If you’ve looked at our site recently, you’ve probably noticed the photo of five Maggie bracelets with â€œtu es pulchraâ€ (Latin for â€œyou are beautifulâ€) 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, â€œthe bracelet looks good on everyone,â€ 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 â€œa time where you would not use â€˜fashionableâ€™ and â€˜Portlandâ€™ in the same sentence. Knowing Maggie’s reputation for extraordinarily discerning taste, she is confident that â€œMaggie would have loved these girls.â€
Kim was immediately attracted to the solidity and permanence of the bracelets – as a former jewelry designer, she was familiar with the â€œlong-lastingâ€ quality of brass. Picking it up, she says, â€œyou kind of instantly connect to the weight of it.â€ Their telltale clang even â€œsounds kind of chic.â€ She appreciated that the bangles were â€œnot fragile objectsâ€â€”â€œI liked the idea of being able to pass [them] down,â€ and having them engraved, she says, â€œtakes it to another level.â€ As something that will pass a significant message on to future generations, â€œitâ€™s a charm bracelet in the oddest way.â€
Kimâ€™s decision to use a Latin phrase had a variety of motivating factors. â€œ[Latin] is not a language that a lot of people know,â€ she says, and she liked the idea of the bracelet bearing a semi-covert message. Additionally, Kim â€œcanâ€™t think of a better way to describe the group of girls,â€ for whom the bracelets are intendedâ€”â€œboth inside and out.â€ Itâ€™s a reminder to the group, she continues, â€œto be beautiful, act beautiful, and see beauty in the world.â€ In addition, â€œitâ€™s such a feminine thoughtâ€”[one that] creates inertia and energyâ€ as observers inquire about the message and become engaged in its meaning.
Now a full-time resident of New York, â€œThe only thing I miss about Portland is this group of girls,â€ Kim says, and â€œhaving the same bracelet keeps me connected to them.â€