At Peg and Awl we love the stories that surround so many everyday objects. We especially enjoy when our others share the stories of their possessions with us. Upon launching our Instagram account for the darker and shinier side of Peg and Awl, @pegandawljewelry, we wanted to celebrate our All the Names Jewelry Collection. It is a visual and wearable memorial to the mosaic of characters who make up who we are. In time for Mother’s Day, we made a call for inspiring stories of maternal figures, as they are most often some of the most powerful sculptors of our spirit and personalities. We particularly appreciated Katie Bowman’s story, which follows the life of a dresser that her grandmother had admired, worked hard for, and one day given to Katie as a gift. We hope you enjoy her story as well.
I saw a magnolia tree yesterday and I was struck by how much it reminded me of my grandmother. She had one in her front yard when I was growing up, but it was more than that. It looked strong, but also welcoming. It was almost stoic in the right light, but also soft—especially because it was in bloom. These are all true of her, too. She recently gave me a dresser that she bought in 1957. It’s beautiful, dark, and a little scratched—but in a good way. In a way that makes it look like it has a story to tell. I asked her about when she bought it, and she looked off into the distance like she was looking back in time as she told me about it. She had just gotten a job as a receptionist in Washington, D.C. She saw it in a store window as she was walking home to her one-bedroom apartment. Her eyes lit up as she told me how she fell in love with it through the window. She told me how determined she was to make it her own and how she saved up for it for months. The determination in her voice as she talked about it was familiar, I’d heard it many times as she talked about anything from keeping the deer out of her garden to making sure I went to college. She’d finally saved enough money, so she went out and bought it and brought it home to her apartment. It moved with her, house after house, and it held everything from her silk scarves, to my father's clothes, to old wash rags, to family photos in different stages of its life. As she is preparing to move into a nursing home, I am honored to take this piece of her history home with me. I to give it another new life in another new home, and I want to honor her with its continued story.