Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HOPE: OK..this is REALLY the last post of 2008

The last day of the year...for many, a time of reflection, new beginnings, endings, resolutions. I began the day like I often do on Wednesdays...a brisk walk for a little while, a 6am hot vinyasa yoga class, then a walk home for breakfast, some work, writing, errands. Nothing too special really, though as a member of an online jewelry group, I did partake in some discussions, sometimes heated and controversial, sometimes fun and upbeat. The list owner suggested, in an effort to get the subject away from controversial topics that were often political hot button issues, to post on hope.

This is a time in our society where many of us are not just in transitions, but also struggling with many issues. So, I do feel that having hope is imperative.


Hope can be a noun or a verb, and while I posted about things "I hope..." using it in the verb sense, really, in retrospect, I much prefer it as a noun. To me, hoping for something doesn't imply action, appearing more passive, while affirming hope seems less goal oriented. Perhaps it's just semantics, but I truly do believe that life is about the journey and not the destination, and hoping "for" something seems a bit preoccupied with the final outcome rather than the process.

That is what I shared earlier. ...
I am just going to make a list...this is not in an order of priority, by the me it is not so much about hope as it is making positive affirmations about the present. It would take a book and a year for me to really write completely on this subject, so this is in no way a comprehensive list. I know after I finish, I'll probably think of things I forgot to say!
Hope for the world around us:

~I hope for less suffering throughout the world. Ideally, wars,
world hunger, homelessness, cruelty to people and animals, and
disease would all end. Of course I know that realistically, this
probably won't happen, so I hope that we can make some progress
towards this end and make progress towards these things. I hope
people can get, at the very least, their emotional, mental, and
physical needs met.

~I hope for ways to clean up the environment that we can all agree
upon and that are effective. This includes solutions for the
climate changes, the use of less chemicals on our food and water
supplies, and less dependency of oil.

~I hope we can grow as a human race and act rather than REact. The
"Golden Rule" rules!

~I hope the economy will turn around as it has historically done in
all past recessions and depressions.

~I hope for unity in the US. I hope for unity in the world.

Personal hopes:

~I hope that I can remember the following before I speak (or type)
and apply it to all situations.
*Is it truthful?
*Is it necessary to say?
*Is it the appropriate time?
*Can it be said in a kind way?

~I hope I can treat myself with love and respect, without negative
self talk or self sabotaging behaviors. I know that before I do
this more consistently, I cannot be there for myself...which I must
be in order to be of maximum service to others.

~I hope to maintain the good health I have and to resolve and/or
improve the few health issues I am dealing with.

~I hope to continue to grow as a yoga teacher.

~I hope my son continues to be happy and to do well in college.
(Straight As his first semester! woo hoo!)

~I hope my son and I can become a bit closer as he enters adulthood
and I shift into mid life.

~I hope to continue to learn more with my nutrition studies and to
make steady progress, receiving my certification in a timely

~I hope to continue to have faith in the universe and have the
knowledge that it will continue to provide me with everything I
need (even if it is not everything I WANT). I also want to be
happy with whatever that may be.

~I hope my mother stays healthy and her physical problems improve
(after she fell last summer).

~I hope my family and friends remain happy and healthy and that
those who are not can improve on both fronts.

OK: gosh, there is so much more. Again, these are more like
IMPROVING, etc. So, for now, that is all.

have a great day all...2009 is going to totally rule, I just know it!

(BTW...the photo posted is of my son Alex around 2003, when he was about 13 or 14 yrs old.
I can't believe how much he has grown since then!)

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Press Release..blatant self promotion.

read more | digg story

Collector's Corner: Antique Investing in the New Millenium

this is an article I wrote over 5 years ago, yet I find it to still be relevant today.

read more | digg story


OK, I know I said the last post was probably the last one of the year, so call me a I am posting again. I just wanted to share a bit about last night, my 25th high school reunion. For me, it really could have been more of an elementary school reunion, as probably at least half of the people have been in my life since 1st or 2nd grade. So, from about 5 or 6 yrs of age, circa 1970ish, to now, all of us approaching our mid 40s, so many years and experiences later, we all met to have what was actually a surreal experience for me, and for others, I would bet.

