- Hi Donna, Just wanted to let you know I received the Multi Dot Necklace! I love it! It's perfect! Thanks for sharing your creativity with the world!
- Pay it Forward.
Had a customer stop in last week - I won't ever tell you who. That asked me to charge her card an extra $50 as long as I promised that I would take $50 off of a customer's order that might need a helping hand because of whatever. So I did. I can't tell you who.
She's said that she is going to Pay it Forward, too. And I'm going to then again. Any takers want to follow suit? I won't tell.
- The Marathon Girls.
Checked in at the Marriott. Made a bead for the Studio. Bolted for Edo Squid. Ran the Richmond Marathon in the AM.
Four girls from Roanoke on a mission.
- Donna-- I know you think I am crazy for ordering another Maggie bracelet, as my daughter Mary Ann gave me one! I had my husband hook it, and we both thought it was hooked. I went to the bathroom, and when I wiped, I stood up and just as I flushed the handle, I saw it in the toilet--it was too late! I was just sick. So I wanted to replace it.
- Magenta Girl Update... Sentencing.
Magenta Girl has been convicted of felony and has been sentenced to 30 days in a penitentiary. She will serve 30 days. She has been required to pay $425 in restitution.
Upon release, she will be on probation for 2 years and 11 months. She is also required to participate in a supervised mental health program for one year after her release from jail.
My take? Good luck with that...
- Magenta Girl Update...
Magenta Girl pleaded guilty.
She looked hallowed. Defeated. Caught. I feel sorry for her.
Sentencing is in April.
- Dear Donna,
I thought you might appreciate hearing that my sister loves her necklace! She's very particular and hard to please but I thought she would like the delicacy of your jewelry work. She said that she received three necklaces on her birthday from 3 different people, including her husband of 18 years, and your necklace is the one she loves. She said that it was like getting two necklaces from people who didn't know her and one from someone who really did. I'm so proud.
- Magenta Girl Update...
Notice has been set forth, for the County of Lancaster, Virginia, for jury proceedings against Magenta Girl on Friday, February 7th, 2014.
- The names of each of our pieces has meaning behind them. There's Maggie, and Lolita and Michelle. And the list goes on...
But the first is Lola. Using a mix of vintage, glass and semi-precious stones, I created my first, signature design which was named after my niece, Lola. Unbelievably, Lola is just about to turn 14.
So when I get calls from far away asking about a design, or style, and the voice on the other end of the phone says they're not quite sure what the name of the necklace is. That's totally understandable.
Last week, however, a customer referenced her 3 in 1 necklace as her "Circle of Trust" necklace. I just had to ask... "Circle of Trust?"
"It's what my two best friends call our on u necklaces because we've shared some special moments during our lives and your necklaces hold us all together."
I nearly cried.
- Thank you for the beautiful bracelets. My daughter and I stopped in your shop 4 years ago. You put my first On U bracelet on my arm (24/7) and I have never taken it off. It is as beautiful as it was 4 years ago.
Love, love, love your jewelry!
- This is a pretty long story.... and I don't quite know the ending yet. But I'll be sure to let you know...
I woke up in the middle of the night and realized that I had a swath of necklaces - at least 5, more like 7 - that were missing from one of my racks at the Studio. For the life of me, I could not figure out what happened to them. Were they shipped in a store order? Did I misplace them? We were using them for photography? Did we send them to a magazine? I was going crazy, to say the least. But I just could not figure out what had happened to that batch of necklaces that were hanging side by side at the Studio...
A few weeks went by and I still questioned where all of those necklaces had gone. No answer. It really bugged me.
I have all sorts of people who stop by the Studio pretty much every day. Like the Eric Burdon "Spill the Wine" song - "every kind of girl.... Long ones, tall ones, short ones...crazy ones." You get the idea.
About a month later, a woman who has purchased from me many times at many of my shows, and at the Studio, throughout the years came in. She is totally recognizable because she has bright red hair. I've gotten to know her and her boyfriend because they've always spent so much time at my booth. Chatting and talking with me and with Greg. The boyfriend, whose father was a federal judge in Tennessee, seems like a really nice guy. He's a biker but not a tough guy biker. A biker none the less. Anyhow, she came in and asked me to make her a pair of earrings with, what else, magenta to go with her red hair. She loves magenta, and always buys things in purples to go with her hair. She'd said that she would be happy to pick them up at the Irvington Farmers Market which was a few weeks away. Perfect. She had another look around the Studio and then said "See you at Irvington!" And off she went.
