GIFTS: Engrave News

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

If you’ve looked at our site recently, you’ve probably noticed the photo of five Maggie bracelets with “tu es pulchra” (Latin for “you are beautiful”) inscribed on the outside. This set was commissioned by Kim Dunham, a jewelry designer and former resident of Portland, Oregon. In a coincidence that we can only describe as magical, we discovered that Kim’s jewelry store in downtown Portland was located only a few blocks from the Pearl – the former apartment building of Maggie Hunt, Kerrilynn’s aunt and the Maggie bracelet’s namesake.

This particular set of bracelets were gifts to Kim’s four best friends – an eclectic group of women that Kim connected with at different junctures of her life. Despite the group’s varied tastes, careers, and lifestyles, says Kim, “the bracelet looks good on everyone,” and integrates seamlessly with a variety of types of jewelry. Additionally, the crew has always upheld the importance of personal style – even, Kim laughs, during “a time where you would not use ‘fashionable’ and ‘Portland’ in the same sentence. Knowing Maggie’s reputation for extraordinarily discerning taste, she is confident that “Maggie would have loved these girls.”

Kim was immediately attracted to the solidity and permanence of the bracelets – as a former jewelry designer, she was familiar with the “long-lasting” quality of brass. Picking it up, she says, “you kind of instantly connect to the weight of it.” Their telltale clang even “sounds kind of chic.” She appreciated that the bangles were “not fragile objects”—“I liked the idea of being able to pass [them] down,” and having them engraved, she says, “takes it to another level.” As something that will pass a significant message on to future generations, “it’s a charm bracelet in the oddest way.”

Kim’s decision to use a Latin phrase had a variety of motivating factors. “[Latin] is not a language that a lot of people know,” she says, and she liked the idea of the bracelet bearing a semi-covert message. Additionally, Kim “can’t think of a better way to describe the group of girls,” for whom the bracelets are intended—“both inside and out.” It’s a reminder to the group, she continues, “to be beautiful, act beautiful, and see beauty in the world.” In addition, “it’s such a feminine thought—[one that] creates inertia and energy” as observers inquire about the message and become engaged in its meaning.

Now a full-time resident of New York, “The only thing I miss about Portland is this group of girls,” Kim says, and “having the same bracelet keeps me connected to them.”

TAGGED: Maggie