The room was surrounded with wide screen TVs showing a non-stop slide show of photos from our high school years and the past 10, 15, and 20 year reunions. I am so appreciative of the efforts of my classmates who compiled the images and it was so nostalgic to see all the different clothing styles, hair sizes (big=80s, smaller=90s to 2000s), and the growing families. A few friends have passed away over the years, always tragic and definitely at ages far too early to have ever imagined it would have happened when and how it did, though seeing them in the images from the past years made for bittersweet memories for me and I would speculate, many others. As we mingled and at times, just stood and watched the crowd, identifying our old friends and when it was hard to figure out who it was, honing in on the everpresent name tags. What was very cool for me was the feeling of true acceptance and non judgement in the air. Perhaps it was merely my perception...or even misperception...but I truly felt the joy and love in the air. Ok, now I am sounding kinda hippie-ish, but it is how I felt so I am sticking with it. (where's my granola and a tree to hug?)

I have to admit, I almost didn't attend the soirée. On a personal level, I have not been feeling quite myself it hormonal, seasonal, emotional, or simply the fact that I generally abstain from eating sugar laden products but have found myself with the need to taste every homemade cookie that I can find this season...I have been a little physically and emotionally out of sorts. Oh, I have my really good moments...while taking or teaching a yoga class or taking a walk on a pretty day through Decatur or reconnecting with an old friend...but I have also found myself opting for more isolating here in my batcave more often.

So, yesterday, a small group of the reunion-ees planned on meeting for lunch and invited I went, thinking I would meet them and blow off the evening shin dig. And then, to be honest, something came over me. A feeling of wanting to be part of what was the only chance I would ever have to attend and be part of my own 25th high school reunion. By the way, to be completely honest, technically it has been nearly 27 years since I graduated high school...when I was 15, I left Briarcliff High to attend Open Campus West high, an alternative school for kids who didn't necessarily fit into the "normal" high school scene...and I ended up barreling through my classes and finishing early. While I was certainly proud of that fact and still am to a degree, sometime a few years ago, I realized that by stating my "true" graduation year as '82, it made me a year older...kinda..and since the class of '83 were where most of my friends were, that's "my" peeps..

After meeting with my friends, getting to know their kids, laughing over old times and silly expressions (scrubba dubba!), I came home, took a long disco nap, then had a light bite before heading off to the partAy. Though normally, by 7:30 every night, I am winding down for the evening...I know, I am such a nerd!...I threw on a dress, some makeup, glitzy jewels, and even some high heels (bare feet and walking shoes are my more usual M.O.)..., and I was off to the event. The desire to be part of a somewhat "history-making" (or at least history remembering) even was too strong to ignore, and thanks to a disco nap, I was rested and energized.

Without sounding too corny or getting all ver klempt over the overwhelming feelings that rushed through me at the site of all these people from my past, I just want to say how grateful I am that I attended. I have to be high school years were certainly not my happiest times. I was a chubby, insecure teenager who made tons of stupid decisions, had no self esteem, and was full of angst. I was teased fairly often and thought that certainly, I had it worse than anyone else. Of course, I know that many, maybe most of us felt that way, if not all the time, at least some of the time, but as a teenager, I was a self centered little kid who definitely didn't feel compassion so much as self pity. One thing that was so cool, though, about last night, was that any of my negative feelings from my own past insecure and awkward teenage years quickly dissipated. In their place was nothing but love and compassion and a genuine caring and interest for my classmates. There was laughter and hugs all over the place, and it truly seemed like everyone was thoroughly enjoying themselves. While I can't change my past nor do I want to minimalize the feelings that, for me, were very real at the time, even if warped a bit amongst the teenage hormones and situations of the time, what I CAN do is appreciate and cherish the present and form the memories today that remind me of the love and joy I have for my classmates.