That Saturday arrives and I'm swamped at my booth. Which is a good thing. I'm chatting and catching up with friends and customers. Showing my newest styles. Enjoying how busy it is.... About 2 hours into the show, the red headed girl who loves magenta arrives and I give her the (what else) purple earrings that she ordered. She pays cash. Looks around a bit and then says 'Bye'.
About a half hour later, a customer asked me if I had the Purple Antique Mother of Pearl Button Pendant Necklace that she had looked at a little earlier. So I go to the case where my Antique Button Pendants are shown and.... It's gone.
It's a $225 necklace. If you know anything about me, you know that I treat each of my pieces as if they were a part of me. I may not remember my children's names, but I remember each and every one of the pieces that I've created throughout the years. Each one is a small part of me.
Then it dawns on me. Magenta Girl. I became so flustered and awestruck that someone had taken one of my favorite pieces (personally, I love purple, and this button was from the 1700's and is one of my all time favorites).
So I went on a mission to find her. I didn't know what I was going to do. But I was going to find her.
I walked the show and saw her from a distance. She was at a booth of someone who I used to be friends with and now despise because she and her mother copy my work (that's a whole other story in itself).
I keep a safe distance. My heart is pounding... I'm breathing heavily. Poking my head around the corner so not to be seen. I then I see it. The steal.
She casually slid a bracelet into a fanny pack that she wore to the front. Very sneakily. Very casually. As if she has been doing it all of her life.
I couldn't believe what I just saw. Magenta Girl is a thief!
I ran back to my booth where my customers were awaiting to learn what I had discovered. I told them what I had just seen. I was dumbfounded. I've never caught anyone stealing before!
My customers rallied around me and said "Let's go get her!" They marched with me, side-by-side, to the booth where I saw "the steal" happen. I approached her. I told the vendor (the one I despise) that I had seen her swipe something from her booth and where she had put it. The Despised Vendor made her open her bag.... and there was a stash of at least 10 items from various jewelry vendors from throughout the show in her satchel.
Since there is no police presence at the market, Magenta Girl somehow talked her way to her car and drove off....
The police caught her, after an APB had been issued, about 10 miles from the show. Of course Magenta Girl had ditched my Purple Antique Mother of Pearl Button pendant necklace. It wasn't found when they searched her car. She cried and lied. A summons was issued.
I learned this because the Lancaster County District Attorney called me to investigate. I was the key witness. Actually the only witness that saw her taking items and hiding them on her person.
So, for just a second, I questioned what was worse, the vendor who steals my ideas and sells them as if they are her own? Or, the thief who steals pieces of my jewelry to feed an obsession?
I received a subpoena to appear in court as the key witness.
It's court day. I drive the 90 miles to the Lancaster County courthouse to be the star witness. When we arrive at the courthouse, the security guard assumes that we're there for a traffic violation. But when we explain that I was a key witness and why we're there, he exemplifies "Well Done!" and ushers us into the District Attorney's office.
You have to realize that Lancaster County is a really, really small, sleepy area of Virginia. This was a big case for them. At least it appeared that way to me.
So I met with the DA and reviewed what had happened. He was extremely interested and expressed that Magenta Girl was going down. Now I was excited. I want Magenta Girl to burn.
When we return to the waiting area, the Despised Vendor and her mother - I call her Chatty Cathy - even though that's not her real name – race into the courthouse. Chatty Cathy starts, well, chatting through her Botox lips at me in her mumbling way as if we were best friends. I ignore her. The Despised Vendor is escorted to the DA's office to give her side of the story. I shrug her off when she returns.
Finally, it's time to go into the courtroom. I was really excited because it is the first time I have ever been in a courtroom in my life. I truly expected the Law and Order sound (chung chung) to go off when I opened the door to go in.
So guess who walks in after we all settle into our bench seats? Magenta Girl and her lawyer. I cringe when I see her. She's all primped and respectable looking in a business suit. She had her hair cut to make her look innocent and all of her tattoos were covered up.
And guess what else she was wearing? One of my Antique Button Bracelets that I know she never bought from me. Oh, I know it was mine. Remember when I mentioned that I remember each and every piece of jewelry that I've made? That was definitely one of my bracelets and I am pretty positive that she never bought it from me.
The judge comes in... We remained seated. I was surprised that we didn't have to "All Rise"...
The case number was read and the District Attorney and Magenta Girl's lawyer headed to the bench. There was some undertone discussion which I couldn't really hear, or understand. And that was it.
