MOM BOSS MONDAY
My sweet baby Q was a wish that my mother made before she passed away. Although I was not ready to start a family, it happened (unplanned) and I couldn’t be more grateful for this beautiful son of mine. Every time I look at him, I see her and am reminded of how much she wanted me to have a child. Cancer took her from us in April of this year, only 2 months before Q was born. On many occasions I find myself imagining the joy he would have brought to her during her final days. During my pregnancy journey, I met a remarkable Mother who creates special DNA keepsake jewelry for loved ones to keep their memories close. The necklace I am wearing is made with some of my mother’s ashes and it brings me so much comfort to be able to keep her so close to me at any given time, in such a beautiful way. If you are looking to have a special piece made I highly suggest reaching out to this mama. There are so many beautiful pieces to choose from and there are even keepsakes for you breastfeeding mamas out there! I’m so thankful that Kelly from Sacred Legacy Arts has taken the time to share her story with us.
Kelly and the story behind Sacred Legacy Arts
I (Kelly) started Sacred Legacy Arts in December of 2014, right after my second son was born. I was looking both for a creative outlet to give me something to focus on while wrestling with postpartum depression as well as searching for a way to truly honor and manifest a symbol of my birth and breastfeeding journey with both of my children. I was in the middle of dealing with low supply while fighting to breastfeed my second child. We needed to use an SNS feeder because I just was not producing enough and my son was losing too much weight. I wanted to find a tangible, creative way to honor our struggles and triumphs and my experiences as a mother. That’s when I began experimenting with jewelry making and creating DNA keepsakes. To me, it just seemed so natural and perfect to fulfill the longing in my heart of what I was looking to manifest.
Sacred Legacy Arts was originally named Ollie & Jai (after my two sons — Judah and Oliver) and was in the beginning a side hobby for me as a SAHM. As I practiced my skill, it gathered interest from friends and family and I began creating for others. I soon learned that this was more than just a hobby for me. It was a therapeutic outlet for both me and the people I created for. The DNA keepsakes I created were more than just jewelry. They were tangible expressions and sensory stimulating tools for honoring memories, struggles, and celebrations. People expressed such joy and fulfillment in being able to have a part of their story casted into wearable jewelry for them to carry and see. This is when I began branching out and offering my art to others… when I realized just what a positive impact this art form could have on people’s lives. As the identity and mission of my work began to unfold, I rebranded into Sacred Legacy Arts — describing my work as “tiny time capsules of wearable art [created] out of the most precious, sacred moments of your life.”
SLA has since grown into my full-time job. I work approximately 35 hours a week and am the sole designer and creator of the jewelry. In May of 2016, I hired my first part-time assistant, Beth, who is both my personal friend and the best employee I could ask for. Beth is very much an integral part of Sacred Legacy Arts and she is just as much a face of the brand as I am. To me, she is much more a partner in SLA than an “employee.” She handles all of our social media and email communications and is responsible for checking in customer’s inclusions for processing and packaging completed jewelry for shipping. Beth has had her own profound experiences in motherhood from exclusively pumping for her first baby and being a milk donor (she donated approximately 40 gallons of her breastmilk to babies who needed it!) to then going on to having a second child who she was able to nurse for over a year and counting. (She is a warrior mama, I tell you!)
Sacred Legacy Arts has grown very quickly into being one of the largest DNA keepsake design companies in the world. We’re very blessed to have an international reach and to create some of the highest volumes of keepsakes seen worldwide. Before becoming a full time jewelry designer, I had actually been a social worker previously for six years. Community development and “doing work that matters,” is critically important to my values.
When Sacred Legacy Arts shifted from being just a “hobby,” to my “vocation,” I vowed that I would found a company committed to making a difference in the world. We’re involved in multiple projects in an attempt to “give back,” and be mutually supportive to our local and global community. Ten percent of every sale through SLA goes to a local maternity home for expecting mothers. This maternity home is an empowerment center who, while giving these women a place to stay, equips them with the education and resources they need to reach self-sufficiency through stable housing, education, and employment. We’re very proud to be a regular supporter of their mission. We also strive to partner with as many small businesses as possible for our jewelry supply. Well over half of our metal jewelry settings come from other small businesses like us versus large wholesale corporations and many of these small business metalsmiths have their own philanthropic endeavors that we are able to help sustain by purchasing from their shops. For example, many of the copper pieces we’ve featured have come from a women’s empowerment workshop in a Mexican village that teaches vocational skills to the women in the village along with educational and life skill opportunities that help lift these women out of poverty and into self-sufficiency in a dignified, empowering way. We’re always looking for these kinds of connections to keep the ripple effect going.
Sacred Legacy Arts is also well known for our design collaborations with other artists. One of the best ways we are able to offer worldwide exclusive, unique designs to our customers is through collaborating and using the artistic vision of other jewelry designers in other material mediums. Some examples of this include our exclusive tree of life wire wrapped design from Maid in the Woods and our hand casted solid gold ring from Anueva Jewelry or our DNA meditation mala in partnership with Blue Moon Holistics. Not only does this give us a very unique edge to our design collection, but it helps other small businesses just like us to broaden their reach and influence to our customer base as well as theirs.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned in my life, but especially in motherhood, is to just “let it be,” and to let go of your expectations. So many times in life, without even realizing it, we gather all of these expectations. What our children will act like, the kind of support we’ll receive from a partner, how you’ll behave and interact as a mother, what you’ll accomplish, what your relationship with your children will look like…. All of these things are shaped from our life experiences of what our family life was like, what we witnessed within our community, and what we’ve decided we want to repeat or avoid. But when reality doesn’t line up with our expectations (as it often doesn’t), it can be so hard to face that disappointment. We get clouded with self-doubt, with comparison, with jealousy or feelings of failure — even resentment. All of these things hold us back from being able to grow and develop within the actual circumstances that we find ourselves in. But when we release these expectations from our heart, it frees up the space we need to blossom into who we are within the life that we are living and to see the beauty in what is versus what we thought it would be. My advice to all of you is to release those expectations, breathe, and just let it be.