?
My mom has amazing strength. She is the last one in her generation and she continues on with unfailing faith and amazing energy. I told her recently that even though our family is small, she has become the matriarch for several families. I know how lucky I am to have her with me and so healthy of mind and body. Even though sometimes she drives me CRAZY !!!!
Today was a big day in our family! After 3 years of foster care, my brother and sister-in-law, finally got to adopt the twins that captured our hearts when they were only 6 weeks old.
With Mothers Day just around the corner, I couldn’t help but think back to last year’s blog series honoring Moms. Heather was one of the Mom’s I featured. They had just adopted two boys after 5 years of fostering. One year later, “the babies” as we lovingly call them are 3 years old and officially, Andricain’s! I couldn’t be happier for my brother and his new family of six!
These two bring so much joy to our lives. Little Zaine loves music and performing (a perfect fit in our family) and always greats everyone with a huge smile and a hug. Zoey is a little shy but kills you with her smile every time. What an amazing Mother’s Day celebration this will be for Heather!
Custom Designed Jewelry for Adoption Day
Leading up to the big event, I worked with Heather to create jewelry that would help hold the memory of today. She wanted something pink in honor of her first girl, so we went with blush fresh water pearls. I had some beautiful white Mother of Pearl tear drop shells that seemed fitting; the "Mother" of Pearl as the perfect backdrop to cradle the tiny pink pearls representing her kiddos. Matching chandelier earrings with the same pearls and sterling silver accents for Mom and of course little Zoey got the perfect little white pearl bracelet from our Children’s Jewelry Collection.
After the ceremony, Zoey requested a matching necklace, so Tia Ana better get to work on her new special order!! Nothing like a 3-year-old who knows exactly what she wants 😊
Special Orders for Mothers Day
If you’d like something designed for a special Mom in your life, don’t hesitate to give me a call. Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 13th and the cut off for special orders in time for Mother’s Day delivery is just two weeks away.
We have many ready to wear Mothers Day gift ideas on the website too! All our jewelry arrives in beautiful leatherette presentation boxes with a bow and blank gift card for you to personalize. If you'd like me to ship directly to Mom, just let me know in the order comments what you'd like on the card.
It’s my mission to make you look good and help celebrate the special people and moments in your life!
Happy Mothers Day, y'all! xoxo Ana
So, if you’ve been following along the past two weeks, we’ve been celebrating some big birthdays over here! Jewel of Havana turned 12 on March 14th & I myself am celebrating a BIG ONE on April 1st. I had plans of traveling somewhere wonderful, but it’s show season & one of my best friends was getting married so I decided I’d rather travel to her wedding this past weekend than go on a birthday trip I could do when I wasn’t so busy. All this to say, I just got back from Nashville & had no plans for my big birthday this week.
The Set Up
My little Sis called to make a date with me. We planned on going to dinner together and then heading to the Old State Capital to attend a good friend’s art exhibit. It was a long day in the studio trying to catch up from being away & I had to go to the DMV … TWICE to renew my license. (Have any of you heard of the “Real ID”?... I digress but let’s just say they have more identifying papers on me than my Mom at this point.) I was super tired by the time my date with my Sis came but I was looking forward to a little girl bonding time, so I wasn’t going to miss it!
For those of you who don’t know, my brother lives next door…. (like we share a fence next door) and he and my SIL, have a Supper Club they’ve been holding for years. My Sis is about to renovate her house and her architect is a member of the Supper Club, so my Sis says, “Can we run over to Hugo’s real quick and pick up the house plans? They are ready, but I don’t want to crash their party by myself to get them”.
So off we go to pop in next door…. Cars lining the driveway (normal for supper club). We open the door and a beautiful table is set (normal for supper club) …. but where were all the people? My SIL was filming us… that was weird…. And then I hear “SURPRISE!!!!” ….. I look across the room and see the best of girlfriends from all different parts of my life standing there. I was so confused I just stood there & my Sis has to say, “It’s for your birthday!” LOL!!!! I literally was standing there in my head going…. Where are the supper club people? Why are they yelling surprise? Why is Nanci (the artist I thought we were going to see) here? Why are the girls I’m seeing for my own supper club tomorrow night here? I thought Mom wasn’t feeling well? …. All these thoughts in my head in a split second … so there I was completely stunned and blown away by their kindness. THEY GOT ME GOOD!!!
Birthday Gifts Giveaway
If you haven’t joined in the fun, you still have until April 1st to shop Jewel of Havana and receive birthday gifts from me to you! It’s been so much fun shipping out extra gifts the past week. Just join the VIP list and shop the website, your gift will be in your package when it arrives! Thanks for being a VIP and for helping us celebrate some big birthdays!!
It snuck up on me! As I sat to work this morning I looked up and this piece of paper caught my eye, or rather, the date did: 3/14/2006.
Today is the 12th Birthday of Jewel of Havana. 12 years ago today, urged on by a room of strong beautiful women backstage at Beauty & the Beast on Broadway, I took the subway down to 60 Centre Street in New York City (yes, you’ve seen it on Law & Order) and made it official. I turned my backstage jewelry making hobby in to a real business.
I had no idea at the time it would take over acting to become my full-time career. It would take me back to my home town in Louisiana where I could be close to my family and still have a career as an artist. It would allow me to be a tiny part of so many special moments in your lives… weddings, anniversaries, graduations, new babies, birthdays or just because you love.
The love you show one another in every card I’m asked to write is beyond beautiful. Honestly, sometimes you bring me to tears with your sweet messages. Or just being a part of that moment when your eyes light up because you feel beautiful in a piece I’ve created. There is nothing like it for me. You are the completion of the art.
And Gentlemen…. I’m here to say, I see the BEST side of you every day in my work… the caring, the thoughtfulness, the romantic, the tender. I love helping you shine and will continue to work hard to make sure you look good giving your gifts.
Thank you all for supporting me and Jewel of Havana all these years. It would not be what it is today without all of you.
My Birthday Present to You!
From now until my own birthday on April 1st (and it's a big one) all VIP list members will receive a free gift with any purchase over $50 on the website! It won't show up in your cart but will be in your package as my gift to you. Check your newsletter for more details.
Join the VIPs if you haven't already!! Just click the button below and you'll be in on the free gift as well!!
Thank you for 12 years of awesomeness!! It is truly an honor to make for you every day and Jewel of Havana would not be here without all of you.
With gratitude and love! xoxo Ana
Recently, Jewel of Havana was featured on LPB’s Art Rocks. Many of my customers noted how seemingly different the career path of a jewelry designer and Broadway actress appeared to be. In my mind though, they are not unrelated at all! Both are creative paths, both have a very human connection, both have a “performer” and an “audience”. The only difference in my mind is I use to perform for thousands of people each night & though I could see some faces and feel and hear their collective reaction, it was a shared experience on a relatively anonymous level. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED performing and I LOVED moving crowds to laugh or cry or be taken away to another place or time. But with jewelry making, it’s so personal. The audience is one on one. As I’m creating, I think about who will ultimately “adopt my baby”; what journey will this piece go on once it leaves my hands? And most of the time, I get to know the people who collect my jewelry, their families, their stories. It’s an honor and a privilege to be a tiny part of connecting people through my art. Where one medium happens one night and is a memory to carry with you, the other has a tangible lasting piece that can be handed down through generations. In both careers, I loved the connection to people & sharing my art in what ever form that may be. Now I perform for one person at a time instead of thousands. There is something so intimate and beautiful about something I’ve created, having a life & history that will carry on in your family for years to come.
If you missed the Art Rocks episode, here's a link to watch: Art Rocks xoxo Ana
DVR alert! This Friday, February 2, 2018, Jewel of Havana will be featured on Ark Rocks! one of my fav art news magazine shows on Louisiana Public Broadcasting. They filmed in the studio a few weeks ago & took me on quite the journey down memory lane from where it all started in my Broadway dressing room at Beauty & the Beast to growing a thriving jewelry business back in my home town in Baton Rouge.
Set your DVR or check back here after Friday. I'll post the link for you to see the full episode on the LPB website once they post it. I'll be seeing it for the first time with you but hopefully you won't be as nervous as I am.... 😉
Here's the promo video they just sent me! Let me know what you think in the comments below!
UPDATE: Here's the link to watch the full episode online at LPB!
If you'd like to be the first to know about new designs and behind the scenes looks in the studio, click the button & join our VIPs. You get free shipping every month & lots of other goodies as well!!
I had the pleasure of delivering the last donation check of 2017 today to Mary Bird Perkins - Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center.