Huh? Well we learned that it was Preliminary Hearing and that the Grand Jury hearing will occur in late October, or November. She's being slapped with two charges - meaning that since the value of the items is more than $250 she's going to be charged with a felony. Good.
Magenta Girl skirted her way out of the courthouse as fast as her skinny little legs - and the tugging of her country lawyer - could take her. Eyes toward the door. She didn’t even have the guts to look my way.
I can’t wait until the Grand Jury hearing. I’ll be there. I'm the key witness!
I've heard that Magenta Girl had quite the racket going on. She steals items from unknowing artists and then resells them at Consignment Stores for cash. I'm not sure of this, of course, but it makes sense.
It also makes sense I had an answer to the night that I awoke in a cold sweat questioning where all of those necklaces on the rack in my Studio had gone. Magenta Girl had been there the day before.
She's going down.
- I get some strange emails, but this one made me blush. It was "From" Murphy and the Subject Line was "Three Way".:
Thank God it was from a gal who was asking about one of my 3 in 1 necklaces... Whew!
- A nice little email that we received addressed to our email@example.com Inbox:
"This is not an info request. It is, however, an email filled with praise.
My daughter was born on Christmas so it is always a bit of a challenge to make her birthday special with all the holiday swirl.
When I saw the Braille Hugs & Kisses Necklace on your website I felt the same way I did when I saw my daughter in the wedding dress that was the one. My heart swelled and happy tears came – I had found a gift perfect for her!
The result was exactly as I had hoped and more. She not only loved the necklace but she also said the packaging was so amazing.
Thank you so much for helping me make her birthday special!"
That's the nicest thing someone has said to me in quite awhile...
- Hidden secrets...
We've heard incredible holiday stories about how our little pink boxes have been presented as Christmas gifts... But one story that stole my heart is how a great husband has hidden my necklaces in his Christmas tree for the love of his life and his daughters... for years.. "I don't use your little pink box.. I tuck them hidden deep inside the tree.. from top to bottom"... "And they never find them!"
"You've got to be kidding me!" "No", he says... "Every year I have to buy a bigger tree!"
I just love it!
- It's not my fault!
When you ask me to make you a lucky necklace, or lucky bracelet, or even lucky earrings in the colors of your favorite high school, college or pro sports team... I can not be held responsible when they lose...
However, if they win, it was definitely the lucky necklace, or bracelet, or earrings that I created just for you!!!
- Be careful what you give away... You may not ever get it back!
We've had a number of our customers write, or call, or come to the Studio asking for a specific design, or color combination, of one of my styles even though they had recently bought that same style for themselves.
"Out of the goodness of my heart, I gave it to (fill in the blank)"... "They just loved it so much, and I thought I could just get another one..."
Be careful about that! As they've learned, the hard way, I often exhaust the supplies that I have, and it's not a sure thing to get the same materials again. I'll be happy to try... But I just can't make any promises.
- She wore her silver Michelle wrapped on her neck in the waiting area... Then she wrapped it on her wrist for the flight.
- "Five oceans. One Year. A bunch of on u necklaces. Compliments wherever I go.."
- All work and no play makes for no fun, right?
So why is it that one of our customers found, or let's say did not find, the onujewelry.com website on her browser while she was at work at her brokerage firm? Because it was blocked!
Porn? No. Malicious content? No. Customer security? I don't think so...
All she wanted to do was a little "pre-show" shopping...
Sorry. You can't go there. Bummer.
- The world is such a little town.
Honored to have a young lad from Liverpool who grew up with John Lennon grace us at the Studio this week...
- It's pretty neat when we hear from old customers...
We received an email from a woman in Massachusetts who wrote: "I just broke the catch on my favorite "on u" green bakelite button barrette. (I don't remember the name of the store where I bought it but it was definitely several years ago.) The label on back says you're located in Newtown, PA. Are you the same company but at a different location?"
Why yes, we are the same company. It turns out that she bought a couple of my Bakelite button barrettes in the early 90's. It was wonderful to see one of my original creations from so long ago once again. I enjoyed holding onto it and fixing it back up for her. It was like healing a tiny little bird with a broken wing back to health...
I hated to let it go...
- There's just something about Mary...
Mary has a few of our Hit Singles. Well, let's say quite a few. And, she has a few of my other pieces, too. No, let's say that again... Quite a few.
