By the beginning of April, my Valencia shop was boarded up. I had to furlough my SF team and part of my NY Team. Our crew went from eight to four and we all started working from home. Kelsey, Jen and I quickly transitioned the sample sale to a virtual model.
Folks started signing up for virtual appointments over the next several months. Looking back, it’s hard to believe I met with over 400 customers from all over the world via FaceTime and Zoom. You welcomed me into your homes and I met your children, your spouses, your roommates, your partners and even your pets. We had group Zoom calls with your girlfriends - we laughed and cried together. I also met a handful of heroes - nurses and doctors who took a minute to treat themselves to a new piece of jewelry. This gave me the chance to learn more about YOU - what an incredible gift! In the 15 years I’ve been running CMD, I felt more fulfilled in my career than ever.
Over the summer, I went home to NJ to help care for my mom after a massive shoulder surgery. While sitting on my mom’s screened-in porch, I started The Ring Bar Happy Hour where I put together unique ring stacks at discounted prices. It was fun and creative work, and a way for me to invite you into my world.
When I traveled back to SF in September, I was in a place where I was finally ready to move back East permanently. The biggest motivator was to be closer to my family and team. I announced the closure of my shop and booked in-person “farewell” appointments with many local customers.
After one week into my appointments, I was absolutely devastated after tragically losing my love Kamran, my partner of nearly ten years. As I was struggling with this heartbreak, I had to step away for a while. My team, family, friends and community offered me loving support. I felt so blessed that my team swooped in and took the reins. This gave me space to breathe through my pain.
Just a few days before I was set to fly back to NJ, I also lost my beloved 103-year old Gram. Sadly, I had to say goodbye to Gram via FaceTime. 2020 had taken two of the most important people in my life.
I finally made it back to NJ at the end of November, just in time for the holidays and am slowly starting to set up shop in Asbury Park, New Jersey. This new light-drenched space is so lovely and I can’t wait to open in my doors to you sometime in 2021. Good things will be happening in this next chapter.
Well, 2020 was the wildest year of my life and despite it all, there were many positive outcomes. Not only has CMD stayed afloat, we have a new business model, equipped for the pandemic and for years to come. I feel more connected with our fans even without seeing your faces in my shop and at shows. My employees and I have become a more resilient and tight-knit team.
As I sit here and reflect, I feel an immense amount of gratitude for the people who have surrounded us. The support of our community continues to help us through these unpredictable times. We’re so excited to share new ideas, fresh designs and a greater connection with you as we move forward into the new year.
I’m wishing all of you a quiet and peaceful transition into 2021. I hope you’ll keep your eyes on the silver linings and the extra stars in the winter skies. Don’t forget… we’re in this together!
What an intense year of changes, sadness and beauty. I wish you continued healing and strength. You are such a bright wonderful soul. Thank you for sharing your amazing gifts with the world.
Dearest Colleen… Wow your words, story and introspection shed a lot of light on how one can truly persevere during such an uncertain and surreal time!! It’s wonderful to hear a success story of a small business right now considering how many others had to completely closed their doors. Your perseverance is inspiring and all the best on your new chapter in NJ! I’ve been a fan of your work from the beginning and will be for as long as you continue to create!!!
Congrats Xoxo Lynda
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January 06, 2021
Thank you for your beautiful post. I have been admiring your jewelry for the last couple months and look forward to purchasing myself a ring soon. I love your designs and especially your combination of metals/colors. Wishing you peace, good health and happiness in the New Year!