It’s Mother’s Day in the UK and Ireland today Sunday 22nd of March 2020, so if you’ll indulge me, i’d like to tell you about mine.
My Mother Jane is a rare gem (I am very, very lucky). We felt safe and loved throughout our childhood, but also had the chance to see this impressive woman as more than our mother.
An award winning designer. A goldsmith with a successful production and design business - a business partnership based on friendship and respect. A work ethic that had her study like crazy (after a full day in the workshop) to become a Gemologist when we were older.
Later when we were in college, she became a trainer and a mentor (she set up the DCCI Jewellery Skills course in 1993 Kilkenny and ran it till 2007). She’s remarkable, our mother. She's the best champion you could ever hope to have and she is also the reason, albeit accidentally, that Edge Only came into being.
Rome, Italy in 2008
When I chose voluntary redundancy from my career as a DJ with the Irish National Broadcaster RTE, I was ready for a new challenge, but had not yet figured out what that new ‘thing’ would be. I was floating from opportunity to opportunity outside of radio, trying to figure out what stimulated my brain and creativity the most. Do i stay in music? Go back to presenting?
My contractual ‘Garden leave’ meant that I had more time to spend with my Mum in Kilkenny, including time in her workshop. I started asking her to make me some pieces that I had been dreaming of. A statement ring you could wear every day (the ring that would become our Wedge Ring), a big lightning bolt pendant that would stand out over anything... the list was growing by the minute.
My Mum just smiled and said “Jenny, you seem to know what you want and it’s not like you don't know any goldsmiths, why don't you design a collection?” She was half joking and half passing the buck, but it planted a seed that I couldn't shake for the next few weeks.
Design a collection is what I did (and another and another!). I signed up for a ‘start your own business’ course with the Enterprise office and Edge Only was born less than 8 months later.
My mother couldn't teach me how to cook (her kryptonite!), but she taught me so many valuable things; fairness, honesty, hard work, high standards, kindness, loyalty, perseverance … how to hold a jeweller's loupe (inside joke). She is relentlessly supportive and I am so grateful to have her as my mother and as my friend. It feels great to be following in her footsteps.