So, when she called to order one of my latest Hit Singles she mentioned that she thinks she has a bit of a problem. That she visits the website maybe a little too often. That she thinks that maybe she's become an online on u 'stalker'.
So how is she going to overcome this little problem? She's giving up visiting onujewelry.com for Lent.
Forty days and counting...
- Order in the court!
It's bad enough that you have the jitters when you have to go to court for a traffic violation. Your palms are sweaty. You're surrounded by people who you'd rather not be surrounded by. Your throat is dry as you try to figure out what you're going to say when your case is called.
So imagine the quake of fear that erupted when our mild mannered customer was asked to come to the bench to speak to the judge while in court recently...
Judge (in a whisper): "I love your necklace. Where did you get it?"
Mild mannered customer: "uh... Thank you Judge. It's a Michelle Necklace that I got from Donna at on u jewelry... on Patterson Avenue."
Judge: "Case dismissed!"
- She found a "Hit Single" that it is so incredibly stunning. One of those that just jumps from the case...Ancient Roman Glass, 14th Century Mother of Pearl, Colonial Period vest coat buttons... One of my rare pieces that can only be seen at the Studio.
She casually rolled it up and placed it upon her neck. "I want this. I really do... " She tried it on. Mirrored it. We worked together for the perfect fit ... Then I heard something that I've never, ever, heard before...
"I love it. I really do. My only fear is that if I wear this necklace a second time - someone is going to take note of it... I'm sure of it". "My only regret is that I really, really want this necklace"...
(I've been known to keep a secret.)
- We've been graced by Richmond's, and world, re-known "celebrity". Those in the know. Those in the moment...our selective 'few'.
Then there those who are 'a bit above' the celebrity level. More like "royalty". Those few who make it look ever so simple. They just seem to have that laisse faire about them... The Greta Garbo types... And yes, there a few here in Richmond.
She just saunters. in ever so easily and makes herself so at home... "Yes. A Michelle Pearl. And a Silver Michelle, too,,,. I'll wear them together." How in the world did she find them so quickly? The perfect match of two together... Perfect for her. (She's never been here before and she find's them in less than 4 minutes?!).
The cool thing is that she was just as entranced with us and we were with her. "I've heard so much about you". I was a little overwhelmed, "Tell me about your trip to Italy..." We talked about the Uffizi...Academia...Da Vinci.. Ferragamo...
And then we pulled back to a collective moment when personalities split...
"Should I get one, or two of these? Two,...maybe three. Two, for me. One for my daughter. No... I'm not sure. Two for me... one for her... These are just so incredible..." I have to take at least three of these with me today..."
Sybil... She brings out the best in all of us...
- Client Confidentiality...
An unusual online order shows up for 12 necklaces , 4 bracelets and 7 pairs of earrings.
It was the kind of order that makes you wonder. A few days pass until we're able to really start putting it together.
Phone call... "Hi ordered 12 necklaces and 7 pairs of earrings and..." "And, I was wondering when you think that you'll be sending my order out to me in Chicago? But, before you do, could we go over everything so that I k now that it's going to right for me?"
Hmmm...a voice behind the mystery adds shape to the order.
In return, I say " Okay, I understand that you would like me to send you 12 necklaces, 4 bracelets and 7 pairs of earrings. But I just have to ask "How did you hear about us?""
I'd love to tell you,,, I really would. But I'm a marriage counselor, and like a lawyer, I've signed a Client Confidentiality Agreement that limits me from telling you who my client is."
I totally understand. however, I have a funny feeling that her client is going to notice during their next session...
- The Interview.
Completely nervous. We all know how it feels. Trying to be confident and self-assured and in the same mind-set as the potential 'boss'. And in today's world, every little edge is well, an edge.
So through the process she goes, Primped and proper. Ready for every question with just the right answer. Coffee? No thanks. A glass of water? Nope. Please have a seat...
Is that an on u necklace?
Common ground... something we all need from time to time.
Needless to say, congratulations are in order...
- Christmas was oh so wonderful at the Studio this year. I know that is was crazy busy from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve... and while we may have seemed harried and overwhelmed during the midst of it, little things stick out that make it all so worthwhile...
I'm not sure if it was the Monday, or Tuesday, before Christmas, Dad stopped in with the little ones to get a gift for Mom. He pulled out a printout with a Lola Love Necklace - which made it pretty easy - Mom had printed the web page out and tucked it in his briefcase. Wrapped and ready to go we asked the little ones what they wanted for Christmas.. That's when things got a little difficult for Dad.
