It took 6 months to bring this collection into the light. It was January. I was feeling pretty good, refreshed by the feels and hope a New Year. My friend Leanne had just been staying with us for 10 days. Visiting from Canada. We would stay up into the wee hours talking about each others lives, giggling, crying and pouring a bit of ourselves into each other as soul sisters do... fiicking though photos on our phones, giving the thousands of pictures a life beyond the silver grey cuboid they live in.
In the early weeks of the year, I was letting go of crappy emotional baggage i'd carried around too long. I could feel it fall away and if i paid really close attention, my countenance was lighter. Like i could feel proper progress, the type of feeling that is so new you wonder if it's a permanent thing and you dare to say you'll never go back to that old mode of thinking. One day walking up to collect the girls from school, I sent Leanne a voice message saying.. "since you left, i feel like i am a snake.. i've shed an old layer; it's like I've a new skin."
But then something happened in my life. I suppose it shook me up to the core of my being and it felt like all my progress went out the window. Never mind pushing into 'thriving,' i was actually just surviving. Anyone know the feeling? Maybe a family member gets sick, or out of the blue something outside of your control happens; maybe you let your perfectionism get in the way of the thing your insides want to do and you're living in a state of sadness, you don't get the job, you watch someone else move into "success" while you're left behind, ... and it affects you in a surprising way and you feel yourself build up that old skin again. It was winter and i wondered would this dark ever leave.
"Everything begins in the dark...From the seed in the dark soil to the foetus in the womb, all new life emerges from the dark."** I had just sent my first round of new jewellery designs to my silversmith. Little did I know, the new expression in the designs; how i was pursuing the idea of darkness in the stones and moonlike depiction of phases were actually mirroring a more turbulent phase unfolding in my real life. Funny how that happens when we're being conscious creators?
This is the first time I had used gemstones in the collections and as a monochromatic, kinda 'scared of colour' gal, they would of course be black. Not translucent stones, but matt and opaque with the least amounts of cuts made and set in the most minimal way possible.
The months that followed throughout winter were equally as wild and dark under the surface. I continued to receive samples and when i saw some of the pieces that i had originally asked for in a gloss finish, it was evident i would make the entire collection unpolished and non-glossy. I DIDN'T WANT TO SHINE. I wanted to be moonlike. I still wanted to be whole, but i craved the dark, not shining like the sun.
Fast forward to Spring and the collection is ready. IT'S TIME TO COME INTO THE LIGHT, to journey into another phase and bring something fresh, something that was perhaps conceived in a time of 'hanging tight' rather than jazz and sparkles. Sick of not feeling comfy in my skin, i've shed some old thinking, embraced some snake like skin shedding and feeling a little more badass than before. I even got Emelia to cut my hair, as us females do as symbolic acts of 'an awakening' or something new.
The response to the collection has been so good since we launched. Your comments and purchases mean so much. Most of the chains and pendants are interchangeable because i want to give you the power to choose which length, which material you want, and also give you the freedom to simply add to what you already have. You get to play around with which combo you like and you applying your own meaning is so important.
I press publish on this post from Canada, probably 6 weeks after I wrote the first draft. Sometimes the juggling act of my life; (the baby, the older daughters, this business baby and all the other amazing bits in between) makes me feel like I'm doing none of it well enough, that someone else with laser focus (or any degree of focus) could do a much better job than me. Then i remind myself that i represent pretty much all of my target market. Most of you are jugglers too and probably feel like me. Thinking about the nature and character of the moon has been so liberating as she wax and wanes in and out of the light. So i don't feel bad about my dark winter. We can't escape these times but as we push into a new phase of summer and maybe even the sense of 'shining,' we know that in time we may retreat into the wild again. I don't know about you, but i know i can't shine bright 'all' the time & I'm becoming more and more okay with that.
Big love to all of you Moon sisters out there.
So grateful to you lot. xx
Chantal Russell. Wild Fire Within: Rising From the Ashes p.98