If you want to see some of the pic, click here: PICASA PHOTO ALBUM

If you've not already subscribed to my blog and want to read more ramblings, rantings, and sometimes (most of the time) useless information, go to the top right hand corner of my page and sign up. It's free ya know.

Namaste....see you next year. Or before.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Last Post of the Year?

I keep thinking I will wait at least a week before my next entry, but then I get a little inspiration and here I am again. I joined an online jewelry group about 8 or 9 years ago, back when little was ever heard of such a thing, and after a little hiatus after my trip this past Summer, I just rejoined the other day. It's a great group of jewelry dealers from all over the globe, and the group is ever growing...a diverse group of people...all ages, nationalities, and jewelry interests.

As a fun way to end the year, I thought I would just list some little tidbits about the Family Jewels and my personal history...things that may and may not be related to jewelry, but what the heck. Send me links and comments and share a little about YOU!

  • I was born a month after the Beatles performed in Atlanta in 1965.
  • I'm a Virgo and the 4th child with 3 older brothers.
  • I've always lived in the metro Atlanta Georgia area.
  • I thought I was going to be either a lawyer (like one of my brothers) or a disc jockey until I "accidentally" discovered an interest in old stuff and voila...I became an antique dealer.
  • I got my first job at a local theater when I was 13 yrs old..I lied and said I was 15.
  • I became really good at math at that first job since calculators had not been invented yet and I had to add everything up in my head.
  • I graduated high school, got my own apartment, and began college all before I turned 17 years old.
  • My father died on New Years Day when I was 20 and not a day goes by that I don't miss him...he would have loved The Family Jewels business and was a born salesman.
  • My business name, The Family Jewels, got its name as a joke, and it stuck.
  • The Family Jewels was voted "Best of Atlanta" several times as the best antique shop in Atlanta by Creative Loafing magazine.
  • I am a single mom to a wonderful 19 year old son who is a freshman at University of Georgia and just made straight As his first semester.
  • I probably will always buy, sell and collect antique jewelry.
  • I teach yoga and am pursuing a degree as a holistic nutrition consultant.
  • I have two dogs and had cats for over 20 years until last September.
  • I am passionate about antique jewelry, yoga, and nutrition and health.
Well, I suppose that is it for now. I wish everyone a peaceful and joyous new year and hope to hear from you all soon.

Namaste, Lisa

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A little Homage to Decatur: Happy Hannuchristmakkah or Merry Chrismahannumas

This afternoon, the local farmer's market was filled to the edges with buggy-to-buggy traffic, a scene more common on a Saturday than on a Wednesday. I consider myself to be a very lucky person to live a couple of miles from one of the country's most diverse, interesting, and reasonably priced international markets, and if that means burrowing my way through the crowds every so often, then I'm okay with that. The market is open every single day of the year with two exceptions: Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. That's it. Besides having a little restaurant inside with a vast array of homemade ethnic hot and cold dishes for under $5 a pound, the DeKalb Farmer's Market is a true melting pot of cultures from all over the globe. It's one of my favorite places in the Atlanta area, not just for all of their selections, but because of the way I feel when I'm there. The sounds, smells, textures, and colors all blend together with the smiles of all the people who shop and work there, and it's rare that I don't bump into at least one person whom I know whenever I'm there.

The market happens to be walking distance to another very cool Decatur landmark, Kudzu Antiques Flea Market, one of the longest running antique flea markets around, and one of the few places that has been around longer than my business! My very first shop location was about half a mile from Kudzu, and I still know a majority of the dealers who have their shops there. Karen Kennedy is one of the dealers there, and her vintage clothing and jewelry remains to be some of the nicest and most authentic around.

