Hope: A Dedication to my Grandmother

Precious relics given to me by my Grandmother over the years. Her Kodak camera she took all of her family photos on when my Mother was growing up, a mother of pearl compact, an amethyst cluster, some vintage baubles including her beaded shoe clips, and my favorite – an antique perfume bottle that my Grandfather gave to her when they were young.

When I graduated high school 13 years ago, my Grandmother on my Mother’s side gave me a small sum of money as a graduation gift. I put the check in my savings account, not really sure to do with it. Two years later I started getting serious about designing jewelry, and so I decided to use the money she gave me to start my business. I registered my business name, created a website, ordered gift boxes, raw materials and tools. Ten years later I’m here, in Rhode Island, in my own factory in East Greenwich. What started as me beading at the dining room table has bloomed into a full fledged business, I’ve come a long way.

Two weeks ago, my Grandmother passed away unexpectedly. She was a huge part of both my childhood and adult life. As I’ve grown my business, she’s been my biggest supporter, tracking down every magazine my jewelry has been featured in and showing them to everyone she could.

The other night while sitting at home I picked up a book I hadn’t thought about in months. As I opened the cover, this small card from my Grandmother (pictured above) fell out and landed in my lap. I had tucked it inside the book nonchalantly about a year ago, and had completely forgotten about its existence. Inside the card was this message, “Of all forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope. With hope, one can dream. If you have hope, you have everything.” 

My Grandmother had a thing for Hope. She gave my Mother “Hope” as her middle name. In turn, when I was born, my Mother gave me the middle name Hope as well.

An ironic, yet wonderful synchronicity occurred when I moved to Rhode Island to be a part of the jewelry industry here. I discovered that the word “Hope” flies on the state flag as the official motto of the state. Maybe it’s coincidence, maybe it’s destiny. Either way, I choose to take it as a sign that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.

In loving memory of Mary Janice Wilder
April 4, 1934 – July 5, 2015

With love,


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