"I want an X-box and a Swiss Army Knife" said the little boy. "And, if I'm lucky a slingshot". Dad smiled at the X-box part. I don't think he knew about the slingshot, or the Swiss Army Knife....
The little girl beamed confidently...and quickly rattled off her wish list as though it was tucked in her sleeve.... "My own cell phone....an ipod...a Polyvore account and at the top of my list...an on u necklace!"".
It's a good thing Mom had stopped by the week before...
- The consignment shop.
One of our customers found one of my Forever Knot Necklaces at a consignment shop for $30. It was a great deal, considering that they sell for $120 new.
It was in pretty good shape, so she bought it. Not for herself, but as a birthday gift for her mother-in-law.
She didn't want to look like a cheapy when she showed it to her husband, so she altered the price tag just a bit... writing in a "1" in front of the "30".
"Look honey, I got your mom something for her birthday." "An on u necklace that was $130, I hope that's okay". Of course he agreed that spending that much for his Mom's birthday gift was fine and dandy with him...
If he only knew.
- Tag. You're not it.
I had a customer come in this week, she had never been to the Studio before, who was amazed at all of the pieces that I have and was thrilled to finally be able to visit...
As she explored all of the different styles, and designs, she gently pulled a necklace out of her pocketbook. She told me that she was surprised that it was falling apart after two years and that it needed repair. I was surprised, too. My pieces don't become frayed, or tattered, unless they are really worn continually, and even then, they hold up really well.
Anyhow, when she handed it over to me, I could definitely tell that it wasn't one of my pieces. A dreaded knockoff. When I told her that it was not an original, and that it was a copy of one of my necklaces, she was horror-struck. "But it has one of your tags on it!" And sure enough, it did.
After showing her, in detail, what the original looked like, she understood, and could totally see the difference. The tear in her eye turned to anger. "You mean that someone had the gall to copy your work and to even put one of your tags on it?" she blurted. "That's disgusting!".
Congratulations to Susan Shaltry of Columbus, Ohio for her winning entry in our first ever Facebook Giveaway! Susan has won a Tyler ... I hope you enjoy her winning story!
- My son recently turned 18-years-old. After the long haul of delivering our child from the turmoil of pre-teen years to young adulthood AND 19 years of marriage, my husband and I decided we deserved a little get-away. My husband, Paul, being a longtime fan of The Grateful Dead (long live Jerry) was thrilled when tour dates for The Dead were announced and a show was within a half-day drive from us. With tickets purchased and the concert date upon us, we packed up the car for our drive to Charlottesville, VA and headed off.
The show was fantastic as was the town of Charlottesville. The day after our Dead experience, we decided to linger and look around the Downtown Mall area before heading back on the road. I strolled through shops in this quaint little shopping district and came upon a little store called Pearl.
Ok, this is where the story becomes a bit disturbing because I value the fact that I am a woman who knows my own mind and can manage my own finances. But Paul gets a little antsy when he notes I have spent a lot of time in any particular store. He tends to try to rustle me out of stores before I make any 'unnecessary' purchases. You know how they can be. Anyway, he saw me lingering over the jewelry case and particularly noting the pieces that I would come to find out were all On U creations. I couldn't take my eyes off of the gorgeous, simple, freewheeling necklaces. I would see one that I loved, talk about it, extol the virtues of the handiwork only to see ANOTHER one equally as eye catching. This went on for several minutes as the store clerk told me the story behind Donna Silvestri and how she is a local artisan.
Knowing that we had just spent a tidy little sum on the tickets to the show, the hotel, restaurant meals and fuel to make the trip, I was hesitant to spend more on these pieces that I loved. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, the words were uttered that I had NEVER heard come out of my husband's mouth; "you should just get one for yourself, hon". Huh? I looked around the store and, yep, we were the only customers in there. "Really" he said "you never buy anything like that for yourself". Mind you, I don't base my buying decisions on my husband's permission to make purchases but it is extraordinary that he actually ENCOURAGED me to buy something for myself which, happily, I did!
Now, if On U jewelry can change my cheapo husband's behavior, even if just for a day, there has got to be something special going on!
Susan Shaltry, Columbus, Ohio
- The neighbor.
Here's a surreptitious email that we received from one of our renowned customers. "Hello...........She's done it again.....everything I have....she has..........yikes!"
I'd keep an eye on your hubby, if I were you...
- The Sugar Daddy...