Speaking of my first shop, I originally rented out an old mill house in Scottdale, GA, a little city adjacent to Decatur. The rent was cheap and the financial risk low...Old Mill Antiques, owned by Jerry Kicklighter, who was also my landlord, specialized in refinishing furniture, and to this day, they are still a very "old-school" type antique store, owner operated, and to my knowledge, no website or online presence. Mr. Kicklighter had been an accounting professor at a local college before he retired and invested in a string of old houses and turned them into a little antique village. While times have certainly changed immensely since he first put out a shingle and set up shop, on the rare occasion that I stop by, there is a certain old time charm that remains everpresent.

I guess being the end of the year, I am finding myself a bit reflective, possibly spurred by my trip to the market earlier, a reminder of my little home and life that I have created and remained in for so long now. Even as I am setling into my "true" middle age status (yikes! that sounds kinda scary!), and I have my plans to downsize as I pursue my yoga and nutrition studies, I still can't see myself moving away from this area. While I plan on eventually selling my home, I would be perfectly fine to move a block away in a smaller place. I guess you can say I truly love the, the which I live. A place that has continued to be there for me, and I can only hope to be able to continue to reciprocate. Twenty five years ago, Decatur was a sleepy town with only a couple of restaurants and bars and a shop here and there. Today, it has become a real hot spot and a great alternative to going OTP (outside the perimeter) for shopping, culture, and entertainment.

I've only touched the surface of the many gifts Decatur has to offer, of course. Besides the antiques here, I am also very grateful for Decatur Yoga and Pilates, a little yoga studio where I had only planned on taking classes initially, and now I find myself immersed in yoga both as a student and a teacher. Life can certainly throw you a curve ball here and there. While I have probably have spent 99% of my time on the planet within about a 10 mile radius of where I am sitting right now, I have no regrets thanks to the beauty and grace that can experience by being here. Yes, Paris is great, the Greek Isles were amazing (and I cannot wait to go back...soon!), and I want to see the world all I can, I have a feeling my heart, my home, will remain in Decatur.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


As the year comes to an end, I can always feel a kind of buzz in the air as the energy and tensions build. Sometimes it is anticlimactic, others, the build up is definitely warranted, but I can always feel it. Invitations come in for parties and open house get soirees. Then there's the food...piles of it...cheesy, meaty, fatty, sugary, casserole-y, chocolate-y, creamy, special-only-made-once-a-year-so-you-better-taste-it stuff....and even with the best resolve, many often find themselves rationalizing a bite...then another, and another. Well, it's not always pretty. Add that to the pressure of finding the perfect gifts and making out the list of who will receive the gifts...well, the whole thing can be overwhelming.

So...I suggest simplifying and making this time of year mean something. As I get older, I am learning to be still and be true to myself, giving from the heart. I ask myself to be true to myself and others...sometimes it is something material, and others it is a gift of time...teaching a free yoga class, calling the person, or taking the time to write an email or letter or card. Honestly, I would make more money as a person who sells "Stuff" if everyone would log onto my site and just pick out hundreds or thousands of dollars of my items to knock people off of the list quickly and easily. But when it comes down to it, I get more joy helping people add meaning to the holiday experience and if an old memento or piece of jewelry can trigger a feeling of warmth and love, then that's great. And it happens all the time.

Yes this is a blog for my business, and I want people to shop my site and buy lots of stuff! Even more, though, I want you to enrich your holiday experience with memories and love. If I can help facilitate that experience, then all the better. So the countdown is on...2009 is almost here. A new year, a new president, new beginnings and some endings. I'd love to be a part of that if I can...but most of all, have a safe season and a joyous and abundant new year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Something's in the Air

This time of year is always a bit different for me. The holidays are upon us, New Year's day is around the corner, and on top of that, the U.S. is preparing for not just a new president, but the first African American one at that. The energy is up...whether positive or not, it can often be a source of stress as we deal with transitions into the next year.

As the year closes, I find myself being more reflective in general. Not just on my own growth or lack there of, but also on the state of the world around us. Economic, environmental, political, and social issues abound, and there are things I can do and things I cannot.

