Monday, March 3, 2014

Critique of Everlasting Memories "Bound with Love" Necklace

As I mentioned in Nicholas and Sophia’s birthday post, we decided to begin a new tradition for the kids: since we don’t give Nick, Sophie, or Alex physical birthday presents, Bobby, Maya, and Michael will get a small gift from their older sibling. On Nicholas’s birthday, Bobby got a pretend Mass kit (oh, the cuteness!), Maya got twin baby dolls, and Michael got a football rattle. On Sophia’s birthday, they each got books.

Unexpectedly, I received a present, too.

A few days after Nicholas’s birthday, I received an email from an Everlasting Memories representative, asking if I would be interested in reviewing a piece of their memorial jewelry. With all the craziness going on at Casa Haytko, it took me a bit to actually touch base with her. Within a few days, a black velvet box was on my kitchen table. In fair disclosure, this review is based on an item I received free of charge (approximately a combined $134.95 value); no actual monetary compensation was provided.

The piece I am reviewing is the silver Bound with Love cremation pendant. This particular item is available in silver or plated in yellow gold, rose gold, or black. There are three diamondesque stones that rest in the heart created by the two figures. It is approximately ½” wide by ¾” high. Hallie, the representative I worked with, upgraded the standard chain to a 20” silver chain, which allows the pendant to sit high enough that it is easily visible but low enough that if, for whatever reason, you want to tuck it in a standard cut blouse, you can.

 As soon as the necklace arrived, I was touched by just how beautiful it is and, for our situation, how apropos. (There are a variety of pendants available, some (like this one) that are geared towards parents that have lost one or more children, as opposed to something more fitting for a parent or spouse (which are also available). Some even allow for the engraving of photographs. See the website for more details and options. The necklace looked gorgeous on and I was impressed by the quality; I’m not really a jewelry person and a fair amount of what I own (excluding earrings, which I lose every time I wear them it seems!) has been made by our local jeweler. I can honestly say that I didn’t expect that level of quality from something that is produced in quantity, but the pendant is on par with my single made pieces. And, in this house, it will have to be!

 Remember the chain upgrade? I’d do it if I were you! In fairness, I don’t know what the standard chain is like, but the first thing Michael did when I held him after putting the necklace on was grab at it. At first, I was concerned he would be able to destroy it. But, no matter how many times I pried his little kung fu grip from it, he would return to it. It’s been over a week and I wear it all the time; he has yet to be able to damage the necklace. (And, I confess, it is too cute to watch him kiss the pendant, which he does the first time he grabs it now.) 

This pendant is crafted to be used for cremains, however I told the representative from the start that I would not be using it for such. Mainly, it is a religious reason but it is also a personal one; with running and racing, if I were to lose a piece of the kids somehow, I’d be mortified and devastated. I also wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving them in a jewelry box. With that in mind, this piece is still a beautiful necklace. Unless you know the screw is there, it blends into the side of the pendant and isn’t noticeable. In addition, you can use it for ashes of any sort. For those who don’t wish to wear cremains, you could easily burn a photograph or something similar that represents your loved one, and add those ashes. And adding ashes is very simple: the necklace comes with a kit and step-by-step instructions for how to open, add, and seal. The ashes won’t fall out, nor do you have to worry about someone removing them; once the necklace is sealed, it can’t be opened. 

 From a runner’s point of view, the pendant is heavy enough that you know it’s there but not so much that it is uncomfortable. I’ve worn it for 5K/3 mile distances with no issues at all. The weight seems just enough to keep bounce to a minimum without the potential to distract or bruise. Will I say the same after a half or full marathon distance? I’ll let you know. And that chain… I’ve said it before. If you’ve got the potential to have the chain ripped off by an over-grabby child or you think you’ll wear this during exercise, etc., then I highly suggest the upgraded chain. 

 From a customer service standpoint, I found my interaction to be very prompt and extremely courteous. I can imagine that, especially depending on your stage of grief when you contact Everlasting Memories, their sales reps and customer service staff have been trained with how to help you select the piece of jewelry that best fits your lifestyle and honors your loved one in the most appropriate way. While I don’t think I would have sought out jewelry like this because of my own preconceived notions, I encourage you to check out their site. They have necklace pendants, rings, and even bracelets. Items can be personalized with engraving and overnight shipping is available. Right now, a simple “like” on Facebook will also garner you 5% off your order. 

 The arrival of the necklace was very emotional for me, but I think that it tells you the type of company EM is and the type of people they employ when I share this story. Peter had just fastened the necklace when he noticed something on the back that, at first, I had just overlooked as a possible notation of the maker or a symbol of the silver. (Hey! My eyes are aging right along with the rest of me!) I took it off to get a better look and there, on the back, were the letters “NSA”. Nicholas, Sophia, and Alexander. Hallie, the rep who initially contacted me and with whom I’ve been working, confirmed that they had engraved it in memory of the children. It was completely unexpected and has made this something I will treasure forever.

1 comment:

Conservamom said...

What a beautiful necklace and how perfect. Thank you for sharing such a thoughtful review.