In March 2002, following a short battle with brain cancer, I lost my father, Michael. The loss of my father is something I will never get over, just slowly get used to over time.

My heartbreak would only increase as life’s milestones popped up. Those moments he wouldn’t be a part of were the ones that hurt the most. Three years after he died, my sister was engaged to be married and I wanted our father to be part of the wedding, not just a memory. I created an anklet with a locket and tucked his photos inside so he could walk her down the aisle.

I wore the anklet on my own wedding day and soon began making them for other friends and family. My heartbreak abated with each locket I created for others. But the idea of carrying him with me in some way remained. With You took shape in such an organic way that I didn’t even realize that by finding my way through my grief, I’d found a new direction with my life. The one that would move beyond anklets and weddings as the concept for With You was born. My lockets are filled now with not only my father but my husband, my daughter, my friends – even my dogs and cats. Those I hold dear to my heart and who remind me daily how very lucky we all are to be surrounded by unconditional love.

We all have people who have shaped our lives, who inspire us, who give us courage and share our joy— who walk through life with us, whether they are by our sides or in our hearts. My hope is that you find your locket and hold your stories inside it.

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