Thanks to all of you, the Draped In Love Collection has raised over $1000 for the Cancer Center. As a cancer survivor, I hope you never need them but I sure am glad this state of the art facility was there when I did!
Thank you for your support of the Draped In Love Collection & all of our Gifts That Give Back! xoxo Ana
If you'd like to learn more about our Gifts that Give Back, join our VIPs and be in the know for our next opportunities to shop for a cause! Plus you get free shipping every month and much more. Click the button to sign up!
This weekend I had the pleasure of being the guest soloist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra for their Home for the Holiday’s concert. It was a beautiful evening with a whole lot of talented people.
During the concert, Conductor, Timothy Muffitt asked if I was wearing any Jewel of Havana Jewelry. (I happened to be wearing one of my favorite statement rings and some green amethyst earrings.) We talked briefly about my “singing jeweler” journey from Broadway to Jewelry Artist & he decided since the back of the audience couldn’t see, he would take a picture & post it to Instagram from stage. LOL!! Not only is he immensely talented, he’s hilarious too!
So, if you happen to be in the audience Friday night and aren’t connected to the Maestro on Instagram, here’s what he posted live from stage.
Needless to say, I had a great time working with him and what an honor to sing with a Symphony of this caliber in my own home town! It put me right in the Christmas spirit!
If you are looking for a great gift idea this Christmas season, how about season tickets to the Baton Rouge Symphony and some Jewel of Havana Jewelry to wear on a year of dates to the symphony together! Who’s in?!
This season, I am so pleased to announce Jewel of Havana has partnered with another worthy charity.
Beginning November 1st through December 31st, 20% of all sales from our Diamond Post Earrings support the Vasculitis Foundation. Funds raised go directly to the creation of the Ilya Peckerman Vasculitis Teaching Fellowship Program,in conjunction with the Vasculitis Foundation.
In addition to funding extended education for fellows to become experts in diagnosing and caring for vasculitis patients, these fellows will also go to tri-state area hospitals and medical centers to educate primary care doctors and nurses about the early signs of Vaculitis disease, in the hopes of getting patients a quicker diagnosis and directing them to proper care for this autoimmune disease.
Additionally, for every dollar raised in the 2017 Shop 4 Vasculitis Campaign, there will be a dollar-for-dollar match by Pamela Pekerman Tenenabyev and her husband.
This holiday season, consider giving a gift that gives back!
It's been a BIG weekend in our family with so much to celebrate.
On Friday, my beautiful Sister-In-Law, Stacia Andricain was named Principal of St. Joseph's Academy, a National Blue Ribbon all girls Catholic High School here in Baton Rouge. It happens to be my alma mater and my little sister's 12 years later. Both my brother and sister-in-law have worked there for years and the Jewel of Havana studio is literally steps from the school. Let's just say, we REALLY care about this school.
Today is my Mom's birthday and the whole family gathered to celebrate Mom and Stacia. After a lovely lunch and cake, the gifts came out and my Mom did it again! It's something she's done since my earliest memories and each and every time, we all cry... the whole family men and women alike. Jewelry for us carries the stories of our family and the tradition of passing it to the next generation with the stories of the people it came from is deep in my roots.
With permission from both of them, I will share my Mother's letter to Stacia today below. Mom says it so much better than I ever could. It is my deepest hope that the jewelry I make today will carry your stories and the memories created around them as they travel through your family.
What is Their Skin Tone?
Jewelry is an accessory that's worn directly on the skin, and often it's the first thing people notice about your outfit. So it's important to consider how the colors compliment your loved one's skin tone. Is your loved one's skin tone cool or warm?
Feel free to click on each gemstone to see our jewelry collection best suited for that skin tone!
What color clothing do they wear?
Let's say your loved one wears TEAL almost every day.
You can choose Lapis or Amazonite or other blue/teal colored jewelry for a more subtle look that matched with their favorite color. OR pick a complimentary gem like coral or rhodochrosite to make a bold statement that will POP!
If you want the jewelry to stand out then pick a color OPPOSITE what they normally wear on the color wheel.
This keeps the style fresher and allows the jewelry to take center stage! Using this technique, you avoid picking something that will clash with most of their wardrobe or feel out of place with their style.
On the flip side, everyone looks FANTASTIC in a clean white top or black top with colored gemstones as a pop of color!
I design with a full range of colored gemstones, so you are bound to find a piece that fits nicely with your loved one's personal style. Click Shop by Gemstone to explore.