So for today I choose to focus on the moment the best I can. That means that I take care of myself, healthy eating, sufficient rest. This sets a foundation for me to be able to achieve balance in other avenues, including my Family Jewels website and nutrition studies.
I don't always succeed, and lately, I have been much more passionate with The Family Jewels and my yoga teacher training than with my studies...and for today that will have to be okay. What I know to be true for me is that I can choose to believe that as long as I put out some effort each day to be my authentic self, the universe will continue to provide everything I need. I wish joy and abundance for all...including myself.

Friday, December 12, 2008


From a young age I was always enthralled with my fathers coin collection, not for the potential value of each coin, but for the fact that some of them were just so darn old! To hold something that was around 100 years earlier was pretty mind blowing to mind would race, imagining the path that these coins must have taken and the lives they may have crossed. For the most part, though, I grew up with modern, non-antique-y things most of my life. Other than the coins and a few old photos of grandparents, I was surrounded by modern things. I suppose my parents felt that to get rid of my grandmother's antique sewing machine and art deco era furniture and hiring an interior decorator in the early 70s, covering the house in shades of avocado, harvest gold, and orange, was a sign of progress and improvement. However, it never felt quite right to me. As soon as I moved out on my own and began digging for treasures at yard sales, estates, and flea markets and antique stores, I quickly denounced the "modern" stuff of my youth (which coincidentally is often highly collectible vintage in current times). Oddly, though, from the first little Victorian cameo locket I found for 25¢, I felt a kind of familiarity with antique jewelry. Not that I am a big believer in reincarnation (though I am pretty open to the possibility), I just had déjà vu quite often when out hunting for new collectibles and jewels. Often I just kind of "knew" what an item was, way before I had begun to invest in books and doing research. Maybe I was just rebelling from all the interior-decorator-bought things my parents insisting on buying, or who knows, maybe I DID live before. (If so, I think I was a black Victorian woman...but that's another story.)
Today, I am shifting my career from that of an antique dealer to yoga instructor and nutritionist. This weekend I have a yoga teacher training intensive with about 23 hours of hard work as I practice teach, learn asanas, and learn to embrace my beginner's mind. Unlike the past 23 years in the antique jewelry business, I will more than likely spend much of those 23 hours out of my comfort zone of familiarity and expertise as I pursue my 200 hour yoga certification. Next week I will work on a research paper for school, another arena in which I am still not very comfortable.

Still, though, over 25 years since finding my first antique treasures, I still enjoy thrill of the hunt and the joy of finding something old, something with age and character. It's been enough years now, that the déjà vu feeling is not so prevalent as much as the feeling that after all these years I am bound to come across similar items in my journeys. I'll probably always have a desire to continue to buy and sell and collect "old stuff". It's in my blood. But to be able to shift out of that comfort zone and become a beginner all over again, something I have not been for a very long time, is something for which I will continue to be immensely grateful.

(As a footnote, I was going to post about cultures and how much I have enjoyed mid eastern and eastern Indian jewelry, appreciating the detail and workmanship found in vintage filigree and other items. Somehow I got sidetracked; however, I visited an Indian boutique today and Rosie gave me a lovely henna tattoo (mendhi). While waiting for it to dry, I met a beautiful woman from an eastern African country who told me how her marriage had been arranged nearly 15 years ago by her and her husband's families. Today, 3 children later, they have never had an argument and she seemed genuinely happy and content. I guess my next post may be on the beauty of different cultures.)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Business is ALWAYS Good

A long time ago, I don't know if it actually happened or if I read it, the question, "How's business?" was asked, and it was said that the answer should always be:

"Business is always good."

I didn't really understand the significance of that question or answer, though as time has passed, I understand it now.

The headlines today have not been very positive, and the climate that has been created lately aren't very encouraging. In the US we have been inundated with many bleak forecasts regarding the overall economy, as well as both large and small businesses.

