Choosing a Photo for Your Locket

Photographs are emotional, not logical.  Nobody has to understand why you love it, why it tells the story of who someone was, someone is, what a person means to you. We’ve grabbed photos from long ago that we forgot about and been stopped in our tracks.  Grabbed by the emotion.  We’ve wondered how in the world we could have ever moved past something that feels so representative of our lives.  Or a part that’s flown away. And it’s easy to forget about a photo, especially since we take twelve thousand a day on our phones. Discard, discard, discard. Or keep. Hold forever. Print it, share it, hold it, feel it. It’s different in you hands than it is in the digital abyss.  It grabs you differently. It calls you heavily and you feel more connected to it.  It’s the only time travel we currently know.Choosing the photo you put inside your locket feels like so much pressure; you want to get it right, what if it’s between two images, what if she doesn’t love it, what if you change your mind.  But guess what? Your instincts are probably right.  And if your instincts are being drowned by the constant noise of life, consider our advice:

1. Don’t overthink it.  The first instinct you had is probably the right one.  Go with that photograph. It might feel like a weird one, like a fuzzy cell phone image or an old wrinkly one, but if it carries weight in your heart then it’s the right one.

2. Consider symbolism. Who brings you strength? Who carries you forward? A few months ago I was really nervous about a difficult conversation I needed to have. No avoiding it. I put on the locket with the photo of my family inside, gently rubbed it during the conversation, and remembered the importance of valuing my voice and my work of saying yes yes yes. It helped.

3. What’s you favorite color? If your locket is open-facing, ask yourself what color you may love to see the most, because it’ll show through. Do you love neutral black and whites to match almost everything? Do you love purple? Do you love negative space and bright, light colors? Your locket is more than just a photograph, it’s a piece of clothing. The color is less important on the lockets that close.

4. Your favorite place in the world. You know those life-changing experiences that give you a total 180 spin and your life is never the same? Gives us the travel bug just thinking about it. An image that represents an experience is lovely to carry with you.  It reminds you of your life’s why, your goals, your changes, your evolution.  You’ve inspired yourself, so don’t forget it.

5. Your hero. Some of our heroes have passed, some we’ve never met, and some we see every day. People inspire each other in so many different ways, and keeping someone who inspires you close every day marks your locket with deeper meaning.

6. Your fur baby. That’s right, we have set many many lockets with pups and kittens inside. WE LOVE IT. One of our favorites was so discreet only the husband and his wife who he ordered it for would know what’s inside. The meaning behind it meant something big to each of them, and it memorialized their sweet pup who passed suddenly.

7.  Cuddle Up. The teeny tiny nature of our lockets – the biggest one carries a one-inch image – means the tighter and cuddlier the people are in the images, the better it’ll fit. But it’s not a rule. To date, we’ve been able to make every image submitted work.

8. Dig deep.  Many people submit a photo of a photo after digging through photo books and albums.  Something that was taken years – decades, even – ago and is now more meaningful as people have grown, someone has passed, a mile has been marked. If you can get us a digital image, even a photo taken of the photo from your phone, we can make it into a locket.

9. Lower your standards.  Weird, right? But true. We are professional photographers.  We make big ,fancy images of people all the time that get blown up into incredible wall art, placed inside heirloom albums, and hung on mantles above the fire. But for your locket, the image does not need to be high-resolutin.  In fact, we’re about to lower the resolution way way down, so don’t worry about the quality. Just pick the photo you love.  The one that means the most to you.

10. Remember Tip #1. At the end of the day, your instincts will tell you what you want, or what you think she wants. Go with that.

Now get shopping.

Xo,

Amy + Allyssa

People Wearing Lockets

We make things we want to wear. We’re 30- and 40-something women who appreciate quality, love to feel good as we move through our lives, and respect the craft of meaningful pieces of wearable art that feed our energy.

Of course, because this locket adventure is ours, we get the perk of making ourselves as many lockets as we want. And believe us when we say that we wear them everyday, and we each have many.

We’re often asked what the lockets look like on people, so put together a collection of clickable images to give you a sense of each of them.

We have our favorites, and we’re guessing you have some too. Which one do you find yourself drawn to most?

We’d love to know!

Warmly,

The Locket Sisters

We’re on UnCommon Goods!

(To skip all this and go straight to the lockets click here).

Some of the best business advice we’ve ever received is that if you’re not a little embarrassed about your work when you launch, you’ve waited too long. This is totally different than putting out junk — we would never feel good about doing that. Instead, it’s the idea that you simply can’t know how you’ll improve — or even where to improve — until you get started.

The challenge, of course, is that you don’t know what you don’t know. And really, isn’t that ignorance such bliss?

Two years ago we started The Locket Sisters because we realized that the lockets we were offering to just our photography clients might be something that more people would enjoy. People outside of our local community, people from around the world.

Turns out we were right. And it appears we’re still just getting started.

We recently joined into a partnership with UnCommon Goods to sell three lockets exclusively on their site — to the tens of millions of people who shop with them every year! — and it feels exciting and strange and new and weird and amazing and perfect.

The three lockets offered exclusively through UnCommon Goods are The Big Love (not our big love, a different version that’s smaller than ours but the same size as our Gold Heart), a silver disco ball that they call The Silver Orb, and a charm necklace that can hold up to seven pendants! SEVEN! It’s basically The Little Locket but in silver and with a lot more pendant options.

IS THIS SO EXCITING OR WHAT?!

We feel it. We’re so excited about what’s next.

Warmly,

The Locket Sisters

What Lockets Mean to Kids

Our kids love coming to work with us – and why wouldn’t they? We’ve got two couches, a shelf with legos and play-dough and dolls and markers and art supplies and a gum ball machine and full access to the iPad. Even we would love to come in to work and engage with all of those things.

One of the best things about our work is that we have flexibility to bring them in when school is out, they’re a little under the weather, or it’s a home day but we’ve gotta keep the grind going. They think it’s a special day, and we love that they get to see us working, too. Our own Mom worked hard when we were kids, too, as most Moms do. Sometimes it’s in the home, sometimes its outside of the home, and we’ve somehow managed to let it all merge together where our studio space feels like an extension of our homes, a place where our kids kick off their shoes and make themselves at home.

