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Pretty Happy

Anne Woodman

Pretty Happy. This is me. 

The jewelry that I make is often described as happy and pretty.  

It makes people smile. And that makes me smile. It's the most rewarding part of my job. 

But where does this “happy jewelry” come from? The delicate, whimsical flowers and shapes? Are all artists expressing their insides when they create? So, I am expressing myself as a delicate flower...  Er, I don’t think any one I know would describe me that way.  

This jewelry journey began about 10 years ago. My life was very different from what it is now. I was single. I was sassy. And it was literally my job to be sexy, silly, strong, and smart all at the same time. 

I was working at a well known NYC establishment where we danced on the the bar, set it on fire, drenched ourselves in water, hollered quick wit through a microphone, and performed ridiculous skits, all while slinging beer and shots to crowds that were 10 deep.

A delicate flower would not survive such a job. Let alone thrive at it for 8 years. 

I had no idea what I wanted to do as a long term career. Pushing 30, maybe it was getting time to hang up my cowgirl hat and hula hoop and hop down off the bar. But I didn’t know what to do once my feet were on the ground. 

I hadn’t ever made jewelry before. But I could fix it, good with my hands and good with pliers, and I needed 12 gifts for the ladies I worked with. And one long and super fun night, I made necklaces for each girl that represented their style and personality.

The gifts were well received, and a hobby was born. I was attracted to wire, maybe because it was something I could mold without having to take a class. I started making simple shapes. Once I made a person, it was awesome. I thought, this is it! I will make these wire people! They will all be different and expressive and awesome! But I couldn’t make another one. I tried and tried and they all sucked. So I gave the first one away and I stopped trying. 

At some point I made a flower. I was still bartending, but I had met my (now) husband. Maybe I was softening? I loved the flower I made. So I made more. They were fun (like me?), imperfect (like me?), unique (like me?), and delicate (like me??).

 

The truth is, for much of my life, I have felt that what is inside me is dark, and sad. Over the years I’ve struggled with depression, substance abuse, weight issues, and self loathing. What I’m beginning to realize is that creating this jewelry has lead me on a path to find the happiness inside of me. And it’s working!  If you are not happy, create something that looks happy (like a flower) and it will make you feel better. I promise. This journey of creativity is bringing me closer to my authentic self every day. 

 

For now, my jewelry is pretty. And my jewelry is happy. And I am pretty happy.

 

Comments

Susan Spedalle:

Anne, you are one of the strongest most vibrant souls I have ever met. Only you don’t know how strong you are…everyone else can see. We once spent a lonely, unprofitable holiday market together selling jewelry side-by-side and I don’t know about you, but for me your friendship saved the day. So glad you are doing so well. I am too! At 58, the man of my dreams found me on OKCupid and this May I’m getting married! Could.not.be.happier. — Bride to Be

Mar 14, 2017

Malindi:

I love you pretty momma! I want you to be happy as much as the universe allows ?

Dec 10, 2016

Tonya :

Love this. Love you. xoxox

Dec 10, 2016

Emily FIore:

This is great Anne!!!

Dec 10, 2016

Darci:

This post makes me smile- keep writing- please! You are lovely and have I know you have more to share.

Nov 25, 2016

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