I began my business when I was around 20 years old by filling up a little old mill house in Scottdale, Georgia (not to be confused with Scottsdale, Arizona) with yard sale and flea market finds that I had stored under beds and in wardrobes and sideboards. Within a short time, I realized I had found my niche, my passion, and for nearly 2 and a half decades, I am still in business. While the venues have changed and my focus has evolved, The Family Jewels is still in business. Four presidents (soon to be five) have run administrations since I first opened my doors, and Madonna has metamorphasised from a virgin to a 50 year old divorced mother of two. Yet throughout all these years and the multitude of changes that have happened all around the world and within myself, one thing remains the same: Business is always good.

I can't say I've always adopted that attitude, to be honest. I have had times where I commiserated about how things were changing for the worse, not better. I have had seasons in my shop where the money seemed to roll in and others when I wondered if I had seen the last customer that would ever grace my doorway. I saw eBay change for me from a profitable venue to disappointing a best. I had times when I wondered if anything would ever sell again.

But through it all...and this may seem like a tree-hugging, granola-girl, hippie-dippie attitude...the universe has continued to provide. Sure, sometimes maybe it seemed to provide more than at other times, ultimately, my basic needs have been met. Always. The funny thing is that sometimes the final picture of what I really needed wasn't what I had envisioned it to be, but all highs and lows considered, life is good. So, I am not rich, living in a mansion, or world reknown. And I haven't been awarded scholarly degrees or a Nobel Peace Prize.

Life is good. And if you ask me, business is good. It's good not because of the amount of merchandise I am selling or the overall state of the world economy. It's good because it it's good. Really good. For all these years I have gotten an education in life, and I have met people from all over who have given me a connection to the world. I have been able to live in a nice home in a lovely area with friendly neighbors and a loving group of family and friends. I've been able to raise a child and provide him with the love and support he needs to now be a well adjusted and successful college student and individual. And I have also been able to have the freedom to pursue other interests and to fill up my life with things that matter to me.

So, how's business? If anyone asks, for me, it is always good. And for that, I have yet one more thing for which to be grateful.

PS: Thanks for all your support to my online shop!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Passions...and some of my history

It's a cold and overcast morning in the usually Sunny South, and instead of braving the elements, I decided to stay in and work. But on what? And it got me to thinking about passions. Not of the romantic type, mind you, but of the passions that drive me. As I settle into my mid 40s, 43 to be more exact, okay, middle age if you must, I find myself more reflective on life and on devoting my time to what really lights my fire.

As a teenager, I just wanted to grow up, so I flew through high school as quick as I could so I could graduate early and play house with my boyfriend. I thought I knew everything, as most 16 and 17 year olds do. In fast forward, I began college, worked various jobs, and by about age 20, I had discovered my passion for buying and selling antiques and collectibles. Long story short, I was waiting tables and my best friend Walter, began showing up at the restaurant wearing these amazing rhinestone brooches from the 1940s and 50s that he bought from a little flea market around the corner. I had already been going to yard sales, mostly out of necessity as I couldn't afford to furnish my home with new items, but when Walter turned me on to these glitzy works of art, a passion was sparked. I had to have them. At first I wanted them all. I wanted to go to every yard sale, estate liquidation, flea market, and antique shop and uncover every treasure there was. I wanted more...more ....MORE. The restaurant was sold to a new owner who fired most of the old staff, so I was suddenly without a job. This was the best thing that ever happened to me.

A sudden firing, my father's death, dropping out of college, and meeting an antique shop owner who hired me on the path for the next 23 years was set in motion. Within about a year, I had rented an old mill house that was part of a small antique village of old mill houses, and The Family Jewels was born. My jewelry interests expanded from rhinestones to Victoriana, Edwardian, art deco, art nouveau, bakelite, sterling silver and more. And I found that with jewelry came other collectibles: mesh and beaded purses, old powder jars, celluloid dresser sets, crystal decanters, hatpins, old ivory fans, flapper dresses...the list goes on. I found turn-of-the-century tiger oak sideboards, birds-eye maple vanity sets, kitchen collectibles, American art pottery, occupied Japan figurines, old postcards, advertising memorabilia, antique paintings, copper bedwarmers, and so much more. My little shop filled up and I quickly began making a name for myself. I met a man at an antique show, we fell in love, and spent days, even weeks, traveling around the the countryside. We hit every state from Florida to Pennsylvania...yard sales, antique shops and malls, flea markets and stone unturned. While we found great treasures at every turn, we actually created our greatest treasure...a bouncing baby boy. In September of 1989, Alex was born. I was 24.