Part of them being in our studio means they ask us questions about who the locket is for, who is in the photograph, who will wear it. We tell them the truth, always.

“Is she alive, mama?”

“Does he miss his Dada?”

“They were on vacation at the beach together?”

“Do they love each other in this photo?”

“Can we get a dog like she has?”

“How did he die?”

“Can you make me a kitty locket?”

“Are they married, Mama?”

“What’s her name, Mama?”

Kids know what feels important to you if you let them. They know that lockets are special, that they’re made with love and bought thoughtfully. They’re comforted by the symbolism and tangibility of holding something close just like we are. And if we’re really honest, they do love getting lockets, just like us.

We’ve made lockets for kids of all sorts of designs, not just the obvious ones like the kitty lockets or the clips for backpacks.

We’ve also made The Big Love for two girls who’s Mom had to leave the country for cancer treatments.

We originally made our line of open lockets for kids because we found that our own kids were wearing our closed lockets and leaving them open so they could see them all the time. But then we noticed that so many adults love the open ones, and kids really like to be able to open and close the locket. That is much of the fun for them. So we changed it up again and stopped calling them kids lockets, and now they’re simply lockets.

What we landed on is that every kid is different. We may have designed The Ozzie Locket Clip and The Blue Meow Meow Locket with kids in mind, but they’re not kids lockets. The Penny is also popular for little girls, but you wouldn’t believe how many Grandmas wear it, too.

Much like adults, it feels good to receive a locket as a gift, and subsequently doesn’t even really matter what the gift is, because it really is the thought that counts.

You can’t make a bad decision because lockets to kids mean the same as lockets for adults: connection to those we love.

Warmly,

The Locket Sisters

Fear, and not looking away.

Last spring I started to wonder if most kids die before their parents. Have you ever carried this worry? Is this rational? Is this something all parents worry about or just the ones who have minds that spin a lot?

No way could I voice it, feeling superstitious about the consequences of welcoming in The Fear by saying it out loud. Every time I’d say it to my husband, he’d be kinda shocked – but then I’d think, well it does happen. And the parents missing their beloved children exist among us, not under or above or below – but among. Here and there and everywhere. Quietly but deafeningly loud. It’s real to them.

I told a friend a couple months ago that it was something I was worried about, kinda always in the back of my mind. I asked her if she worries about losing her kids too, and she said “Yes. And I’ve never told anyone.”

We make a lot of lockets full of joy and happiness, too. Vacations and birthdays and loved ones and the lucky ones who live full lives and pass in old age. Anniversaries and milestones. Vacations and graduations and passive days that simply hold all the beauty in the world.

And we make a lot for bereaved parents, too.

Roxie Belle

What we work to focus on is more about what is, and less about what is not. Your baby existed. Your baby really did have bones and skin and blood and tears. You really did hold her in your arms. It is real. It is.

I imagine the isolation for bereaved parents is lonely. Horrid. A secondary loss that scrapes the bottom of what life remains left for you in this wake. No one knows what to say. What to do. So they do nothing, thinking instead of saying the wrong thing, I’ll just do nothing. I’m so fucking sorry that we do this. We can be better. You deserve better.

So every day we come to our studio and we read stories of why a photograph is important to you and why you’d love to hold it close. We love you, and humanity, and connections and family and art and jewelry and we’ve found this little corner of the world where all of these things melt together and we make you something beautiful and full of a vibrant life and love and realness. It’s real. It’s real.

We do what we can to walk alongside you for this short bit that our lives overlap. We carry your pain for just the few days we have permission to spend with you, your child, your photograph, making your locket. We don’t turn away, we look closer. Study the lines and the smiles and the eyes and your words. Your child is real, we can see him and feel him and almost so faintly even hear him…

We don’t forget you and your child once we’re done making your locket. We remember and squeeze a piece of you into our own hearts. We continue to carry an ounce of the realness, hopefully lessening the burden by even that much by not looking away.

And herein lies the challenge, the reason people shut off, turn away, cannot stand the thought: We continue to wonder if most children must go before their parents?

Allyssa

We’ve partnered with The Meow Meow Foundation in honor of their daughter, Roxie Belle, who drowned in June 2019 at summer camp in California. Her parents, Doug and Elena, are working hard to close the loopholes in water safety for all kids with their foundation, in the name of their beloved daughter.

We’ve named one of our favorite ever lockets after her, The Roxie Belle, and 10% of proceeds from this locket go to The Meow Meow Foundation.

The Roxie Belle Locket

Fresh Starts

The first time I heard about fresh starts was while watching “The Other Guys” with Will Ferrell (so funny) and Mark Wahlberg (so hot). IT’S HILARIOUS! There’s a scene where they ask each other for fresh starts, and it’s so funny to me.

The next day my husband did something or said something or who knows, and then stuck his hand out and said, “Fresh start?” We both started laughing, and I don’t even remember what the original conflict was about, but it worked. We fresh started. Errrr….started fresh.

Then I started using it with my kids. When one of them is having a rough time, feeling unheard or ignored or sad or angry or whatever, we put our hands in a pile and yell “FRESH START!” and it immediately clears the air. Wipes away whatever was happening. Luckily, they give me fresh starts, too, when I feel drained and can hear myself talking rudely to them. I don’t like how that feels, so when I can collect myself I apologize and look ’em in the eye and say, “Fresh start?”

They always give me one.

the fresh start locket, a white painted pendant in silver or gold

But sometimes our fresh starts are much deeper than the the chaos we feel when trying to get out the door in the morning. Sometimes our fresh starts are fundamental. Core. Life-changing.

I’ve had a few of those, too.

There was the time I had to sober up from a few things my sophomore year of college. At one point my then-boyfriend/now-husband had to come get me from the self-help section of Barnes and Noble where I was beside myself trying to find my way back up to baseline, trying to break up with him because I was empty of myself. He didn’t let me (thank goodness) and it was a pivotal moment of someone holding my hand in The Darkness while I gave myself my first Fresh Start. I got better.

