The newest addition to the Living Jewelry series is Michelle Cattani. Michelle is a crafty pet lover who works in advertising. She loves girly styles but is no stranger to getting down and dirty on a fishing trip or walking her dog in the frigid outdoors of a Manitoba winter.
Michelle, tell us a little bit about yourself!
I grew up in Winnipeg but have also lived in Nova Scotia and Costa Rica. I’m half Trinidadian and have always felt a very strong connection to all things tropical, although I’ve grown to love our winters here too. I write commercials for radio – and I like to read, crochet, and hang out with my dog. I love to travel, and wish I had more time to do that!
Don’t we all!
How would you describe your style?
I would say my style is pretty classic. When I was younger I wasn’t very brave when it came to fashion; I make much bolder choices now. I like to think that I know what I can and can’t pull off. I always choose pieces I know I’ll feel good in.
So you’ve gained a little confidence in your own style. Why do you think you’re able to be bolder now?
I just care less about what other people think. I was very self-conscious as a child, and I didn’t ever want to stand out in any way, ever. But somewhere along the way I found myself and realized that I don’t care as much anymore; I like me, and I like and feel most comfortable standing out a little.
Do you think wearing jewelry helps you stand out and be yourself?
Absolutely! Jewelry is another way of expressing myself, so for me I only like to wear pieces that make me feel like me. It makes me feel more put together. Even when I’m dressed casually with my hair in a messy bun, simple earrings and a few rings make the look feel more polished.
Just got to put a little shine on it!
Do you have any extra special pieces in your collection?
The most special jewelry I have came from my grandma. A few years ago she gave all her granddaughters some pieces from her personal collection; most of it was gifted to her by my grandpa.
She gave me a bracelet, a necklace and a pair of earrings. My grandpa had very good taste – they’re all beautiful. The earrings are the only ones I don’t wear, because she doesn’t have pierced ears so they’re clip-ons. I would love to have them altered so I can wear them – they’re so unique and different from anything else I own.
I understand. I have pieces from both my parents that silently tell my story. It’s so nice to be able to carry these memories with me. Do you feel more connected to your grandma when you wear them?
I do – and also to my grandpa, who passed away almost five years ago. One of the necklaces she gave me is one I loved as a child, and I used to think it looked like candy, which is why she chose that one for me. I’ll be honest, I didn’t remember that I had thought that, but I love that she remembered. She has quite a few grandchildren, and now great grandchildren, so for her to remember something so small and specific is nice.
And the story adds something even more special to the necklace now.
How do you choose new pieces to add to your collection?
I like to buy handmade and local; and pieces that mean something to me. I have a necklace of the Winnipeg skyline that I LOVE. It’s made locally, and I think I get more compliments on it than any other piece I wear.
Oh my gosh that’s so great. It’s nice when you can feel good about wearing a piece because you know it was made ethically and with love, and the compliments are a nice bonus.
Yes, I am thoughtful about my purchases because I like to wear jewelry I feel good in. I also always want to feel like me in the jewelry I’m wearing. It’s such a great way to express myself and how I’m feeling; anything I wear is who I feel like in the moment.
So you wear jewelry to suit your mood. Do you think jewelry can change your mood?
I do think jewelry can change your mood. When you’re having a not so great day, it’s nice to look down and see a bracelet that means something to you and can take you out of your funk for a minute. Something sparkly can add that extra glitz to an outfit that will immediately make me feel more confident and sassy. It feels really good to wear something someone I care about picked specifically for me.
Like a wearable memento of their love for you!
Well, Michelle, that’s all the questions I have for you. Thanks so much for chatting with me!
You can see and shop Michelle’s jewelry collection here.