Emily Dickinson wrote:
“Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words And never stops at all.”
Right now hope feels like a parody. It’s mocking us. As the natural world is awash with springtime blooms and their implicit hopeful promises, we virus-threatened humans are suffering, feeling lonely and struggling with every manner of new-found difficulty.
Like you, we’re having a hard time. Our retail stores in St. Francisville and New Orleans are temporarily closed and our wholesale business is at a standstill. We’re endeavoring to stay in touch with our community and customers and trying to keep our staff safe while preserving our business. Scary times indeed.
It's hard to feel hopeful right now. So we posted Emily’s words here to remind us (and you) that if we safeguard hope in our soul it always endures.
Fred Rogers famously said that his mother would tell him to "always look for the helpers" when a catastrophe occurs. "Because if you look for the helpers, you'll know there's hope."
So we’re also finding hope by celebrating helpers. We’re giving extra-big smiles and tips to people working on the front lines in grocery stores, pharmacies, and food delivery services. We’re checking in on our neighbors. We want to do what is best for everyone in this unprecedented time.
We pondered whether or not to suspend our business operations because we make jewelry which for sure is classified as a non-essential item during a virus. However, people depend on our business for their livelihood. We’re the economic lifeblood of our tiny town and we want to pass on our legacy to our daughter Anna. In short, we want to survive this.
So we decided to lean into it, and dig deeper. We launched a brand new beautiful web store this week and will continue to sell online. Check it out here. We welcome your feedback.
We’re also creating a limited-edition line that feels especially meaningful for this time. When we were contemplating hope this week, a symbol that kept percolating to the top of our minds was butterflies. Butterflies start off as a larva, isolate themselves in a cocoon and then, when the time is right, emerge in a new and beautiful form. We think there are few symbols of hope that are more apt in this time.
We’ve collected rare butterfly buttons for a long time and unknowingly saved them for a moment just like this. Our designers, who are a small group of women who’ve created jewelry together for decades, worked in isolation, in our strangely quiet studio to create these very special limited-edition pieces. They put love, care and comfort into each one.
We hope that one of our butterflies becomes a talisman of hope and resilience for you or for a loved one working on the front lines, or struggling with isolation or illness.
We have hope that we humans will emerge from our cocoons of self-quarantine more beautiful, more peaceful. We hope the time we spend away from the hurly-burly of crowded modern life leads us to deeper understandings of ourselves, our humanity, and our environment.
Our hope endures.
We wrote this quote to accompany our butterfly jewels and will include it on an illustrated card with each piece we sell, “Have hope, dear hearts. It is from the isolation of the cocoon that the butterfly emerges.”
We’re also happy to add a personal note from you and ship pieces wherever you want them to go.
Please stay well and hopeful.
Susan, Donny, Anna