There was that year after I got hit by a car while riding my bike, which was really just a jarring metaphor for the Universe telling me I would go no further down the path I was headed, which in reality, was not anywhere all too bad. It was just that I needed a deep spiritual shift, and so I was knocked off route (literally) in order to pick myself back up differently. It sent me toward people who would radically disrupt my fears and give me new ways of thinking. It was another Fresh Start. Another time my the dawn broke after The Darkness.

Then there was that time I quite my nice, stable job. The one that had health insurance, a 401k, lots of autonomy and satisfaction. But that other Fresh Start after the bike accident taught me not to play safe, so once again I unearthed my foundation and crawled my way toward myself. This one was dark. But fundamental. Without it you wouldn’t be reading this right now. It brought me to you.

Do you get the point yet?

Keep going. Move forward. Start over. Begin again. And do it as many times as you need. Give other people fresh starts, too. We all need them.

We designed The Fresh Start Locket with all of this in mind. Hope it brings you all the joy and new beginnings you need.

Warmly,

Allyssa

See the Fresh Start locket here, and all lockets here.

The Theory of Never

Have we ever told you about our Theory of Never? It’s proven to be true every. time. Honestly, it never fails. I’d almost bump it from theory to evidence-based research if I had those powers.

Here it is: Everything you say you’d never do, never be, never engage in, comes back to be part of your life. For example, remember when you were 22 with a hot little body and would look at people older than you an scoff thinking, “I’d NEVER let my body get to that point!” and then you got older and your body got to that point?

Blonde woman in red tank top wearing a brass locket with a photograph inside of her and her sister.

Or, “I’d NEVER vote for a Republican/Democrat/Libertarian/Independent!” and then you find yourself suddenly empathizing with your enemy?

When I was in 3rd grade I had a classmate named Tony who used to leave weird marks all over his skin with pencil erasers. It’s so odd, and in hindsight the poor little guy probably really needed some help, but I remember saying “Tonys are weird! I’d never love a Tony!” My husband’s name is Tony.

I also said “I’d never only have two kids! Small families are so weird!” I have two kids and don’t plan to have more.

I used to think bicyclists were such a pain in the ass and “I’d never be one of those freaks who take up the road and bike everywhere” and now I love a good bike commute.

You guys, I could go on and on with examples. I have so many. It’s gotten to the point where when I catch myself saying I’d never do something, I stop, re-evaluate, and instead say “I’m pleased with this-other-way-of-doing-things.”

If I really prefer to avoid something, I have to focus on what I do want, rather than what I don’t. For example, a couple years ago our other sister’s friend asked me if I’d ever move back to our hometown, and instead of saying never I said, “Right now we love where we love and plan to stay.”

This softens me, humbles me. Makes me treat other views as less “other” and more “good for them, it’s not for me.” Helps me empathize, understand, resist judgment.

It’s the Law of Attraction learned the hard way. So, never say never.

Warmly,

Amy + Allyssa

9 Things Traveling Taught Us

blue logo linking to the locket sisters website

Remember the last time you had that first-day-of-school feeling? Like when you’re kinda nervous, kinda excited, and you know you can’t chicken out because you have to get through 3rd grade so you leap?

I chase that feeling. I love it. I’ve grown so much each time I conquer it, and you most assuredly have too. We all do. The trouble is, after a while, that feeling doesn’t come around as much.

Life gets settled, routine, maybe even complacent. And it’s not bad, maybe it’s even a relief to have that security and comfort. But sometimes we become The Walking Dead, only half-alive before we get that call from our Maker calling us back to the upside down. Don’t let that happen. You have too many pearls to share to let this one pass you by. Even feeling darkness means YOU. ARE. ALIVE. Wake up, share your pearls, get going on you.

  • You’re alive. Aren’t you and I so lucky that we’re here? That I got to write this and you got to read it? I want to keep that going. So many people have been swept on to the next from war, famine, tragedy, illness, or maybe that lived a good, long life, and it was simply their time. But you and I are alive now. Don’t miss it. Don’t miss your life.
  • Common Sense is everything. I dropped my parents off at the airport last winter for a two week cruise. As they walked inside I rolled the window down and yelled, “Common sense will usually take good care of you! Have fun!” and they left. Ok, so have you ever seen that show Locked Up Abroad? You think it’s going to be about some innocent sweetie who can’t figure out why they’re incarcerated in some lowly prison. Until you realize they were smuggling drugs or trafficking people and then you’re like WHAT DID YOU EXPECT! There was this girl we met in Peru who broke her back because she fell off of a roof when she was drunk and dancing on it. There was the guy who had his backpack stolen at like 2am at a bar when he was drunk out of his mind and didn’t realize it til the next morning. They both had a blast at the parties! But common sense…
  • If it’s rushed, it’s not right. My husband and I got quasi-kidnapped once at the Peru/Ecuador border (true story for another day). In hindsight, the people who quasi-kidnapped us (who were dressed in the formal attire of the company we were looking for) were rushing us, but we weren’t in a rush. Now anytime I feel a sudden urge to hurry up from anyone it’s a red flag to slow down and walk away.
  • Humanity is good. Oh, humanity is so so so good. We’ve encountered so many generous humans with small acts of kindness, hard work, big acts of kindness. All of it. When Amy and I were in Hong Kong last fall a delivery guy set his deliveries down on a busy sidewalk to escort us to a hard-to-find address. CAN YOU BELIEVE? So touched by this little thing that was really a big thing. There are so many open arms to welcome you, so many eyes wondering about who you are as much as you wonder about them. All the simple goodness that you hope to find really does exist out there in this big world. The arch of the world is so good, you guys. There are scary things everywhere and sometimes it’s crippling – I know this. But the arch is good, there is way more of it than the opposite. Don’t ever forget it.
  • Love is the same, pain is the same. Broken hearts and families who love one another and pray together and hold each other’s hand through dark times and good times and grieve and hurt and love and feel and enjoy and everything that you feel, they feel. Amy and I grew up in a really loving, beautiful, sheltered life. The people and places and ideas I feared as a child aren’t fears for me anymore. I looked them in the eye and found nothing scary, only love. I’ve witnessed grief and struggle on couches around the world, and felt connected to their pain. My favorite book on this is Mem Fox’s “Whoever You Are.”
  • You are capable. This is back to that first-day-of-school feeling. When’s the last time you overcame something? Was it recent? Long time ago? Conquered a fear? Released a worry? Whether you hop on a plane three continents away, or go on a day trip only 20 miles away to the next town up, you expand when you do things that scare you a little. Not like, wrestling a lion scary, but like, speaking at your church or work, or saying yes to something you’re avoiding, or giving yourself a chance to fail. You may succeed, and maybe that’s actually the thing we’re all really afraid of?
  • You are not that important. No offense. But you’re not. Neither am I. But here’s the thing: There is so much relief in insignificance. My son was so upset yesterday because he had on a girls helmet and he thought people were laughing at him. I took him by the shoulders and said, “Honey, no one is even paying attention to you.” Plus, it was the neighbor girl’s blue helmet. No one cares about you as much as you do, and probably like a handful of people. When you get out and see the world, your own world grows. You feel connected to this larger international community and feel a difference sense of your own importance. And I think this is so good for our egos.
  • Happiness is elusive, nurture it inside of you. My husband loves the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. And in his defense, it’s beautiful. Thousands of square miles of complete wilderness. Lakes, creeks, cliffs, birds, fish, canoes, hardly another person to find anywhere. But we live in the city, and he can’t go there more than a couple times a year, so I always ask him: What small bit of solitude and nature can you taste here on a Tuesday morning? A Thursday evening? Whatever it is that wakes you up when you’re away can exist in your real life, too. Figure out what it is, and then chase it. You’re worth your effort.

