A message from Beth Macri as told to Emma Sarran Webster.
Every June, people around the world burst with Pride—with a capital “P.” In fact, Pride Month, which occurs every June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion in New York City, seems to become bigger with each passing year. There are parades, rallies, and all sorts of events held in cities across the globe—but people also celebrate on a smaller scale, adorning their homes and social media profiles with rainbow flags, donning clothes and jewelry with meaning, and so much more. I’m no different—I relish the chance to support and celebrate the LGBTQA community; and this year, I did so by designing two pieces of meaningful jewelry. The RAINBOW HEART and PRIDE Necklace were released just in time for Pride Month 2018.
As amazing as celebrating Pride in June is, support shouldn’t be limited to just one month. National Coming Out Day on October 11 serves as a reminder that supporting the LGBTQA community and showing Pride can be done year-round.
After years of creating pendants in metal with no stones, we developed a few styles that could accommodate gemstones or diamonds. We started with three symbols that I’ve always loved: the AMPERSAND, the letter “I,” and the HEART (the latter of which is our best-selling charm). We carefully selected the gemstones (garnet, amethyst, aquamarine, emerald, moonstone, ruby, peridot, blue sapphire, citrine, pink tourmaline, blue topaz, and white and black diamonds) and launched a range of Birthstone HEART Pendants. While all of those pendants, with their monochromatic gemstones, were (and still are!) meaningful in their own way; when I looked at so many colorful gemstones together, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to celebrate a cause I care so deeply about: LGBTQA advocacy. I realized we could incorporate garnet, citrine, yellow sapphire, emerald, blue sapphire, amethyst, and white diamond into our pendants to replicate the LGBTQA flag in a beautiful and meaningful way. We created a test sample with our jeweler, fell in love, and the rest is history.
Of course, I recognize that while some people love the simple, single charm look; others prefer making a bit more of a statement with the Hidden Message Necklaces—so I decided to create both for our Pride collection. The RAINBOW HEART is sold as a single pendant necklace, while the PRIDE Necklace features a rainbow letter “I” together with plain sterling silver letters, “P,” “R,” “D,” and “E” to spell PRIDE. These two items can only be purchased as-is from the site; but if you want to customize your own necklace (can’t say I blame you!) and incorporate either Rainbow Pendant in a different way, just shoot us an email and we’ll be happy to help.
Designing the rainbow jewelry was really just step one in our celebration of the LGBTQA community. Step two involved establishing an ongoing partnership with an organization that truly gives back to the people we’re celebrating. I’m a former engineer and my co-founder, Jason, is a former software developer; so we were both drawn to oSTEM, an organization that educates and fosters leadership for LGBTQA communities in the STEM fields. It was an easy decision to donate 20 percent of the proceeds of every Pride piece to oSTEM, and we will continue to do so as long as these pieces are offered.
Designing sentimental jewelry has always been one of my favorite parts about what I do. I love that I can take some of my own personal feelings and inspiration, infuse them into a necklace or ring, and share them with the world. There’s nothing quite like seeing my customers connect with the meaning behind these pieces and make them their own. That’s certainly the case with the Pride pieces—and not just during Pride Month. After all, while it’s incredible to see the world come together every June, that doesn’t mean we can’t let our rainbows shine bright every month of the year.