A Tribute to Mothers on Mother’s Day
About a year ago, a gorgeous client, whose jewelry we had admired ever since she had started coming to the store, told us she was actually the jewelry designer, and asked us if we would like to carry her designs at Huff Harrington Home. Would we like to? Of course! But first we needed to know more about her jewels and about the stylish woman who designed them. As we peppered her with questions, the story that unfolded from Keisha Noel was a beautiful homage to her mother, Dr. Patricia Carter, the inspiration behind her jewels. What a perfect tribute to Mother’s Day! We hope you enjoy Keisha Noel’s story:
“I attribute my love of jewelry and fashion to my mother! As a little girl I loved watching her get dressed for the many functions my parents attended. She was so fashionable and never too shy to try a new trend. She pushed the fashion envelope and was always successful in her choices. Her daring spirit in fashion also held true to her taste in jewelry.
“I think my love of jewelry is in my DNA! As a child I spent countless weekends attending jewelry auctions or antiques shows with my mother in her quest to find unique pieces of jewelry. She made sure each collector told us how the stone was mined and where it was mined. On our ride back home we talked about what stones I had learned about and what countries I learned about that day. When I got home I would research the stones and countries in my encyclopedia. She made every outing educational.
“My mother wasn’t partial to any type of jewelry. She loved genuine, costume, rings, earring, broaches, necklaces you name it she wanted it! She has over 1000 pieces of jewelry and can tell a story about many of the pieces. I recently asked her why she was still purchasing jewelry and her answer was “people always get rid of their clothing but jewelry never gets old. Each piece has a story.
“At the auctions, I recall looking through glass cases full of incredible baubles in hopes that one day my mom would let me select a piece. It took time but that day happened! While many children saved their birthday money for pizza or movies I saved my money to purchase jewelry. Needless to say, I purchased less expensive pieces, but with every piece, I put my spin on it! Broaches became pendants and pendants became earrings.
“The first piece of jewelry I purchased was a 3 CT amethyst ring. In my mind I was Elizabeth Taylor (who was a jewelry goddess to me). I was so proud of that ring, I wore it all the time but the nuns at my Catholic School didn’t love my new ring and mentioned that it might get in the way during handwriting class and asked that I leave it at home. I was crushed that I couldn’t wear my ring to school anymore so I saved my money and made the ring into a pendant. Quick thinking for a 3rd grader.”
Fast forward to many years later, following college, living in Barcelona, a pre law program marriage, and the birth of twins, KZ Noel Jewelry designs was born in a pearl market in Shanghai China.
“I accompanied my husband and father on a business trip to Shanghai a few years ago. I had always dreamed of going to a pearl market, and it exceeded my expectations. Not only were there loose pearls but jade and lots of it! I was in heaven! The first day at the market I was overwhelmed and spent about 3 hours just looking around; the second day I was ready to design necklaces for my friends and family in the States. While I was checking out to leave the market, three ladies from London asked me what store I had found the beautiful necklaces I was holding. They were shocked to hear that I had designed them. I spent the next 2 hours designing necklaces for them, and KZ Noel was born that day! My first collection was called ‘Out of Asia’!”
“My mother never realized that the many trips to auctions and antique stores would help frame my life as a jewelry designer. I am ever so thankful for all of the important life lessons she has taught me! I don’t think that she ever thought on our many outings that I was actually watching, listening and learning.
“My mother is such a gift! Not only did she give me life but she helped give life to KZ Noel! What joy I have to spot a KZ Noel piece in her jewelry box amongst her other beautiful baubles….truly full circle!”
To Keisha, and to her lovely mother, and to all the mothers whose dreams and passions are the inspiration for their children, we salute you, admire you and wish you the happiest Mother’s Day!