Cheers to adventure.

Warmly,

Amy + Allyssa

We interviewed our Dad.

When we were kids we knew our Dad was good for a couple of things: Treats, car rides, and trips to the cabin. In his words, he spent our childhood working and then fixing all the stuff we all broke every day. He’s not wrong.

He’s a really good Dad. A man of few words but a lot of opinions. Dry sense of humor, tells you the honest truth – like it or not, a really hard worker (sometimes it’s like geez Dad sit down and take a break) and funny, too.

As we began making more and more of The Henry for all the dudes out there coming up upon Father’s Day, it got me thinking about his reflections on fatherhood. So I asked. Here it is, verbatim.

Dad can I interview you?

No, I’m painting.

Come on, Dad!  When can I do it?

Last night, like I said.

I got busy.

Too bad.

No seriously though.

Tonight?

Fine I’ll call you then.

TONIGHT ROLLED AROUND…

Who’s your favorite kid? Is it me?

Um, I cannot have favorites.  You know that, Allyssa. And if I had one, sure, I suppose it would be you, but I can’t have favorites.

What’s your favorite thing about me? Just kidding. What’s your favorite thing about being a Dad?

Watching you kids grow and be successful. That’s the biggest thing.  Being successful. Learning. Right from the get go, when you get into high school you change and go off on your own and I didn’t try to steer you onto a path, we just let you choose, and you all picked the right path and you’re happy, so.

What’s the hardest thing about being a Dad?

I think when I see you guys sad. I mean, I think that’s it. Not mad or anything. Just sad.

What do you miss the most about your own father?

Just being around him.  I wish I would have asked him more questions about the war. When I was younger he would talk about it and I was, I don’t know, I just felt kind of bored. And now, after they’re gone, you want to talk to them and ask them questions. Like, all the details, where he served, stuff like that.

If Stacy was an accident, and I was born after her, what does that make me? Also, did you guys not know about birth control or seriously why do you have so many kids?

Oh God. Are you serious?

Yeah. I am.

We didn’t really think about it that much, how many kids. I’m glad we did have a lot though.

What was your biggest worry when we were kids?

That you’d stay safe. I think that was the biggest one. And that you guys wouldn’t marry some idiot.

What’s your biggest worry while we’re adults?

I’d say getting into a car accident. I worry about that. For your mother too.

But seriously, you do kind of like me the most, right?

No, I just cannot have a favorite. They’re all favorites.

If you had to write a book about parenthood what would it be called?

I used to say it’s the hardest job there is, so probably something like that. So, I don’t know, “Job One” or “Job Two.” Or “Parenting is Hard.”

Those are terrible, Dad. Hire someone to pick the title if you ever write a book. If I had to write a book about my childhood it would be called “Pop With Ice” because you always asked us to get you pop with ice. Got any thoughts about that?

(Laughed) It’s funny.

OK great. So. What do you think of Mom as a mother?

She’s an excellent mother. I mean, there’s just no other words about it.

Have you told her that?

Yeah.

What’s your hope for your kids?

They live long, they don’t fight, they see each other after we’re gone. A lot. Like you do now. You know, all those warm and fuzzy things.

What was your favorite age of us kids?

Probably adults when they’re having kids, watching them with their kids.

What advice would you give to a stressed out young parent?

Relax. It doesn’t last very long. That bad part you go through doesn’t last long but you wish you had it back sometimes.

And that’s our Dad.

Warmly

Amy + Allyssa

Check out The Henry Locket for Father’s Day here.

http://thelocketsisters.com/the-henry/


Good People Are Everywhere

Our Grandma Lillian used to always say the world is the worst its ever been, but I don’t agree. Information just travels faster. Wider. We know more of all the bad things, and quite frankly, it’s not like the news is hyper-focusing on all of the good things. They do a little, you can catch it if you’re paying attention, but we’re constantly bombarded with sorrow, trauma, violence, loss, and anger.

Remember that there is more to this Earth that just that. There is also love, joy, remembrance, celebration, connection, support, kindness. We are more than just our sad stories. We are also the people we love, the people we miss, the people we lean on and who lean on us.

We are love.