Do they like delicate or statement jewelry?
Pay attention to the kind of jewelry they already wear! You'll probably get a sense if they gravitate towards big, bold statement pieces or small, delicate, elegant pieces.
And honestly, if you get this right, they'll probably love what you choose!
And if they don't wear much jewelry at all I would pick something light and delicate. They'll probably gravitate towards comfort over all else!
How would you describe their personality or the reason for the gift?
Now, the personality or reason for the gift will also affect what you choose. It's great to speak directly to the designer to get recommendations since we tend to answer these questions a lot!
Here are some common answers I give for gift suggestions:
I hope these tips will help you pick the perfect piece of jewelry for your loved one. BUT if you need a little extra help or want me to walk you through our collections, please feel free to reach out! I always respond within 24 hours!
DO YOU NEED HELP PICKING THE PERFECT PRESENT FOR YOUR OCCASION?
CONTACT US FOR ASSISTANCE
I love helping customers pick out the perfect gift so please don't hesitate to ask!
Mi casa es su casa!
I hope you feel welcome & find your perfect present at Jewel of Havana.
Let’s get started!
It's my favorite time of year! The last spring festival is complete, the Mother's Day gifts are open and being enjoyed and I head to New York City for what I like to call a "worcation". I love what I do and finding new beautiful stones to bring back to you is my own personal Disneyland.
I realized I've never shared with you what this looks like and this trip was a little bittersweet. Many of the huge warehouses I used to get lost in for days have either closed or moved out of New York. The rents are too high and there is so much competition in the gemstone district.
The other discovery is the disappearance of "shapes". I've noticed for a while suppliers at gem and mineral shows in our area weren't bringing those large coin and oval cuts that make my favorite statement necklaces. I thought for sure I would find them in New York but I walked every single warehouse and large shapes are not to be found. I got the last hank (group of strands) of large Lapis Lazuli ovals in any warehouse I visited in NYC (and I went to them all). I was told it is more economical for the stone cutters to cut round so the shapes are not available any more. If you are on the VIP list, you'll get first chance at these last lapis statement necklaces coming soon. Watch your email in the next few weeks!
New Stones Coming Soon
What I'm working on this month from the NYC trip: beautiful new turquoise pieces with color that took my breath away when I saw them, natural blue coral, the last of the Lapis Lazuli statement necklaces, the return of many sold out layering necklaces and a few new designs I have in mind to add to the collection.
If you haven't already, make sure to join our VIP list to be the first to have access to the limited edition pieces coming out over the next few weeks. VIPs always get first looks before they go out to the general public. You also get complimentary shipping codes for you to enjoy every month anywhere in the U.S. It's great for your out of town gift shipping too!
If you are in the Baton Rouge area, come get a sneak peek at the Baton Rouge Arts Market this weekend! Back to work for me so I can bring you these beautiful stones ready to wear! It's Happy Time in the Studio this month!! xoxo Ana
It's only fitting to end this Mother's Day tribute series with my Mom! She is the reason I have a jewelry business in the first place and if you didn't know this already, Jewel of Havana is named after her! (She's from Havana, Cuba) I could write a book about my awesome Mom but I'll try to keep it short...
Zoila and Ana
On this Mother's Day, I would like to say:
Thanks Mom for driving me to every dance lesson, voice lesson, Girl Scouts, play practice, softball practice, and every other thing I ever dreamed of doing. (times 4 kids) For teaching me the importance of family first and that our friends are our family too. For always treating our friends like they were your children regardless of who they were or where they came from. For every after school art project you prepared for us. For showing me that no matter what life throws my way, I can handle it, because you did. For showing me all the ways I could be an artist and entrepreneur. For never saying I couldn't do it even when I knew you were scared for me. For giving us all a strong, fun, crazy family who knows how lucky we are to be American. For showing me that you are never too old to zipline! For showing me to always look for the solution instead of dwelling on the problem. And that there is absolutely nothing we can't do if we put our minds to it. Everything is possible because of you! I love you, Mom!! xoxo Ana
Happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful Moms, Grandmothers, Stepmothers, Adopted Mothers, Foster Mothers and all strong women out there who nurture us and teach us how to be the best we can be!
Ana Maria Andricain
Ana is a metal clay certified artist creating handcrafted nature inspired artisan jewelry from her Baton Rouge studio. If you love natural gemstones and metal, welcome home!