In a few years, I moved my store to the trendy Decatur Square and my business shifted from a little more than a hobby to a full fledged business. I was a single mother by then, and my son and I went to work. He cooed and gooed in his little playpen while I bought and sold antiques, vintage jewelry, and collectibles. I became more than just a business in Decatur, I was part of the community, and Decatur became my home...a place to work, live, and raise my son. I loved my shop and made friends and longtime customers who remain in my life to this day, though eventually the internet was born. After several years of resisting the new technology, I finally succumbed and began dabbling with eBay and online auctions. Suddenly my client base expanded from the metro Atlanta area to all around the globe. I began shipping items to China, Australia, Europe, South America, not to mention all over the U.S. The world began to get smaller. in May 2000, I moved my business online and closed my bricks and mortar store in what was considered at the time to be the big "Bricks to Clicks" movement...I had gone cyber.

Click here to see the CNN article on my business and the Bricks to Clicks trend of 2000

Actually, I was in my mid 30s and my passions were shifting. I no longer had as much desire to be bound to a shop all day long, instead opting to run in 10Ks and half marathons, as well as being at home more as my son entered his preteen years. Besides my passion for buying and selling antiques, I was also increasingly interested in alternative and holistic health, nutrition, and fitness. In my late 30s, my path led me to yoga, and I was completely surprised as my passion grew to a point where I not only became a dedicated practitioner for nearly 5 1/2 years, but I am also a yoga teacher now as well.

I still love antiques, especially jewelry, as is probably quite evident in my Family Jewels online store, though today, I am much more likely to be teaching or taking a yoga class at 6am on any given morning before you would find me in line waiting for an estate sale to begin. For the past 2 years I have been in school pursuing a degree as a holistic nutritional consultant, as well getting certified to teach various styles of yoga. This summer I began my yoga training to receive my 200 hour yoga teacher training. And yes, I still drop in a yard sale or flea market on occasion.

Within the next year, I see myself finishing school and hopefully beginning my nutrition practice, weaving it with my path of yoga, both as a teacher and a student. Working with people who want to improve their well-being on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels is my passion and has been for quite some time. Becoming a more mindful yogini and growing as an individual has been a challenging and rewarding path, and finding out how little I know and having a beginner's mind is a humbling experience.

Through all of this, one passion has remained, and while at one time I thought I may phase out my Family Jewels antique business completely, I am realizing now that I will more than likely always dabble in my business to maintain that connection with other collectors and buyers from around the globe. Times change...the world climate, politics, economics, environment, technology...but for me, I am staying on my path and remaining open to evolve and grow, embracing my passions and seeking balance in them all.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rainy Days

Wow, two days of blogging in a row. This could become a habit. As a child of the 70s, I grew up before answering machines, caller ID (or call forwarding or call waiting), remote controls (wired or wireless), cell phones, VCRs, CDs, cable TV (then only HBO for what felt like forever), and of course computers and the internet. So this "blogging" stuff is still kind of alien for me. I had a diary at points in my life, so I suppose blogging can be similar, or perhaps it's more of a cross between a newspaper column and a diary.