We hosted a “Nominate a Mom” thing in April to let you nominate a maternal someone who could use a nice thing in their life. We’re captivated by all of these deserving women, but also by the men and women who took time to nominate them. THAT MEANS SOMETHING!

We’ll let the nominations speak for themselves. Read them here.

Warmly,

The Locket Sisters

p.s. see the lockets here.

10 Free Mother’s Day Gifts and One Worth Every Penny

Last September we took a trip abroad for our lockets and ended up in the worst typhoon on record in Hong Kong. Despite being almost right on the coast, we were fine and it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. But there was no going outside for about 24 hours without being windswept down the street or hit with debris.

We spent the day in our beds watching Netflix and taking naps. For an entire day. It was like a mother’s dream! No responsibilities, there was nothing we could do outside of our AirBnB, so we were forced to relax. That typhoon was heaven, you guys!

small square gold locket with photo of a little boy inside

It got us thinking: What really rejuvenates a human? Or a woman? Or hell, maybe we’re just speaking for ourselves? We don’t want to go go go, run run run, do do do. That happens all day. Come time to rest, want to actually rest.

When my kids ask me what I want for my birthday or Mother’s Day or Christmas, I always tell them I want them to draw me a photo of our family. And it’s really all I want. I have plenty of things, and if I want something I’d kinda rather just buy it for myself. But time? Or a sketched family portrait by a four-year-old? Or a coffee in bed? Or someone else doing the chores I do every day? Oh baby, that’s a gift I’d love. And I think most women would.

So here’s our list of gift ideas that are all free except for one that (we promise) is worth every penny:

  1. Get up before her and bring her coffee in bed. Don’t screw this up and say you intended to get up, or you overslept. Set your alarm and do it. Your effort means something.
  2. Do all the things she normally does so she doesn’t have to. Show her that you see everything she does for everyone else by actually doing it yourself.
  3. Give her time. Free up her day. Cancel plans. Don’t overbook it. Float through the day with spontaneity for a change.
  4. Say her child’s name. Not every baby, every child, every son and daughter gets to be here to draw their mama a family photo. If her sweet child isn’t here, say it. Tell her you love her and say their name.
  5. Slow down. Walk to the coffee shop. The park. Garden. Grill. Skip the rush and savor time together.
  6. Have the kids draw a picture of the family. I’ve already made it abundantly clear how much I love this (but if you’re a skipper then scroll back up and see my explanation).
  7. Show up to give her a hug. If you’ve moved out of the house and you don’t live close to your Mom then do anything you can to get there. No gifts. Just be there. And if you really can’t, then call and really talk. Tell her some details about your life that you know she wants to hear. Moms want to be involved, to be relevant to your life. Let her.
  8. Give her a locket. She’ll go through two waves of appreciation. The first: “OMG you got me this?” The second: “And you even took the time to think of what photo I’d like?!”
  9. Make a list of all the things that you appreciate about her. Like, literally make the list and hand it to her. THAT WOULD BE SO AFFIRMING!
  10. Acknowledge everything she does. Say it. “Hey, I noticed that you’re basically superwoman and (insert verbal list of everything she does) so thank you.”
  11. Expect nothing. No value statements about what you think she should do on Mother’s Day, no grudges about if she really just wants to lay around and watch Netflix.
black and white photo inside a gold rectangle locket

Warmly,

Amy + Allyssa

http://thelocketsisters.com/

Lean in to Love

First of all, what is life?

Second of all, the new Evelyn Locket is here!

Back to that first thing tho – do you ever have days where you’re just like whaaaaaaaat is life? How do I do it all? Keep it up? Float? Breathe? Love? Lean away from nuisance and annoyance and disturbance and somehow back into love despite the constant influx of violence and breakage and despair?

I read an article a few months ago about how leaning into a slower lifestyle, going against the grain of constant kids activities and more work and play dates and social activities and planned-out weekends and the “busy” trend is more work than it sounds like. Slowing down is a rage against the machine. It’s an active choice.

Much like leaning in to love.

There was a little boy violently thrown from the third floor of a balcony at the Mall of America last week by a complete stranger who wanted to cause harm. This has shaken me to my core. It doesn’t fit into my worldview, and it’s about three miles from my home. The little boy is about the same age as my son and looks like him, too.

I think about the little boy Landen. And his Mom. And his healing. His life. His innocence, the unpredictability of this attack. And the fear and trauma, too. I want to hole up, lock up, hide away. But I also want to connect, run free, and love.

There’s a constant tug-of-war with opposing ideas, opposing feelings. And often the softer, gentler one isn’t necessarily the easy route. In fact, it’s much more work to counter-intuitively go on living, carry on loving, live out the idea that life is precious, beautiful, savory and sweet.

No answers here from my little spot on this Earth. Just questions. And so much prayer for healing around the world. More love.

Warmly,

Allyssa

Photos of me when I was super depressed.

blue logo linking to the locket sisters website

Hey, so here’s something people still never talk about enough: Mental wellness. And I don’t think it’s just because of embarrassment or shame or privacy. It’s because we don’t always realize we’re unwell until we’re better, or worse yet, until we’re really unwell.

My mind couldn’t rest. My nervous system was on overdrive. I was tired and nursing a baby and chasing a toddler and quit my stable job to start a creative business. I ran circles in my head about global and domestic terrorism, raising feminists, gun violence, saving the planet, will I get cancer three times like my Mom did, has anyone brought so-and-so dinner since her Dad went into the hospital? Mental math on our personal cashflow, responding to a friend, supporting a sibling who was struggling, grow my business, support my husband’s career, feed the kids, door knock for mayoral candidates…

Problems are relative, right? And maybe mine were all champagne, but they were still real. That was just the tip of what I couldn’t calm down about. And I was starting to lose sleep on top of not sleeping much anyway.

My overstimulation was so high that it felt like my nervous system was being worn on the outside of my body, acutely feeling every noise and invitation and question and need around me.

I wasn’t gonna make the appointment with my my midwife but I did. Then I wasn’t gonna go to the appointment but I did. I wasn’t gonna fill the prescription, and I definitely wasn’t gonna take the pill but did it anyway. And my quality of life became significantly higher within 30 minutes.

