On the day of her official installment as the regional head of IT at the beverage company she works with, Stephanie woke up with deep feelings and pressing questions about societal influences over femininity and where she was in her journey to self-actualization. The night before, she’d met with the company’s regional operational head, who gave her the news of her promotion with a speech in the range of beauty sells and support for women is trending.
There was no mention of her successful execution of projects. Or her excellent leadership of teams on different occasions. Rather, he was careful to point out to her that her new contract required regular multimedia interviews and frequent appearances at events.
Stephanie left his office feeling like her win was no win at all. And her promotion wasn’t because she merited it through demonstrable hard and smart work, but because the company’s leadership wanted to plug into the “trending” equal opportunity narrative, in order to garner attention to the brand.
It was a perfect let-down and Stephanie needed a boost to her spirit. In the heat of that disappointment, she argued for a better compensation. When an agreement was reached, she went to bed feeling a little palliated. But morning came with fresh feelings of sadness, and Stephanie did what she does when she needs to remind herself of her worth; she went out and bought herself an expensive jewelry.
Her jewelry box is full of stories. And she tells us the story behind her most loved wrist ornaments.
I thought I’ll be married at 25. Then a boy I thought was the one, left me and I went out and bought myself a home. After I did that, it felt like I needed to celebrate myself. So, I walked into a store with absolutely nothing in mind and out of everything I saw, I could not resist taking this emerald beauty home.
This was the pat on the back I gave myself, after succeeding in the very first major business-to-business IT project I was assigned.
My dad always use to give my mom nice jewelry just because.
This one was a gift I gave myself just because.
One valentine day, someone I was seeing became unreachable throughout the day and I had to remind myself that I am my one true love.
He did show up later with an explanation, but the world is constantly moving, baby. You can’t waste time waiting for someone to show up.
This was a gift from a client who thought my smile meant something more. No, my smile did not mean anything more. And I kept the gift because,…look at it!
I got this during a vacation in Milan. My friends and I took the trip after a great year. As soon as I saw it, I thought it will be great to buy and pass it along to one of my children….when I have them.
I shopped this off a dear matriarch’s closet. It was a part of items offered up for sale to raise money for an under-served community. This was years ago, and I still can’t get over the jolt I got from the sudden awareness of my privileges, after learning about the every day experiences of that group.
A friend invited me for one of those midweek black-tie events and I thought it was stupid of the organizers. People have to be at work on Wednesday! On Tuesday, you have work to take home! I wasn’t planning to attend, but my tailor chose that afternoon as the right time to deliver a set of clothes I was getting. And I saw photos of the event on Instagram! I stopped to get this and a pair of earrings on my way to the venue.
At work, I was invited to attend the Chairman’s Christmas banquet for the first time, and my mom gave me this to finish off my outfit. I just never returned it. She’s joked about wanting it back, but I believe I own it now.
I had a thing with a younger man, early last year. He was really sweet and pretty romantic. He sent this over as a parting gift when his year abroad came to an end.
This was a thank you gift from a Mentee. I’ve worked with her for several years. We started when I barely knew a lot, but felt I could share the little I know. Her business broke even last year and she sent this over with the accounting report.
Photo Credit: Instagram || @graff || @sothebysjewels || @chaumetofficial