So, full disclosure. I first met Christina Scott as a mom. Her son was in my daughter’s preschool class. But that said, she was that mom that I noticed. I loved her style. I loved her look. I wanted to know more about who she was and her story. And it turns out, she used to be a stylist in NYC and started a gorgeous jewelry collection that has the same great taste she does.
So, as you learned from my last post, I love handcrafted jewelry. So I especially LOVED visiting with my good friend, Christina, and learning about Grá Designs, her jewelry line.
While her jewelry is beautiful – and I’ll totally be speaking to that – there is also a lot of meaning behind her work. First off, in Celtic, Grá means ‘love’ or ‘beloved’ in Gaelic, and expresses a meaningful connection with others. And her designs use materials, colors, symbols… all which represent themes and ideas that are important to Christina. And I think you feel that when you are wearing a piece of hers.
In her words… “I feel deeply connected to the tribal use of jewelry, not only to adorn oneself, but to communicate messages of tribal affiliation, communal celebrations and personal rites of passage. My son, husband and I always wear the red silk ‘My Tribe..” bracelet. It makes me feel connected to them when we are apart. If you are like me, you believe meaning is found in the smallest details of our lives – and the jewelry we choose to wear reflects that.”
The most obvious example of this message is in the above-mentioned bracelets. See the pic below. The ‘My Tribe’ started as a thing for her family, her tribe, and grew organically. She described a tribe as people you vibe with, that become your family. As Christina is originally from Ireland, then lived in Harlem for years, and recently moved out to NJ with her family, this idea is super significant. We talked about the ideas behind ihatenj and discussed how home can be an elusive thing. And how, when you are immigrant and your family is very small, finding your people can feel extra important. The ‘Surrender’ bracelet originated as a physical reminder for herself – to surrender to the universe, something we all forget to do 100 times a day. I love that.
And then I got to see the new collection. The Sanctuary Collection. I mean, it’s so so good. In discussing the new collection with Christina – which is just beyond beautiful – she described the intention and meaning of these pieces. The theme of shelter, of feeling safe, is found allover. And for her, it started with color, specifically the peachy-pink found in this collection, as she believes colors have “vibrations and resonance”. I totally believe that as well. All the colors in her new pieces are soft and soothing, and the materials continue to inform her work. Laboridite, a grey stone, is a powerful stone of protection. Peach moonstone is about a connection to the divine parts of ourselves and others.
Symbols are also important in this new collection. Spirals, which are featured on brass necklaces, have a lot of different meanings in different cultures. Specifically, in Celtic, it is the cycle of life and the phases we go in and out of. And, once again, also about seeking sanctuary and protection. See them below (the spiral necklaces on the left).
Grá Designs also has these great semi-circles – once again, speaking to the phases of life and protection. Other necklaces in the new collection feature Our lady of Guadalupe, as Christina felt connected to the symbolism behind this Catholic figure – the rays of sun around her and about how light always overcomes darkness and makes one feel safe and also powerful. See pic below. Gorgeous.
And…. then there’s the Grá Permanent Collection. Inspired by the skies. Christina describes growing up in rural Ireland, where the skies are so dark and the stars feel so close. And now, as someone who lives in another country and is a traveler – how the stars and moon are a universal guide. Magic.
During this studio visit, as friends do, we got to speaking about life and the world and meaning. And I got to learn more about Christina’s life and what inspired her work.
Christina has always been fascinated by different cultures, and how beading has different meanings. Beading has also been a way for women to have an income of their own and carries cultural and/or status significance in many places. This has also been true for Christina, in that she has recreated her life after having a child, changed what she has done for a living, giving her a greater sense of independence in the process. I can 100% relate to this.
Christina described herself as always a bit obsessed with jewelry. That when she used to style, she was always most interested in how accessories can change an outfit and personalize it. And the history and importance jewelry and craft can have. Christina recently found out her grandfather was a weaver. This made sense to her, how she was always obsessed with textiles and doing things with her hands. It’s almost like a spiritual practice to her, therapeutic.
I love Christina’s work. She has great style and depth – and it comes out in her jewelry. Also, all the pieces can be layered and mixed and matched. They are delicate and spiritual and contain feeling.
Here are some more pics from my visit.
And I’m totally going to steal her sendoff.
Le grá (with love), Lauren xx
Grá Designs. www.gradesignsny.com Instagram – @gradesignsny