In hindsight, would anyone have known how bad I was aside from my husband and a few close friends? I was keeping so many things afloat that needed to float and my smiles weren’t fake, but that feeling. Ugh, that awful naggy feeling that just doesn’t go above a certain line when the chemicals in your brain are off. I didn’t know how bad it was until I felt good again.

Walking through darkness doesn’t necessarily mean you’re crying into a journal every night. Or even at all. I wasn’t suicidal and I wasn’t a recluse. I was overwhelmed and unhealthy and needed to bring myself back up to a baseline. I needed to find a new center point, and though I still did fine taking care of everyone else, I failed miserably at taking care my myself. I dried up, empty bucket, burned out, nothing left. It was bad. But it taught me the value of myself, that I can’t be put on the back burner forever.

I’ve learned that my energy is not infinite, and in it needs to be focused intentionally. I say no more. I go to yoga 3-4 times a week. I sleep. I keep my house tidy and maintain a rhythm that keeps me grounded. I take a pill every day, too.

I’ve learned that every time I tell someone this story they tell me about their own very similar story. Or that of a friend who went through something similar, too. Telling the truth liberates you, and often the people around you, too. It ends a stigma that depression and anxiety is reserved for the other people, not people like you and me. Just those people. I am those people, and would you have known it? My life outside of these images didn’t look very different. These aren’t pretend, they’re very blatantly what anxiety and depression can also look like.

My life is so good. So fucking good. I feel healthy, more alive, more well than I’ve ever felt before. I take my mental wellness seriously today. In fact, it’s priority No.1 in my life, because without it, I’d miss knowing the beauty all around me.

Warmly,

Allyssa (and Amy)

P.S. This month we’re donating 25% of proceeds from our lockets to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which works to end the stigmas surrounding mental health and reduce suicide, too.

The Most Popular Lockets

We’ve each got our favorite lockets. Amy’s is the The Little Gold Circle and mine is a tug-of-war between The Gold Bangle and The Gold Heart Locket. I love all things gold, goes well with me red hair (wink).

But what we love and what the masses love aren’t always the same thing. And why would they be? We’re different, all of us. We like different things, look good in different pieces and feel good in all kinds of varying pieces of fashion. Plus, sometimes people buy the locket to fit the photo. And that’s alright, too.

There are trends, however, that we notice without trying too hard. We watch the numbers go be sure we’re giving you what ya want, but also, we make the lockets for you ourselves, so we know what we’re making. And The Lillian in gold or silver is by far the most popular. It makes sense, too. It’s simple and iconic. It’s timeless, it’ll never go out if style. It’s significant in size without being a full gawdy statement piece.

We launched The Gold Heart Locket because you asked for it. We wanted it too, but it was our most requested locket, so we went for it, and unsurprisingly it’s one of our best sellers. WHY DO WE ALL LOVE GOLD AND HEARTS SO MUCH?

The Henry is currently the only locket we offer that men wear. Actually, we take that back – we’ve made a more masculine version of The Lillian for dudes who don’t mind a chain (we give them a more masculine chain, too). Plus, anyone can wear anything so it’s not like these are rules, ok? Just the trends we see. What’s my point? The Henry flies off the shelves almost faster than we can keep it in stock.

The Elsa had a slow start. It used to be that The Clara was our most popular open locket (a square in gold or silver) and we used to hold The Elsa tightly and think, “You’re beautiful, too, honey. Someday they’ll see.” Sure enough, it’s become our most popular open locket. But The Penny and The Marilyn are close behind.

silver oval locket with photo of mom and two kids inside

What we fundamentally know, aside from the stats and the numbers and the trends and the who’s who of what’s what is that it doesn’t matter what everybody else wants, it matters what you want. If we wrote this post next week it would probably have different numbers attached to the popularity of each locket. Pick the one you love. The one you want to hold. The one you want to keep close to your heart. After all, that’s all that matters anyway.

All love,

Amy + ALlyssa

We’re being judged. HALP!

Let’s cut the crap and tell you straight away that we’re asking for 17 seconds of your time (the most precious of all things – time). But seriously it only takes 17 seconds.

sisters standing closely and posing for the camera

GO VOTE HERE! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Here’s the scoop – we had two colleagues encourage us to chase this Fedex Small Business Grant that favors small companies (like ours!) doing work that gives back to the community (like ours!).

With one tip, we thought “meh.” But when the second one came in we thought FIIIIINNNNEEEE we’ll go after the $50k that would allow us to hire a coder (hey-o! We’re not coders even though we’ve built our site!) to make ordering lockets custom re: sizing your photograph for your locket. Does that even make sense? Essentially you’d upload your photo and then be able to move it around and match it to the size of your locket. Right now we do that, and we love doing it, but it’s your locket, not ours. And we get notes a lot about how people would like their photo to look. Giving you the freedom to scale your own photo would feel really special. And then if we saved that time on our end, can you even imagine how much more we could accomplish? Ergo, give back to the community with our 25% donation each month?

GO VOTE HERE! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

We do the best with what we have and move forward, always. Is there any other way to live life?

Warmly,

Amy + Allyssa

How to Spot an America Woman at the Beach

aerial drone shot of beach and yellow trees
Photo Art by Mary Quincy
One of my yoga teachers calls a pose and then often says “Don’t miss it!” if we’re dragging. And she’s right. The pose is happening now. Get going. 

Earlier this month I spent time on the beach in the Dominican Republic.  There was a big international community there, lots of Europeans and Canadians, Americans too. I’m a people-watcher, and I did a lot of it that week. By the end of that vacation I’d learned how to spot an American Woman from afar. 

Was she brighter? Happier? Prettier? Skinnier? Fatter? Had nothing to do with any of that. Wiser? Tanner? Whiter? Browner? Nope.

She was apologetic about her body.

The women from just about any country other than the US were free-er. Less inhibited about their bodies. We all jiggled on the beach. We all got a little sunburned. Everyone had too much to drink. But it was us American women who hid any body of ours that was more than a size 2. We were more sorry about our beautiful bodies than any other women. Covered up. Inhibited. Didn’t have permission to celebrate our bodies the way it seemed other women did.

