Yes, I went there. Really, for me it’s impossible not to.
Since November of 2008, I’ve been in the throes of an intense and passionate love affair with Waxing Poetic jewelry. (I’ve never heard of a more aptly named company.) I feel further justified by the fact that I’m not alone in my sentiments. See: #iampoetic on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc..
I remember it well, the day I discovered this line. It was at one of my favorite shops in Boulder, Bliss. There, inside a glass case, sat four tiny silver squares that would change my life forever. That statement may seem unnecessarily dramatic, but when you consider how this brand has taken part in charting my course in the years since, it all adds up. (And add up, it has.)
Those four little charms were the entirety of the Latin Perpetuals series. Perfectly imperfect in their detail, each is crafted of solid sterling silver and bears a Latin word and ancient imagery on the front and the English translation on the reverse. Pax/Pacis – peace. Exulto – joyful one. Carus – beloved one. Gratia – the grateful. SWOON.
My meager income at the time allowed me to purchase only one that day – $47 was a lot of money to pay for a small charm – so I took home Carus because the store had just one left. I returned to Bliss in the following months as I was able and eventually acquired them all, save one. Gratia.
My love for this brand ballooned in the following years: Bobbinas. Spirit Stamps. Tonic Tags. Lucky Mojo charms. Storybook Pages. Each series by Waxing Poetic is thoughtfully named and poised to be collected. Something about this line evokes the special, the unique. Even as it has expanded into scarves, candles and most recently, a direct-sales venture, PoeticXchange akin to Silpada, each piece is designed and presented with care.
As subsequent WP lines co-mingled in my jewelry box, I never forgot about Gratia. It became an obsession. I scoured the Internet. One by one, I called individual retailers across the country and visited every WP-carrying store I could in my travels. I contacted Waxing Poetic directly. None of my efforts proved fruitful – until two weeks ago.
One of my favorite sellers on eBay, to whom I’d reached out in hopes of tracking down my long sought-for treasure, wrote me back. Gratia had been located in some back-stock. After eight years, it’s mine. I still can’t believe it. I keep reaching to my wrist and quietly smiling to myself that my long search is over. Finally.
It’s funny how a happenstance visit to a small store effortlessly launched such a nurtured infatuation.
As coincidence would have it, that’s similar to what launched WP itself. “It all really started with a visit to an antique store back in
2001, when she was searching for something (what? she doesn’t remember), and ended up inspired by old wax seals that lead to the creation of the first wax seal insignias,” Patti Pagliei-Simpson, the company’s bootstrapping founder, has recounted.
As I write this, I feel much like Inigo Montoya once he’s exacted revenge on his father’s killer. What will I obsess over, now that I’m not hunting/longing for that never-forgotten charm?
It’s shop o’clock somewhere.