The Silent Auction room was set with a bounty of wonderful items; B&B packages, beautiful oil paintings, gift baskets galore, and along with a cluster of other jewelry, one of my Michelle Necklaces. The Silent Auction was for a fantastic cause, a Red Dress Gala to support Cardiac Care.
As usual, the bidding started out low, and up until dinner, each item had been bumped up the price ladder by reasonable bids...
Yet, my Michelle Necklace, seemed to really be causing a stir.
The announcement after dinner that only 15 minutes remained for bids led many back into the Silent Auction room to see where they stood. You couldn't help but notice a crowd around the jewelry table. Honestly, you couldn't even get close.
In the final minutes, bids for the Michelle jumped from $480 to $650 to $800. Then, in one final swoop, the Sugar Daddy unflinchingly said to the woman who had just placed what she thought was the winning bid at $950, "I'm getting this necklace".
Calmly, the Sugar Daddy nudged her away from the bid sheet, scribbled a price of $1002, and walked away. A half second later, the announcement was made that the bidding had closed.
Some were seeing red... The Red Dress Gala was seeing green!
- "Look Mom! No cavities!"
Remember when you were little and received a reward for not having any cavities? Some of my customers continue the tradition when they visit the dentist's office next door to us.
Dentist office visit (check). Teeth cleaning (check). No cavities (check). Stop by the on u studio and reward myself for being a good little girl. Absolutely!
Makes sense to me!
- After I mentioned how terrible I felt that I really hadn't had much time to get ready for the holidays, a soft voice came from across the Studio that rang true..."but you really have to think about how much pleasure your work is going to give to so many others this holiday season..."
I hope you feel the same... Happy Holidays!
- We have a customer in a mid-western city that refuses to tell any of her friends where she gets her jewelry. It's her discovery and she's keeping it a secret. Forever.
- Sorry that this one has taken a little while to post...
It was her first day at a new elementary school. Quite shy and quite scared because she didn't know a soul.
A smile crossed her face when she noticed that the girl sitting beside her in their first grade class was wearing a Candy Dots necklace, too. They introduced themselves to each other and started to chat. She felt so happy that she had met someone that she liked so much.
So they chatted some more, about each other, about school, about clothes, and about their Candy Dots necklaces. Both mentioned how they loved their necklaces so much and hadn't taken them off since they had gotten them early in the summer. They even traded necklaces because hers was a little different than her new friend's. The new teacher noticed the exchange and asked them to settle down a bit...
Throughout the day, they giggled, and whispered, back and forth over their necklaces until finally, the teacher had had enough.
Aghast, the teacher took each of their necklaces for the rest of the day!
As she got off the bus, tears streamed down her face when Mom asked how her first day of school was. It was terrible! The teacher took my Candy Dots necklace!
What made it even worse was that it was a Friday, and the little one would be without her necklace for the whole weekend...
- "I really can't talk right now. I'm at the doctor's office. I'll call you after I'm through. In about an hour, or so...okay, bye..." as she casually closes her phone and goes back to looking at my Hit Singles necklaces at the Studio.
Please note that I can't write prescriptions...
- Maybe we should change the name of our Colored Dots Necklaces, (which we actually call Multi Dots Necklaces). Here's a snippet of a note that we received just the other day...
"For now, I want to order a colored dots necklace for her so she has one like mine (we call them "friendship" necklaces -- I'm trying to buy all my closest friends one over time)."
It's more than a trend...
- Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da!
"We saw the "on u" sign and started to hop, skip, then run to get to your booth... We were just so happy to see you after a whole year!".... Michelle, Alice and Kristen... Joined by Larisa, Katherine, Stephanie, Rhonda, Patty, Alicia, Barbara, Amy and a whole bunch more that came throughout the day...
- Pleased to meet you... I hope you guess my name...
It's so fun to hear people's first "read" of our name... "on yu, on yuuu", and then there's "on eww".. We've also had the "on ye?" translation, too.
Ultimately, they get it.. on u... like when you wear it, it's "on you"...
We know. You get it...
For those who don't, we wish them the best in life....
- "Don't you dare!" Is what one of our great customers told her husband when he joked that he was going to submit an "unsubscribe" request to take her off of our mailing list after she had emailed him a gentle reminder for what she wanted for Valentine's Day....
And she wasn't kidding...
- Please, be careful out there!
We received a call from a woman frantically asking for directions to the Studio. She and her daughter were in search of Candy Dots necklaces.
