Tag Archives: jewelry

John Hardy + Earth Day

I‘ve been thinking about Earth Day coming up tomorrow and how much more conscious we are of the globe now thanks to air travel, digital technology and the speed of communication. When I think about the Earth, certain words or earthly elements pop into my mind: Water, Plants, Animals, Wind, Earth, Sound, Gravity, Light, and Humanity. I wanted to put these earthly words into a visual photographic story while also telling the story of one of the most “GREEN” luxury brands and conscious companies out there.

John Hardy, the sustainable luxury jewelry brand based in Bali, thinks about their approach and place in the world in a 360-degree way. For example, all the silver jewelry is made from reclaimed silver which can come from a variety of places, such as old jewelry, computers and refrigerators! They believe they can produce a luxury product that is in harmony with our environment; instead of pulling more out of the earth and continuing to strip our natural resources, they want to use what is already out there.

In Bali, the jewelry is handmade by local jewelry artisans, who have centuries of passed-down knowledge and expertise in craftsmanship. The company knows how important these people are and goes to great lengths to take care of them, providing organic meals for their artisans and a single mother initiative that allows women to work from home in order to care for their child. Together the designers and artisans collaborate to make what ultimately is the distinct look of John Hardy.

When I was interviewing them at their New York City offices about the company philosophy, the passion simply poured out of the team. The pieces I ended up shooting below are all from the Bamboo Collection - this is significant to point out, as these pieces are part of an initiative. For every piece purchased from this collection, one or more bamboo trees are planted with help for forest management and water preservation. This year to date, John Hardy has planted 900,000 bamboo seedlings, which is 6 times the size of Central Park. In honor of Earth Month in April, John Hardy will donate 20% of all Bamboo Collection sales made on JohnHardy.com to support Trees New York which goes to funding a project where the John Hardy team will plant evergreens in the middle of West Harlem with the idea of creating a canopy effect to help filter the air and, in winter, add color to our gray days.

We are all beginning to become conscious consumers. I talked about that a bit in my personal style post: supporting brands that give back. John Hardy is all about what they call “Sustainable Luxury” which breaks down to Culture, Community, Commerce and Care.

Care - Giving back and especially giving back to nature for a “greener every day“.
Culture - the John Hardy Family. Supporting the collaboration between designers and artisans and the preservation of the Balinese art forms and traditional french jewelry making processes.
Commerce - Creating a profit to sustain their initiatives and give back while connecting with consumers and educating them on what their products do beyond the monetary exchange.
Collaboration - Taking care of their the employees either through organic meals, enabling single mothers to work, providing amazing health care to supporting the local orphanages and communities of Bali.

So here is to our Mother Earth and all the gifts she gives us. May we have, as John Hardy says, a Greener Every Day and be the example of a new kind of balance. While photographing the concepts of these earthly elements, I asked our model to come completely barefaced, non-styled hair and bare nails. I wanted this to be about natural beauty, the natural beauty of us… the natural beauty of earth ~

WATER

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Above Gold Knot Ring / Below Silver Link Necklace 

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Below Silver Rope Necklace 

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PLANTS

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Cumberland Island

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I remember that photograph. It was instantly synonymous with American style, American royalty, and that fairytale wedding to Prince Charming. I never forgot that image, the beauty of the moment, the elegance and intimacy of the chosen venue. Such an interesting choice to make for such a famous last name. Fast forward nearly 18 years later, and I’m standing on the steps of the First African Baptist Church on Cumberland Island thinking about all the dreams that one photograph gave me as a child. I remember reading about how the guests stayed at the Greyfield Inn where the reception was held but as time passed these little details faded away, now those faded details are a part of my very personal memories. Cumberland became more than a dream, but a cherished experience.

