This is the question I asked myself over and over again when I was designing Promise Me. I knew I wanted to design an all leather bracelet and I knew that “promise me” was a great name for a bracelet of bound leather. I also knew that whatever I created, I wanted cast in metal. Some kind of solid bracelet would help represent the tie that binds, but the big question was what would it look like?
For those of you who know my story, you know I am not a fashion or jewelry designer by trade. I was an elementary and ESL teacher for over a decade when I made my first bracelet ever. I bought some leather and a couple charms and played around with how I wanted to attach them before I gave them to some important people in my life. With every ounce of my being, I believed that these people held me together during some of the roughest points in my life and were my cheering section when something went well.
I’ve always loved jewelry and fashion and clothes and accessories and shopping. I am your quintessential “girl.” That doesn’t mean that I don’t like to get dirty and workout, but I enjoy being a girl (cue music). When I finally embraced that I owned a jewelry company and this was what I did for a living, my creative juices went wild. I built up the confidence I needed to say yes to what I liked, no to what I didn’t, and trusted my instincts against all else. When the time came to design Promise Me, I had everything I needed: the name, the materials, the words, I just had no idea about the design. I grabbed two pieces of leather I had on my “Teah is working on her designs” shelf and sat down.
And that is what I did. I sat and stared. I tied it, glued it, put clasps on it and tried some basic knots, but nothing hit home. I was about to scrap the whole idea and headed to the kitchen to start dinner (at the time, my office was in our spare bedroom) when I ran into Tim coming out of his office. He gave me a hug and told me it would come to me. I looked over his shoulder at his clock on our wall. He had received the most hideous clock for Christmas that year from his father as a joke. It was in the shape of a ship’s hull with a glass door. It had all sorts of sailor’s baubles all over it and every hour had a sailor’s knot instead of a number, but Tim just had to hang it on our wall. I scowled at it every time I walked into the kitchen, and then…
BINGO! There in the Number 10 spot was the perfect sailor’s knot. Why had I not thought of that? I literally jumped up and down, ran to my desk and figured out how to tie the knot. A quick Google search led me to its name:
“The reef knot or square knot is an ancient and simple binding knot used to secure a rope or line around an object. The reef knot is at least between 4,000 and 9,000 years old. The name “reef knot” dates from at least 1794 and originates from its common use to reef sails, that is to tie part of the sail down to decrease its effective surface area in strong winds.”
With a little further effort and the amazing skills of our metal workers, we were able to produce Promise Me. Right now we offer the metal version in sterling silver and brass, but will be launching a total of 4 metal versions and a leather version in the upcoming weeks. I am attached to all pieces I design and would not release anything I wouldn’t wear myself, but this bracelet holds a very special place in my heart.
“The Promise Me bracelet lets your loved one know that your paths will forever be entwined. The knot symbolizes a binding that things will not fall apart. Your loved one will always be there for you and you for them; now part of each other’s journey. Wear the knot to let someone know of your promise.”