Mud and Other Matters

pink bracelet
In the many years we’ve been making the popular Teton Mountaineering bracelets, I have always been amazed at how many people have taken the time to write us whether by letter, email, or text to tell us how much they love the bracelets or to share a poignant personal story about a bracelet given or received.

Many of those stories include a mother/daughter experience, a travel adventure, or special milestone gift. But the ones that I hear most often of all involve cancer treatments. Many women tell us how perfect the bracelet is for a loved one undergoing treatment. The bracelet is not expensive, lightweight, easy to get on and off, and it made the recipient feel beautiful during an emotionally and physically trying time in life. Somehow the bracelet made them feel valued and became a special part of the fighting and healing process.

I like to think that special value and meaning came from the pearls. The pearls themselves are a product of the pain and suffering an oyster goes through when an irritant gets lodged in its membrane. It’s a lengthy process and there is no way around it. I think when we are going through a difficult situation or have suffered a loss, it’s helpful to have something tangible with which to identify and perhaps to go with us through the journey of suffering.

In hearing the unique and meaningful stories about our bracelets over the years, one of the many requests we received was a pink Teton bracelet for Breast Cancer patients. So nearly 5 years ago, I began the process of approving the perfect pink dye choice. Is there such a thing? Of course not. Everything takes time. You would think it would be as easy as choosing the color pink. But it’s not. That color has to translate to natural leather and that factor alone changes the tone of the color. Each time we launch a new color, it’s the result of about 18 months of experimentation and approval. On our first trial, the pink was washed out, and we weren’t happy with it. At Pearls by Shari, we have to LOVE the finished product, or we don’t bring it into the store. After much trial and error, this August, we finally accomplished the goal of a perfect pink leather color for Breast Cancer awareness month, just in the nick of time!

We love the color, and so do our customers! We were so pleased to have the opportunity to partner with not just one but two great organizations in the fight against this disease: Casting for Recovery and the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. To be able to donate $5.00 per bracelet sold is a privilege, and we are excited to have a part in the fight against breast cancer!