The day is full of delight with the kind of youthful energy and discovery you find in a F. Scott Fitzgerald book. We went on hour long hikes, took bike rides to old cemeteries and rode around horses grazing beneath the ruins of the Dungeness mansion. We rode for hours down the seashore without ever seeing another person, finding seashells and chasing horses. One of the most charming rituals of the Inn is how they make their guests picnic baskets for lunch everyday you can take with you on your private adventures.  On our second morning we rode with the house naturalist on a tour of the island where we visited that famous church, saw the house where President Jimmy Carter ate at multiple times, and discovered Plum Plantation which took my breath away. The history and nature, preservation and privateness is so far beyond anything I have ever experienced that I can only describe this stretch of land, twice the size of Manhattan, as magical.

If you ever need to find that corner of the world where things just are… where you can sit in the natural silence of the world alone and breathe in the sunlight, taste the salt of the sea and feel that life is just simply beautiful… then come to Cumberland Island. My heart will be there waiting for you.

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Greyfield Inn

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While we were in California last year, spending the day photographing Lake Tahoe with our friends, Adam Katseff and his wife Amy, they told us about the Greyfield Inn…the magical place they stayed on their honeymoon, one that they knew I would LOVE (turned out to be a major understatement). I knew the name sounded familiar, and once they mentioned it was on Cumberland Island, it all came back to me…an enchanting wedding, an all-American couple…but more on that tomorrow…

After hearing about it, I knew I had to see Greyfield Inn for myself and with the trip down to visit SCAD, it was the perfect opportunity. I’m an extremely visual person and I’m sure it comes to no surprise to you that I quite often dream about the way life looked “back then”. I think walking through the doors of Greyfield will be as close as I will ever get to knowing the way it might have actually looked…

You leave your car on Amelia Island and Mitti, one of the four owners and inheritors of Greyfield and the Carnegie property, takes you by boat to Cumberland Island. Walking up from the dock the giant, old live oaks seem to wave at you with their long fingers of Spanish moss, diffusing the afternoon sun into a sparkling haze underneath their centuries-old canopy. Then, from behind the trees you catch the first glimpse of the four story white mansion they call Greyfield. Built in 1900 as a wedding gift to the Carnegie’s daughter, Margaret, this home is still furnished with many of the original pieces of that era but with exceptional modern day comforts (ummm…air-conditioning). As you walk up the grand staircase to the second floor porch lined with rocking chairs and swinging daybeds, you regret how short your stay is. Now, up in the canopy of live oaks, you overlook the property of white picketed fences and fields of grazing wild horses and as they offer you organic rosemary lemonade, if you’re like me, you think you’ve died and gone to heaven.

The house, grand as it is, still holds a very sweet intimacy. At night, sitting out by the waterway looking back on her, she stands a soft pearly white in the light of the moon, framed by Spanish moss draped trees with a golden light glowing out of every window, so warm and welcoming you would swear the evening was meant just for you. The charm extends to the inside with its historic clawfoot bathtubs, immaculate upkeep, full service bar, organic meals, classic high quality southern linens and L’Occitane toiletries. Every evening, men in dinner jackets and ladies in our sweet southern dresses snack on hors d’oeuvres and classic Southern cocktails (recipe for my favorite below!), awaiting a dinner bell around 7:30 where we all move into the formal dining room for that night’s seasonal meal which at times can harvest ingredients from Greyfield’s own impressive garden.

I know on busy New York days or times when I’m caught in a blizzard, I will think back on this memory and my soul will fill with the warmth of these sunny afternoons, lost on Cumberland Island in a dream called Greyfield

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Five Golden Rings…

I remember as a child believing in the magic of Christmas, the workshop of wonder hidden away up north where anything you could dream of was possible, the jolly bearded man with rose-colored cheeks and a boisterous laugh who was there thinking of you and your special gift that would be just perfect. Now I’m all grown up and although Santa does not magically bring me diamond tiaras (yes, that happened) the magic of Christmas wishing is not lost. Sometimes in my fantasies I dream of delicate little items, future heirlooms for unnamed children, and they float under a glass jar, so close but you can’t touch it… all you can do is hint, hint, hint and hope that someone you love is nearby to lift the glass and pick your perfect gift.

This #hintingseason I’m dreaming of something that will last forever, a piece of LoveGold jewelry that can come with a story, one filled with White Christmas mornings and cuddled fireside nights…

What are you hoping for this Christmas?

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