all photos by Amy Patrice Photography
A few months before Nell was born C and I started talking about a “push present.” They are so popular now and although we went back and forth for a bit, we both agreed after a tough pregnancy that it’d be nice for me to have something special to commemorate becoming of a family of three. At first I went right to the idea of another diamond band to add to my wedding stack - I wear my band every day but I like to rotate a few other special pieces and thought it was an easy choice. I sent Chris several links, clued in my friends that I knew he’d ask, and was thisclose to finalizing a nice rose gold and diamond infinity band… but for some reason I just couldn’t commit. C actually started to get a bit annoyed with me but something about it just didn’t feel right.
If you’ve been hanging around here for a bit, you know that I like to own fewer, better things that I genuinely love and have curated a decent wardrobe of pieces that are both classic and timeless but also very “me.” Something about a stacker band just didn’t feel unique and felt like a lot of money for something that wasn’t sitting right. C and I also talk a lot about prioritizing our marriage and I guess I was feeling like my ring finger was kind of “sacred” between him and I.
We had also discussed the thought that I wanted to be mindful now of what fine jewelry we invest in as I’d like to start focusing on pieces that I can enjoy now but can pass along to my family in the future. C and I are both REALLY big on traditions and jewelry has always felt like a good fit for my approach to minimalism as a way to collect meaningful momentos that bring joy both short and long term, knowing I can gift them to my children.
With all of this in mind, I told C to hold off on a push present until I figured out what might feel special for me, now, and Nell, later in life. I loved the idea of something that I could give to her on her 16th birthday. When I turned 16, I went to Boston with my mom and very carefully chose my first Louis Vuitton bag at their fancy store in Copley Plaza. I’d been saving my money from my first job and my mom met me in the middle with the other half. It’s a tiny little clutch that’s now tattered and stained but it’s an incredibly special memory for me and I will keep it forever.
Timing wise, we started talking about it around Thanksgiving - and on Cyber Monday, an instagram friend of mine chose to share her favorite small brands + businesses vs. the obnoxious sales everyone else was oversharing (brilliant idea BTW!) and she posted about Yearly Company. I clicked through to their instagram profile and immediately fell in love with the owner, Ann, and her story:
“Almost 60 years ago my grandfather, Stewart Simonson gave my grandmother, Mary Jane, a simple gold bangle to commemorate their wedding anniversary and a meaningful family tradition was created. After her passing, Stewart gifted Mary Jane's bracelets to her five children for each of them to continue the custom in their own marriages. And the tradition was embraced by the next generation of Simonsons.”
How amazing is that?! While pregnant with her second child, Ann decided to formalize her family’s tradition and took a metalsmithing class at Vanderbilt, her Alma Mater. She now makes every single bangle from scratch in her home studio in Nashville and her business has grown to building life stacks for all kinds of special occasions.
The concept in general was so exactly what I was searching for it almost felt serendipitous. I emailed Ann immediately and asked about possibly working together. As you all know, I have a passion for women-owned businesses and sustainability and absolutely loved the idea of such a simple and beautiful approach to building an heirloom collection with so much meaning. We worked together to decide that The Monogram was the perfect push present. Mine is hand-engraved (by a man in Tennessee named Rodney that only does business in-person and over the phone… I’m telling you, the depth of authenticity behind this brand makes my heart swell! Follow them on instagram for all of these fun details - I love how Ann tells stories there!) with Nell’s initials. I will enjoy wearing it with all of my heart until she turns 16, when I will enjoy giving it to her just as much.
Ann also generously sent me a Heavyweight Twist to commemorate C and I’s wedding day, and I ordered three original bangles to signify each year of marriage and complete my life stack to date. The only time I’ve taken off my stack is to take the photos above. It’s already become part of me and is by far the most special jewelry I own aside from my wedding rings. I messaged Ann a few nights after my bracelets arrived that Nell’s tiny fingers hold them tight while I feed her at night - she told me that to this day the sound of these bangles softly clinking together reminds her of her mother.
It’s not often that I find a brand I so personally connect with and I look forward watching my bangles age with me and become something special I share with my own family. C’s already got his eye on The Double Weight for our five-year and of course, The Decade for ten :) Even better, he signed up for their subscription service so Yearly Co. has my sizing info and anniversary date on file; he pays a small amount each month, and a bangle magically arrives on time each year. He loves the idea of buying something meaningful that we can pass on to our children - and how easy it is for him ;)
How it works:
1) I highly recommend ordering a sizing kit to make sure you get the perfect fit. They should be snug but comfortable and the kit ensures you get the right size while walking you through the implications of various wire weights on size, etc. (for example, I went up .25 in my twist and monogram bangles as 14k gold isn’t as forgiving at that thickness).
2) Select your size, fill out the enclosed info card with your anniversary date, etc (this make subscription signup essentially painless in the future, too!) and return to Yearly Co. in the pre-stamped envelope along with the sizers.
3) Go online and start your stack! You can always email them along the way, too especially if you’re celebrating something special (like a push present!) and need some guidance (for example, we decided on a mix of block and script style fonts for Nell’s monogram).
Ann has kindly offered 10% off with code: LONGHALL10 through 11/13. She can also guarantee holiday delivery on orders placed by then (including custom engraving). I can’t think of a better holiday/birthday/mother’s day/push present and as always, encourage shopping small and supporting sustainable businesses with purpose.
Did you get a push present? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments!