"So what's it gonna take? Silver shadow believer..." -Shiny Toy Guns

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Words of Wisdom Discovered in LA?

What is this rare find, you ask? Simply Jo Designs, http://www.simplyjodesigns.com/ is a brand new line of jewelry fresh out of LA. It’s so new that it hasn’t really even been discovered yet. I wanted to write about it first and was able to take advantage – as the designer, Amanda Jo is a friend. The pieces are beautiful – each one an uplifting icon, with simple words and delicate, touching phrases. Knowing the designer personally, I have found her to be a very spiritual individual with a caring heart. An artist with such gifts tends to pour those traits into their work and that’s definitely the case in Simply Jo Designs.
Amanda Jo’s love for inspirational words is what led her to create the line in the first place, “While in college I carried (and still do) a small book around, and when I'd think of something simple and inspirational I’d write it down. Something about seeing a word or two of inspiration always made me hold my head high when I was feeling down.”
Jotting these words down on paper developed into getting them tattooed, “And then, I realized I can't tattoo myself every time I'm inspired,” Amanda told me. So she started painting the words on her walls and from there she had the notion to create Simply Jo. “I found that I could handcraft something meaningful that lies close to the heart and is with me all day.”
Each work is handmade and every piece, an expressive original. But styles can always be recreated, or customized to fit the desire of the recipient. Amanda engraves each letter one by one and all by hand. “No piece is ever the same nor is it perfect or intended to be, that is what I love about them.” These works can be viewed and purchased on their website, http://www.simplyjodesigns.com/ and are categorized by style genres that include, Inspire Me, Younger Me, and Just For Me. Inspire Me contains designs with words of encouragement, Younger Me contains youthful phrases and styles, and Just For Me are items that can be personalized.
By Mother’s Day, Simply Jo expects to have the Mommy & Me section up and running. “Children love getting into their mother’s jewelry and playing dress up. My idea behind creating this is, now she can be just like Mommy because they share the same piece.” Children play an important role in the philosophies portrayed within the jewelry. Many of her designs are there to remind us of what is pure and whimsical in nature.
“My favorite design is the very first piece I ever made. It's the "Be Free" pendant, but with a tiny gold heart dangling. The heart was actually my mother’s when she was in high school. I wear it every day because it reminds me to not get caught up in LA.” It’s hard for me to imagine that happening, as Amanda is one who remembers where she comes from and maintains her genuine personality, and now displays this throughout her craft to share with all of us. What can we expect to see in the future for Simply Jo Designs? In addition to handcrafting each piece, they will soon begin melting and creating their own silver as well, giving each a more vintage and whimsical appearance. Simply Jo Designs is also in the process of calibrating with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Amanda has created a necklace for the children and their families suffering from the disease. Be sure to check out their site for some the cleanest designs you have seen in a while, find a piece that expresses what you feel, and purchase! They have great prices, make fabulous gifts, and through April offer free shipping.
In times of such uncertainty, where the answers aren’t always clear we all need something to believe in – these simple words of wisdom will be hanging around your neck to remind you. For more information, please visit: http://www.simplyjodesigns.com/

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