Regardless, here I am, attempting to ride the wave of the present, and, quite possibly, the future as well.
So I was thinking this morning, as I awoke to see if I had any other "followers" (that sounds so cultish) on my blog or my website, how nice it was to have this connection to the outside world on a dark and cold rainy Sunday morning. What on earth did we do in the "olden days" before the internet...especially on a rainy day? No googling or youtubing. No facebook, twitter (still can't figure that one out...yet), or myspace (which I hear is SOOO yesterday). No emailing. No blogging. No online shopping. I did enjoy some Loony Tunes cartoons for quite some time, though once I hit about age 11, the thrill was gone. But today is different. With a connection to the world wide web, in a nanosecond, we can be in touch with a friend on the other side of the globe. A few clicks and we can find a rare item we need or a collectible we have been seeking. Out of herbal tea, moisturizer, vitamins? Click and you will receive. Yes, it is good to get out. Taking a walk on a pretty...or is still the same today as it was years ago. We need to move our bodies and breathe and live. Staying in one's "batcave" clicking and perusing incessantly is certainly not a healthy place to be. Imagine, though, that by saving time and gas and energy on a rainy day to take care of your weekly errands and holiday shopping, you could have more time for your morning walk, your yoga practice, a trip to the gym.

So on this rainy morning in Atlanta (or a clear crisp Summer night for my Aussie readers), take a moment to click and connect with the outside world before you even leave the house. Stock up on some vitamins or groceries, get some holiday gifts taken care of, and reduce to need to drive all over town. Then throw on your yoga pants or some walking clothes and breathe, stretch, and move. It's all good.
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

What economic crunch?

Well, after much resistance in a blog created for the sole purpose of blatantly self promoting my online business, Family Jewels, here I am. No promises. I may not post everyday, or week, or even month. I tried with newsletters and little personalized emails to regular customers, and while I am probably one of the more rare types of online merchants one would find when perusing the 'net for goodies, I'm not good at long term commitments in this arena. However, here I am. For those of you who don't know me, a quick version would have to include the following:

I opened up a little shop called the Family Jewels around 1985. I specialized in vintage jewelry, antiques, and collectibles. I was 20 years old.

The shop did very well, and after a few years, I not only became a single parent to a great little boy, but I also moved my little shop to the trendy downtown Decatur Square where I stayed for about 10 years. The shop was stocked, every nook and cranny filled with authentic, unique, and affordable jewelry and collectible, purchased from local estates, collections, and around the globe. Other than New York City or Los Angeles, shops like this were (and still are) a pretty rare site.

In 2000, I closed my store to be a stay-at-home/working-mom...the internet was in full swing, and after a few years of dabbling with eBay and Yahoo auctions, I decided to focus solely online.

So, Family Jewels became

Same phone number, same Decatur/Atlanta GA base, same proprietor. Above all else, I've continued to offer the same authentic and interesting vintage and antique jewelry and accessories with the same superb personalized customer service.

Over the past (nearly) 2 and a 1/2 decades, I have seen the economy rise and fall, yet something I have observed from a very personal level, is this: for the most part, antiques and vintage items are recession proof. Really they are. Yes, eBay and the internet have made certain things go from ultra-rare to everywhere, and prices for some things have fallen while others have risen, overall, you still get the most bang for the buck when buying previously owned antiques, uniques, and collectibles.

A jewelry store chain at the mall may have that "deal"...carat diamond earrings for $49.99 or pearl earrings for $19.99...but what are you really getting? My experience is that you generally end up with a mass produced, substandard quality item that you will see over and over again, not to mention the fact that if and when you decide to sell or upgrade, your item is generally worth pennies on the dollar of the original "sale" price.

Conversely, on my site, as well as many other online sites, for the same amount of money, you can not only find something unique and special, but often, after time it will at least retain, if not appreciate in value. Other benefits include the fact that you are engaging what I have heard called "elegant recycling", you are supporting small business, and you get to buy directly from the owner of the my case...that means Moi!

So, in a time of transition...a new president for the U.S. in January, economic challenges for many, housing and credit crunch, big bail outs for big businesses and corporations, and an ailing earth suffering from industrialization, global warming, limited energy supplies, what better time to recycle. Shop from home, click and buy, and better yet, find reputable family owned online businesses (like mine) to at least give a chance first....then if all else fails, gas up the Hummer, brave onto the highways to risk getting mauled at the mall, and then...and only then...check out the large chain stores!

Have a safe and happy holiday!

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