As I said "Head up Patterson towards the Village Shopping Center..." I heard this "$#&@! Oh, damn! I just hit a pole"...
We love that you love the Candy Dots so much, but please let's not risk life and limb!
- At one of our recent shows a well-dressed young woman spent quite a bit of time looking at the line... After a while, she selected a pair of my Pearl Maggie Earrings. They were perfect for her.
Interestingly, when I noticed the name on her check it was from a well-known Richmond family jeweler.
Do you think she wears them to family gatherings?
- On last spring's postcard mailing it said 'You're it....' though (i hate to admit) many didn't quite get the "tag" part of it...
Yet, this customer totally gets it.
(phone ring)... ".Hello.. "Hi... I received an on u necklace as a gift...you know, it was in the pretty in pink, on u gift box.." "Great, do you love it?" "Are you kidding me... it's absolutely perfect...but there's a problem with it..."...
"Why, what's wrong?"
"Well, it doesn't have one of your on u tags on it... I mean, I really need one..."
- Hi, Donna. Just wanted to say thank you for your help the other day with the 3 in 1 necklace. I love it and have been wearing it everyday. I had no idea Bryan had ordered me a necklace when I came in that day. We laughed and laughed that you sent a different one than the one he ordered. Talk about knowing your customers!!
- I've got a secret.
That's pretty much what one of our customers told her friend that she gave one of my Maggie Mae necklaces to. The friend absolutely loved the necklace and wanted to get a little something extra for herself. However, when she asked where she got it, our customer totally avoided the subject. So, the one friend bugged the other friend for nearly a month and a half... Finally, after a long pause, she gave up and told her where she got it. We had a new customer at the Studio the very next day!
- Part 1: I'm not quite sure how to say this without being too bold or brash...yet it's something that I can't quite wait to tell you...
We were very fortunate to have been asked to participate in a very slight way in quite a phenomenal charity event here in Richmond- the Genworth Children's Advantage Classic - featuring Andre Agassi, Stefanie, Graf, Lindsay Davenport and James Blake...
All of the proceeds from the event flow directly to phenomenal programs that support worthy youth programs here in Richmond...which is the important part of the whole thing.
Yet with quite a bit of humility, and a whole lot of smiles, I'm happy say that we were able to present each Stefanie and Lindsay with a collection of on u jewelry...
Now, how cool is that?
- Part 2 : One evening I was at Ukrops picking up a few things for dinner when my cell phone began to ring. I looked to see that it was a "Private Number". That's not quite so unusual, but when I answered the call to find that Stefanie Graf was on the other end. That was unusual!
We had the nicest conversation. She was truly genuine and appreciative of the items that I gave her at the Genworth Children's Advantage. She loved the necklaces and mentioned how her children had worn them every single day since they received them 7 weeks ago. She asked me lots of question which I hope I answered coherently...
When I hung up the phone, one of my favorite customers was there by my side. While I told her what had just happened - I swear we were jumping up and down screaming like little school girls!
- Voices from above. Seems as though some of our junior crowd has received an edict from "above" (the daily intercom system from the main office). It appears that the parochial dress code was being broken by wearing too many of our Candy Dots necklaces with a sterling silver or Swarovski crystal cross...
One, or two. Okay. Six, or seven...you're in trouble.
Didn't Madonna go to parochial school?
- Goodbye Girl. To the kleptomaniac that swiped a batch of our stuff from one of our stores. Bring it back. Questions asked.
- "I'd like to order a couple of necklaces" she said. I couldn't quite make out the accent, whether it was British or southern. "How about a Maggie Mae and a Dots and a Amazonite Sweet P?." Sure. "Oh, I'm not done yet" she said. "I'd also like..." A whole bunch of necklaces later I couldn't wait to ask, "Where are you from." "I'm from Virginia Beach, but I live in Australia now. There's nothing like this there. I can't wait to take these home as gifts!" FedEx is a beautiful thing.
- This one really isn't a short story, but a wonderful note I recently received...I guess this is why I do what I do!
"I just bought a Maggie Mae and a longer necklace with a single stone.
These beautiful delicate necklaces look great together and I just wanted
to write to say that the craftsmanship is incredible and I get
compliments wherever I go."
