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For his last podcast of the season, Kyle Bullock of Over the Counter tells the story of Emma, a woman whose life was turned upside down when the man she loved and planned to marry died in a car accident.

For Emma, the tragedy caused her to completely change the direction of her life. She left community college, where she was studying to become an art teacher, and moved to a different school to try out the art of metalsmithing. Quickly showing promise in her new field, as well as finding comfort in the act of creating jewelry, she decided to build her skills further with a months-long jewelry apprenticeship in Florence, Italy.  

Emma’s instinctual method of working through her grief was to create beautiful jewelry that was redolent with symbolism. And while her loss remained one of the defining events of her life, she was able to move forward and build a satisfying, deeply meaningful career by fashioning beauty out of the most terrible of losses.

There’s a lesson in that for all jewelers, says Kyle. 

“Don’t ever forget that every and every piece we create or sell means something deeper to the customer that we might ever imagine,” says Kyle. “In the same way, don’t ever forget your own experiences. Owning and managing a jewelry company can bring difficult, sometimes even painful, experiences for you to deal with. It has in my life, for certain. But in the nature of our work, we are given a unique opportunity to shape our circumstances into something beautiful. So, go out and do beautiful work, listeners. The world needs it.”

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