giveaway! charmed jewelry design (sponsor spotlight)

I’m excited to announce the first official IAYB sponsor: Charmed Jewelry Design! You’ll see the Charmed button ad on the right sidebar, and in this introductory post and giveaway, you can learn a little more about the inspiring woman behind the company. Lori, the designer and business-mind behind Charmed, transformed a personal health challenge into an opportunity to find her calling. Read her story below.

And if you’d like to enter a draw to win a beautiful Charmed wrap bracelet, answer the following skill-testing question in the comments section:  How has your life been charmed? Enter before 11am EST on Friday, January 20, 2012 and I’ll draw one lucky name. Bonne chance!

Tell us about your relationship with jewelry – how long have you been making it, how did you learn how to do it?

I have been creating jewelry for two years now and have been selling it for almost a year and a half. I am self-taught. I’ve always been creative and drawn to art and design – I’ve learned how to refinish antique furniture, create tile mosaics and do graphic design along the way to creating jewelry. When a friend of mine received a wrap bracelet from Israel for her birthday, I fell in love, but couldn’t find anything like it. So I decided to try and create something similar for myself while I was very ill and needed something positive to focus on.

Where do you find the materials (the silk, Japanese fabrics and leather, as well as the charms) for your bracelets?

My materials are sourced all over the world. I spend hours online researching new charms or fabrics to use. My Japanese chirimen cords are imported directly from a fabric maker in Japan. My silks come from several vendors, all in the US. Each ribbon is cut, stitched and dyed by hand. On a recent trip I discovered some beautiful pieces on a tiny street in Istanbul. They were so popular that I plan on traveling solely to discover materials unique to the region.

How do these creations reflect your love for life?

My love for life is all about awareness and gratitude that I am, indeed, alive. That is the energy I try and put into each piece of jewelry I create. I use traditional spiritual symbols and meaningful stones. My jewelry is not only meant to make the wearer feel beautiful but also to become aware of the blessings in their lives. A bracelet that has an amethyst that symbolizes love, for instance, can evoke an awareness of the love we have and long for in our life.

According to your bio, you started making jewelry while you were “recovering from a sudden and life threatening illness.” How did you rebuild yourself after such a loss? Why do you feel charmed?

My brush with death occurred in the summer of 2009.  I had a routine tooth extraction and the next thing that I remember is waking up in the intensive care unit on life support and all sorts of tubes and wires hooked up to my body. I was so ill that I don’t remember what happened after the extraction, but apparently I became delirious and stopped making sense.  At the same time, my face began to swell until the point where the swelling was cutting off my breathing. I was rushed to the emergency room where in the course of the next few days they performed several surgeries to try and save my life. I was unconscious and in a coma for several days and according to my family, there was a time when they and the surgeons were not at all sure I would make it through.

In the midst of this, I somehow could feel that I might die. Even though unconscious, at one point, I could feel myself drifting further and further away.  But, there was another energy present. I could feel the power of those praying for me and I truly believe that saved my life.

For the next year and a half, I experienced a mysterious chronic infection that resulted in additional surgeries. I lost part of my jaw, several teeth, and now have partial numbness near my mouth. As a type of therapy to stay positive and constructive during my illness, I began to design and create my first bracelets. It was during this time that I truly learned my craft.

They eventually discovered the source of the chronic infection and, after long term treatment, I am on the road to complete health.

Out of tragedy has come a huge blessing. I discovered my calling and am now living my dream.  I sell online as well as in boutiques and galleries across the US. Charmed was even chosen to be included as part of the gift bags given to celebrities at the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards this year.

This experience is why I feel that I am ‘charmed’.  Not only did I survive a life threatening illness but also am blessed to have a blossoming business that I am passionate about. And on top of all this, I get to share my passion and love for life with everyone who wears a Charmed Design piece.

  1. Love Charmed Design! :0)

  2. Thanks so much for the awesome feature!

  3. My life has been charmed by the people who are currently in my life. I love her creations!

  4. My life has been charmed by my family. They help me make decisions and get through things. I wouldn’t be here without them!

  5. I have been charmed by Lori of Charmed Design! During a rough period in my life, her story inspired me to keep going with my graphic design business, as it would be a way for me to “live my dream”.

    I absolutely love Lori’s work and would be delighted to win one of her items. It would be a very treasured possession. ♥ ♥ ♥

  6. My life is completely charmed. I try to be thankful every day for my amazing beau; for my incredible friends, scattered though they may be across the country; for my perfect family. I could ask for nothing more!

  7. my life has been charmed by this amazing little creature snoozing in my arms right now…my little boy who will turn one at month’s end 🙂

  8. My life has been charmed with lovely friends that keep me going on, even now, that things have become so hard in my country, Greece
    Best to all,

  9. What an amazing story.

  10. My life is charmed because every day is a new possibility for strange, wonderous, and inexplicable things to happen…and they often do!

  11. I must be charmed….I too have come so close to death and yet here I am…..Life is Grand
    LOVE Charmed Design, thanks to both of you!!

  12. My life has been charmed since day 1. I’m 22 years old and I have so much to give to this world and it’s people. I try my best to treat every man and woman as I would treat my parents, every child as I would treat my own, and treat all my peers as if they were my brother or sister. My life is charmed because no matter how much I can become discouraged and feel hopeless, I have someone there to lean on, whether it is a family member or a friend. I live to love, and I love to give. Wearing a piece of your gorgeous jewelry would be a daily reminder that love conquers all. 🙂

  13. I have been charmed in so many ways, but first and always by the birth of my children 29 and 30 years ago. I was told I would never have children, and naturally without any help, I was blessed with a girl and then a boy. Two years ago I was charmed again with a beautiful granddaughter from my son. My children are my good luck charms in life and keep me grounded, while living my dreams. My favorite saying always is: “Dream as if you’ll live forever; Live as if you’ll die tomorrow” and I do. ~ Your jewelry is very unique, soothing and beautiful.

  14. My life has been charmed by yoga! Yoga is what reminds me that I am blessed and connected to those around me. As long as I remember that, I am charmed by everyone and everything 🙂

  15. My life has been charmed by the special people around me 🙂

  16. My life has been charmed by my daughter. With so many things going on in life these days and so many struggles, she is what keeps me motivated and going.

  17. My life was charmed after the loss of my 1st child, I miscarried at 4 month just a week before finding out the sex, and I am now blessed with 2 gorgeous sons and a beautiful baby girl all healthy and they make my life

  18. My life has been charmed by my children. My newborn daughter has renewed my feeling of self-worth and has made me feel loved again.

  19. I have been charmed and blessed to have my family intact for so long. I know tragedy can strike at any time, I am grateful that I have been able to cherish my family time. Sometimes silly things cloud my mind, I have to tell myself to let it go and remember that life is short.

  20. Your story is amazing. My life is charmed by my daughter and my loving husband. My daughter is a ray of sunshine. She is the reason I get up every day.

  21. Thanks for the amazing giveaway! My life has been charmed in many ways: I have such a caring and loving family, and friends that are ready to help me anytime. I may not have things that I wish for but I have everything that I need.

  22. My life has been charmed by yoga! It reminds me everyday of who I am and what`s really important in life.

  23. My life has been charmed the amazing people along the way who have helped me to become a better person.