- We've all heard about "re-gifting". It's become a common day occurrence. Yet this is something a little bit beyond... A wonderful young lady arrived at the Studio and asked, ever so preciously, if she could exchange the necklace she had received as a birthday gift for something a little bit different. It wasn't "quite her style", she said... "Not a problem" I recalled saying.... We undid the original on u bow-tied ribbon box, intact with the original wrappings. To my surprise, something completely different was revealed...an on u "knock-off"!!! (oh, it's become quite prevalent, I assure you...). I was taken aback. Then, when I told her that it wasn't one of my pieces...she was, too.... I can't tell you who the giver was... We simply trashed the copycat piece (or should I say, garbage-disposaled it)... and started over from scratch.... She left looking fab...
- I knew there was a reason why I went into the Studio on the Monday after doing three days at Daisy Days followed by another full day at Art in the Square in Williamsburg....
At about 10 that Monday morning a St. Bridget's Mom of a 3rd grader burst into the Studio to tell me that her daughter was terribly upset because she had been to a party on Saturday afternoon and that "all of those girls" were wearing "one of those necklaces" by "Mrs. Silvestri!". "I want one too, Mom", I think is what the little girl said to her Mom...or maybe it was more like "Why don't I have one, Mom?: It didn't take more than a minute to figure out that it was a Colored Dots Necklace with a tiny little Swarovski cross that the little one was itching for.
Wind ahead to 3 that afternoon, I looked up to find the cutest little girl with the biggest (and I mean "biggest") smile that you could ever imagine, standing in my doorway gleaming at me...She said curtly, "Mrs. Silvestri, thank you so much for my necklace....I just love it!" Her Mom followed, in tow, to pick out some more goodies for the little one...
I knew there was a reason I went to the Studio on Monday....
- You've spent days preparing to speak in front of esteemed colleagues and associates. Spending an insurmountable of time getting all of your notes in order; all of your words just right. The big day arrives...the presentation is perfect... Everything went just the way you planned.... Then you ask "May I answer any questions about the topics we just covered?" A calm falls upon the room, then from the darkness of the auditorium a voice calls out...."Yes, Doctor, could you please tell me where did you get your necklace?".
- A long time customer rushed into the Studio waving a check saying..."I asked my company to make out my Christmas bonus check out to "On U" because I didn't want to spend a single penny of it anywhere else!". Now that's customer loyalty!
- When it's your birthday, you pretty much know what you really want...
One day while doing a show, a shopper stopped by my booth and fell in love with my line. Then and there, she decided that what she really wanted my jewelry for her birthday present. Ironically, within a day or two, her hubby was recommended by one of his clients to buy my jewelry as a gift for his wife's upcoming birthday
As the big day drew near, he came into the Studio and bought her some wonderful pieces. I'm thrilled to say that she was really happy with her gifts, but there was something in particular that really caught her eye, so she stopped by the Studio to make a swap.
We started talking about how I started my line and I showed her some of my original hand-sewn button bracelets that I had created back in the early 90's when we lived in Pennsylvania. She mentioned that she had an old button bracelet that she had gotten from a store in Delaware. And that she just loved it so much that she wore it until a bunch of the buttons fell off...
Well, when she went home and found the bracelet in her stash of jewelry, she noticed an "on u, Newtown, PA" tag hand-sewn into the back of the bracele. She quickly brought it back to the Studio to show me... I've got to tell you, it was like meeting up with a long, lost friend!
It's one of my original designs and likely one of my first creations... It makes wonder if anybody else has one of my old button bracelet creations tucked in a drawer or jewelry box out there? If you do, please let me know...I'd love to see it !!!
- We answered a call from a woman with a distinct British accent who told us that while she was on holiday in France all of her things were stolen from her hotel room... including her Princess Lola Necklace and a number of other on u necklaces and bracelets.
She felt lost without them because she loved them so much and pretty much wore them everywhere. She even sent us a picture of herself wearing her Princess Lola so that could make her a new one as close as possible to the original... We felt quite bad about her trauma, and we're more than happy to help her to replace them...
The funniest thing that she told us? "I'm sure some French lady is enjoying every piece!"
- Okay. We all try to plan our vacations around great things...whether it be sunshine, food, surf, snow, foreign destinations, or whatever. We're happy to report that we know of this really fab family that planned their beach trip based on one of our shows... Now how cool is that?
Perhaps we'll open a new category... 'Show Girls!' (LOL)!!!
- One customer's husband thanked us for saving him a bunch. He had just bought his wife a diamond tennis bracelet for Mother's Day. However, she told him that what she really wanted was one of our Princess Lola necklaces...
- A while back we made broaches. When one of our customers was out clubbing, someone stole the broach right off of her jacket.. and they left the jacket.