Here is another interview leading up to National Infertility Awareness Week. I had the pleasure of interviewing Melody from Hope Of My Heart. She has a lovely little shop on etsy www.hopeofmyheart.etsy.com She offers a variety of jewelry ranging from adoption, infertility, loss, and recently medical alert. I was lucky enough to learn about the inspiration behind her shop and wanted to share her story.
What inspired you to start your etsy shop? How long has your shop been open?
I started my business in February of 2005, and opened the Etsy shop in September 2007. The whole reason I started the business was I wanted to offer something to be an encouragement for women as they faced infertility. My husband and I were diagnosed with our infertility issues just 4 months after we were married. I was desperate to have a baby, even though it hadn’t been that long at the time of our diagnosis. A couple years later, we adopted our son, but I still struggled with all the emotions that accompany primary infertility. We faced primary infertility for 6 years.
I had made myself a bracelet when we started the process of adoption – simply a reminder to be patient – and people started requesting those bracelets. That’s when I opened it as a business. I had seen plenty of adoption jewelry, but none for infertility. I wanted to provide that for women. Then ladies started requesting jewelry for miscarriage and loss. . . .and as time went on I started adding other products as well.
What types of products do you offer?
I offer a variety of products, from necklaces and bracelets to rings, earrings, and even guitar picks. By far the biggest selling category is the memorial jewelry. There are infertility and adoption designs, and since so many women do go on to become mothers eventually, I also added a mother’s jewelry line. A new line of designs I’m working on at the moment is medical alert jewelry – which was started by a special request.
How do you come up with the designs for your pieces?
It varies. Sometimes I’ll see something that I like, and I’ll take those ideas and try to create something different with them. Sometimes I’ll look through my supplies and think, “What can I make that’s totally different today?” Many times though, the ideas come from a saying or an emotion – and I try to take that and make it into a piece of jewelry.
What helps keep you motivated to make new products?
Probably the biggest thing that keeps me motivated is the desire to offer designs that really speak to women – to encourage them, and to be as beautiful as they are encouraging.
What do you enjoy most about etsy?
There are so many neat things there! The sense of community is nice, but I love to just look and window shop.
Why did you decided to make infertility related items?
During my own struggle with infertility, I was a member of a forum called Hannah’s Prayer (www.hannah.org). There I learned that I wasn’t the only one going through infertility, and I wasn’t the only one who wished there was infertility jewelry available.
What advice could you give to someone who is facing infertility?
Let go and let God. Don’t let your life get completely wrapped up in the pursuit of a baby. Yes, it hurts to go through infertility, and it hurts a lot. The pain is excruciating. But don’t get so absorbed that you let life pass you by. I look back at how much I just sat on the sidelines because I couldn’t handle the pain of infertility, and I missed a lot of life because I was dwelling on my own pain too much.
Any advice for loved ones of someone who is struggling with infertility? One thing you should never say to someone facing infertility?
Be supportive, but don’t pester them about if or when they’re ever going to have children. They’re probably more sensitive about it than they let on, and don’t need you to remind them of what they don’t have or how long it’s taking. Instead, offer to listen if they need to talk, but be understanding if they don’t want to. Don’t give them advice about how to have a baby, or about so-and-so that you know that did xyz and magically got pregnant. And please, DON’T tell them to just adopt. Adoption is not a lesser option or a second choice, and it will not cause someone to become pregnant, even if you know someone who conceived after adopting.
Here are some of the beautiful pieces she creates