I pointed it out to my husband and then it was all we could see. If a beautiful woman with a big body was walking the beach a bikini we knew she wouldn’t be speaking English. Not American. 

If an 80-year-old woman was in a thong – not an American.

If a 20-something was constantly adjusting her swimsuit to hide herself, worried about who was looking at her – almost always an American Woman.

When we were flying home from the vacation I asked my kids what idea they were bringing home with them – as in, what intangible do they want to keep? For me, it was more self love. More appreciation for the stretch marks that symbolize my motherhood, the cellulite that represents all of those delicious late-night snacks I have with my husband when it’s just the two of us watching an interesting documentary, and the wrinkles that remind my I’m alive. 

For my kids, it was much simpler takeaways. But I’ll be sure to remind them not to ever apologize for their physical body. You’re alive now. Don’t miss it.

Warmly,
Amy & Allyssa

Wanna see our lockets? Click here.

Vote with your money.

We grew up in the 80s and 90s but didn’t have MTV and if we wanted a pair of Girbaud’s we had to buy them ourselves.

We’re generally not in many “target market” categories and we’re more likely to splurge on too many things at a thrift store than Nordstroms.

But we’re thoughtful with our spending. If we meet the owner of a small business face-to-face we’re very, very likely to spend money at their shop. If we know there’s a good cause behind the goods, take all of our money.

A couple weeks ago we teamed up with Eleventh Candle Co. to do a giveaway on our Instagram. They reached out to us about it, and OF COURSE we’ll work with a company who’s mission is to redeem, restore, empower and equip those vulnerable to human trafficking, abuse, exploitation and addiction. Ummmmmyes.

And then there’s our friends at Still Kickin Co who recently launched a kids clothing line that nearly sold out within a week. It was all in the name of a little boy named Sawyer who lived joyfully.

And maybe one of our favorites is an organization called The Eliza Hope Foundation. Eliza’s mama, Aimee, has done so much for children in honor of her daughter. She keeps her spirit so alive that we even named a locket after her.

All of these companies use the proceeds from the goods they sell to support causes that serve the community. Supporting women who are trafficked in Ohio, kids in Virginia Beach who can now get all of their therapies in one spot, and families going through hell who need a break.

Hats from https://stores.mspdesigngroup.com/Eliza_Hope_Foundation/shop/home

Feels like the idea really comes down to intentional spending. Voting with your money. Spending to give ease and access to corners of the world that you believe need it.

We do our best to do the same, too.

Warmly,

The Locket Sisters

Penny + The Penny Locket

young girl in pink dress and colorful hat with big smile

This is my daughter, Penny Evelyn. She’s a rare bird. Flighty and creative and asks really, really interesting questions (“Do snow tires have snowflakes on them? How will the airplane know to find us here? Did our neighbors go to hAmsterdam to get a hamster?”)

I call her my slingshot. She pushes me so far forward and she’s not trying. Some of it is because she’s so different than me that it forces me to expand to be her Mom, and some of it is because she’s so similar to me that I can’t stand her sometimes (because obvi sometimes I can’t stand myself. Just sometimes.)

Penny missed me a lot last year when she started school at a new preschool. I underestimated it, because my kids have long attended daycare and my husband and I have found good, loving people to surround them while we work. But it wasn’t enough, so one day I gave her my locket to wear while she was at school.

gold circle locket with photo of mom and two kids inside

A few weeks later at a conference for her one of her teachers mentioned that it was really helping, and that she rubs it on her cheek when she misses us. She even offered it to one of her friends one day because her friend missed her Mom.

I told this story to Amy and immediately stopped and said we needed to expand our lockets.

About a week later we spent the night at our parents house in the kitchen we were raised in, drinking coffee all night, and we launched The Locket Sisters.

Penny, my slingshot, pushed us forward again. So we named The Penny Locket after her.

Warmly,

The Locket Sisters

Eva + The Eva Locket

I became an auntie before I became a mother. I spent so much time looking at pictures of my nieces and nephews, talking about them, thinking about them, spoiling them, being a really damn good auntie.

Then I had my own kids, and much like having a dog before becoming a parent, I had less time to give to my pretty much anyone other than my my baby. It’s not like I was so obsessed with my own kid (yeah I was), it’s just that they actually consume you. Eat sleep clean eat sleep clean love love love. Repeat.

When my niece, Eva, was born, I believed I’d never seen a cuter baby. She was so rolly polly in her little body that she looked like the Michelin Tire cartoon. Rolls upon rolls. Our sister had to lift ’em to wash ’em. You could eat her for dinner and still not have enough of baby Eva.

As she’s grown she’s shown us who she is. She cares about justice. She asks questions and wants answers. She’s curious and kind. She makes slime and sells it to kids at her school like a boss. She has three little siblings and she’s the leader every parent hopes their younger kids will have. She’s a brown-eyed-girl who joined me in the first round of The Rad Girls Book Club. She welcomed the boy cousins when we turned it into The Rad Kids Book Club.

Eva makes us so excited to see what kids are going to do with this world. How they’ll clean up the messes we made. How they’ll lean into love and inclusivity. Eva is the future.

We named The Eva Locket after her because it’s a tall, bold locket. It makes a statement. It holds big stories or little ones. It is wide-ranging in what it can mean to whoever wears it, to whatever is put inside it.

Eva is the female leader of both sides of cousins in her families. It’s a feather that fits any hat she wears. We’re so proud of her.

