The Play Collection

If you've been following me on Instagram lately, you'll probably remember seeing some different jewelry pieces popping up now and then. This past Christmas, I was blessed with a very sweet gift. My brother-in-law's mother had been collecting various stones for years, and after learning that I make jewelry, asked if I would be interested in having them. Talk about a wonderful family-am I right?! I can't even begin to thank her enough for her generosity. 

The Story Behind the Stones
One of my personal and professional goals going into 2015 was to challenge myself, either through learning a new skill, mastering an existing one, or just trying something I've never done before. Now, I learned how to set stones while I was in school in New York, but it's never been something I'm truly comfortable with. I was taught the very basics in school, and as I've been told time and time again, practice makes perfect. Well, because I wasn't super stellar at it in school, I never wanted to practice so, I didn't. But, with my new goal in mind for 2015, I knew this gift was the perfect opportunity to challenge myself with stone setting. The coolest part about these stones (there were 3 boxes of them) is that they were from all over the place. There were huge heavy stones that I couldn't possibly use for jewelry design, but that are looking uber fab on my coffee table right now. There were teensy little soft stones that fell apart when I picked them up (time will do that...). There were stones without labels, and there were stones with detailed labels giving the name, approximate date found/purchased, and origin of the stone. Every stone gave a story, and I chose just a select few of my favorites for this collection. 

The Story Behind the Name
The name of the collection was inspired by a dear friend's advice. Back in April, I was visiting with one of my friends down in Florida, Christie, an amazing leather designer. (If you haven't heard of Coastal Road, check it out now and thank me later!) I love meeting and collaborating with other designers wherever I am. There's such a creative energy that happens when two artistic brains come together. Well, I had given myself this time in Florida to really reflect on where I wanted my business to go, what kind of brand I wanted to build, and how all of that could come together in a   cohesive way. I've only been doing this for a little over a year so, man, have I got a lot to learn! Well, of course, I'm bringing all these thoughts, troubles, confusions to one of my best creative friends, Christie. Her advice to me was to "play." Play with your materials, play with your designs, play with the way the jewelry falls and how the patterns look together. Just PLAY. So, I took those stones and did exactly that. I played with making bezels and prongs in all different materials. I played with the different stones (some of them literally fell apart as I was setting them but, hey, what're you gunna do?). It's been a lot of fun, to be honest. Crazy challenging, frustrating, exciting, terrifying, all.the.feelings, but at the end of the day, liberating and very empowering. There were definitely some pieces that are not fit for social media, but for my elementary knowledge of stones and stone setting, I am quite proud of what I've accomplished in the Play Collection. And hopefully, I've built up this little baby collection enough that you'll be excited by the results, as well!

How to Purchase
After all this chatter, I'm thinking you're probably wondering, "Alright, cool. But how the heck do I get my hands on one (or a few) of these super limited, one-of-a-kind, never to be made again pieces?" And here's where the fun part begins. Instead of just listing these babies on my website and letting them sit there, I've decided to go straight to my most active outlet: Instagram. I see people do "yard sales" and "closet cleanest" all the dang time, so why not launch and actually SELL an entirely new collection on that platform? Also, I figured this was a great thing to check off my bucket list before my 25th birthday (insert monkey covering eyes emoji): launch an entire collection of stone-centric jewelry pieces that I actually set myself.

Starting Monday morning at 8AM, I'm going to put up an image of the very first piece for sale. I'll include a description of the piece: the type of stone (if it's known), the material of the metal, the price (shipping included), and any other story I want to share with you. If you're in love and want to make it yours, all you'll need to do is comment with your email address and something like "I'll take it!" I'll send you an invoice to the given email address. You'll have 24 hours to pay your invoice, and once it's paid, I'll pop it in the mail to you. Each item in the Play Collection comes wrapped in a beautiful handmade keepsake pine box (bonus ;)! Since there's ONLY TEN pieces in the entire collection, we'll launch 2 pieces a day. One at 8AM and one at 12PM. We're only posting one picture of each item so there's no confusion on who claimed it first. Be the first to comment on the picture of the piece you want, and it's yours. Alright, so these pieces will stay up for sale exclusively on Instagram for two weeks. If they're not sold via Instagram by August 31 (my birthday :)!), I'll list them on my website. These guys are one of a kind. They'll never be made again. They are some of my most favorite work I've ever done. Get 'em on Instagram, my people. 

I'm going to go ahead and tell you right now that these pieces are launching in no particular order. They're not in high-low or low-high price order; they're not in "favorites" order. They're being launched at complete random. Yall, there are ONLY TEN items in this collection. Every piece has some kind of stone and was put together by these two hands. Okay, that's all I'm saying about the collection--you'll have to stay tuned on Instagram to find out more!

Mary Fran