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My Mother's Jewelry Boxes

This is Joanne Archer, Marketing Manager at Mele & Co. and this is “My Story.” My jewelry box story actually begins here at Mele & Co. I have to admit I never fully understood the sentimental attachment I have to my mother's jewelry boxes until I began working here. Yes, my recollections are of my mother's jewelry boxes, not my own. In fact, I have to confess that I never owned a proper jewelry box until after the "Mele & Co. Sample Sale of '09", just a few months after I'd been hired. What's worse, I used to be a bit of a jewelry junkie back in the day. At that time, my cache of treasures was kept in a variety of keepsake and ornamental boxes and yes...there were more than a few shoe boxes that contained the overspill. However, many years and much bequeathing of my own collection later, I found myself unpacking a box of my mother's things; things that had been in storage for some time since her passing. There were two jewelry boxes: one a lovely red velvet music box with plush lid and golden scrollwork feet that played 'The Most Beautiful Girl in the World' when opened, and another much larger box which I believe was an actual Mele - not that I knew it at the time. Opening those boxes took me by surprise - all my mother's jewelry, her collection of Herkimer diamonds, even an old bottle of her Lily of the Valley perfume. It was like being a little girl again, when she used to let me rummage freely through all her things, never concerned by the very real possibility that I might lose or break something… but maybe that's because I never did. You see, my mom was not someone ever ruled by possessions. She would, if you expressed even the slightest interest in any given household object, insist that you take it and enjoy it because she didn't really need it. That was just who she was. So it was always with the greatest care that I routinely examined the contents of both my mother's jewelry boxes while growing up, for they held the few belongings she deemed worthy of not only keeping for herself, but of keeping in a "jewelry box." That's right, a real jewelry box.