Warmly,

The Locket Sisters

Why We Give a Damn About Decoding Dyslexia

“When I first held this tiny locket that reminds me of a little gift, I knew I wanted to put a photo of my first born in there. His years in elementary school have been an emotional ride. I remember my first real alarms firing when we were sitting at his kindergarten conferences at the end of the year and his teacher wasn’t describing my kid. It was like he had withdrawn and was hiding from something big. He repeated kindergarten per my request. Each year I felt like we were missing something. “The only way to fix it is read more” we were told. As a mom who reads crazy amounts to her kids, this was a big blow. Did we not read enough?! I took it personally. The amount of effort this child was putting forth was mind-blowing. But somehow I felt like nobody could quite figure him out. Now we are in fourth grade and a recent diagnosis of celiac disease seems like a walk in the park compared to what he deals with on a daily basis in school and figuring out how to learn in a system that doesn’t mesh with the way his brain works. He continues to persevere and be the brave boy he always has. But the light has started to dim because he’s tired. When he was 8 months old, a Chinese woman stopped me on the street and was mesmerized by my baby and how powerful he will some day be. She told me his head is very strong and smart and he will do big great things in the world. he will ❤️”

It’s funny how you don’t know what you don’t know, right? And until you’ve had a formative experience, one that kind of shakes up your world view (for better or worse) you remain rooted in what you don’t know.

Amy moved back to Minnesota from Brooklyn, NY, for many reasons, and one of them was for the schools. Navigating the schools in quaint MN seems like a breeze compared to NY. Or maybe seemed is better than seems.

Amy’s son, Henry, started hitting bumps on the school road in kindergarten. And then another year of kindergarten. And then slow progress. And more of the what-are-we-doing-wrong and why-is-he-falling-behind stress. And then a dyslexia diagnosis. But that was almost when the real stress set in, because so many schools are ill-equipped to support kids with dyslexia.

Even the best schools fail.

stats for dyslexia

So what next?

Amy found Decoding Dyslexia, and a network of people outside of her school who had answers. Resources. Information. She started digging in, rallying at the capitol, getting the right tutors for her son, advocating harder, learning that dyslexia falls so massively through the cracks that it’s missable. Unheard. Overlooked.

And this, for a woman who can navigate the system and has her children in one of the best schools in the state.

But here’s the thing. Kids with dyslexia are so bright, so creative, so resilient. There is so much hope for supporting them as awareness is raised and resources provided. 70-80% of people with poor reading skills are likely dyslexic. It’s so prevalent that it feels urgent. So. Many. Kids. And it makes us think of the achievement gap, the school to prison pipeline, and everyone who gets misdiagnosed – or worse – told they’re not smart, because they’re learning in an environment where resources have not been provided to teachers to support their students with dyslexia.

Decoding Dyslexia’s mission is to raise dyslexia awareness, to empower families to support their children and to inform policy-makers on best practices to identify, remediate and support students with dyslexia.

We’ve teamed up with the folks at Decoding Dyslexia this month to donate 25% of proceeds from our lockets to their cause.

Onward, with love.

Warmly,

Amy + Allyssa

P.S. Shop lockets here.

The Locket Stories that Move Us

It’s no secret that your stories are what keep us racing back to the studio every day to make more lockets, work harder, spend time with who you are and who you love and who means most to you. We only share your stories when you give us permission while ordering, which means a lot of them are between you and us. And many of them are on Instagram and Facebook, too, but a few have stood out enough that we want to share them with you here, too.

“I spent days, weeks and months deciding which photos I would choose. I went back and forth; a photo of my beloved Grandparents either a classic black and white from their early days or maybe a photo of how I knew them, a photo of my Daddy and I from when I was 5 or 6, a photo of my my Mom and I on the merry-go-round the first time she proudly took me to Disneyland. In the end, I decided on photos of my three children. My Grandparents always shared when you live the life you were created for, you bring heaven to earth. So though they are no longer walking earth, it’s because of their love, that my parents, self and children are here. In the photo of Rosalie and Austin taken summer 2017 they are lying on my Grandmothers quilt. The quilt she kept in the “little” bedroom which was my room as a little girl. A place I would retreat to after a busy day of playing and often sorting through old photographs; a memory I’ll always linger to when I think of the house on Girard Ave. The photo of Amelia Lou, that’s her at 8 months old, that’s her wearing my Grandma’s, her Great Grandmothers dress. It was a treasure we found while cleaning her house after she passed in 2015. Come to find it was one of the only store bought dresses my Grandma would have owned as she came from a family of 11 and was the youngest girl, so she would have had mostly hand-me-downs that her mother made herself. . She would have worn the dress around the same age as Amelia as she was born in December and Amelia January. Our family will never know the full story of the yellow dress but we know it was meant for Amelia. Amelia is identical to my Grandma and we believe she was sent to us after losing Grandma because we needed her spunk. We needed a little heaven on earth.”

Featured locket: The Gold Heart

photo of locket with family inside

“This is grandma Roxane with all of her kids, in-laws, and grandkids. This locket will remind her that the wonderful chaos she created is always near and dear to her heart.”

Featured locket: The Gold Lillian

“Danielle and I met in an education class. I had just transferred to Stockton University and I did not know anyone. It took me a couple of weeks to gather the courage to talk to her. I realized that we were in the next class together. Our friendship started with me asking her if she would push the elevator buttons for me. We then started having lunches before class and she opened me to a whole new world. One day we were talking about living on campus and she said we need a fourth roommate and why don’t you be it! It was one of the best things that had ever happened. We made memories that we can’t forget and will tell or maybe not tell our children. We made up nicknames for each other, she is Ellie and I am nutmeg. She became part of my family and as did I to her. We have been through everything together in each other live’s since we met. I couldn’t picked a better person to my best friend and the sister that I got to chose. This bracelet means that we are entering a new stage in our friendship. She got engaged and it was a surprise. I knew I had to be there. It meant so much to me and her for me to be there. I can’t wait for the wedding! #ellieandnutmeg”

Featured locket: The Silver Bangle Locket

“Betsy are Florrie are twins and I’ve been wanting to get them a locket with a picture of her and her sister in it. Your newsletter this month about the twins, Hudson and Harrison, gave me the push to order this month and give the lockets to my girls for their birthday next month.”

Featured Lockets: The Penny in Gold

There are so many more stories, we’ll share more later. Or, head to our Instagram or Facebook to read even more.

Love you.

Warmly,

Amy + Allyssa

P.S. Go shop lockets here.