Over the last few months you may have noticed something extra special on Elizabeth’s wrist: a jaw-dropping diamond cuff bracelet. It’s truly amazing and if you’ve asked her where she got it, she’ll be happy to tell you it was made by the team at Alx&Co. But, do you know the whole story of the cuff? This week, Elizabeth and I sat down together to share the inspiration behind the design and how Alx&Co. took Elizabeth’s idea and created an extra-special memory for her 20-year wedding anniversary…
Elizabeth: I’ll start with the backstory. In the 70’s on Saturday morning you could find me watching the Super Friends animated cartoon series, in the evening you could find me watching Wonder Woman. I was obsessed. So clearly when Underoos were introduced I had a pair, Wonder Woman version, of course. If I could have worn them outside, I would have – and given that I was not yet 10, there is a chance I did.
Meaghan: My brother was equally obsessed with sharing his underwear choice with everyone, only his were He-Man branded.
Elizabeth: I remember we lived on a dead-end street called Rambling Hills in Cincinnati and we would play Super Friends with the neighbors. Problem was, I was the youngest of the kids on the street and I would get stuck being one of the Wonder Twins, which, let’s face it, nobody wanted to be. Who wants to be water or an animal when you could have an invisible jet?
Meaghan: Ha! I was always the youngest of our play group, too. I feel it’s an eternally humbling experience when you’re always delegated the worst characters to play.
Elizabeth: I am sure you are wondering why I am telling you all this. There is actually a point! I have always wanted a big gold cuff, just like Wonder Woman had. I mean, they had powers.
Meaghan: I am not going to lie, I think of my bangles as having special powers so I get it. Jewelry can be a powerful thing!
Elizabeth: Well, this year was my 20-year wedding anniversary, and that meant something big. Since my 10-year anniversary when my husband forgot to get me anything (I ended up buying myself a watch which we refer to as “the most expensive gift he never bought”), I have been hinting about wanting a gold cuff. And by “hinting” I mean “blatantly enunciating my request, and frequently.”
Meaghan: I remember you brought up the cuff a looong time ago when we were first putting our heads together for our customization collaboration. You even showed me a photo of what you liked, which was so helpful when things got rolling a while later!
Elizabeth: As the months grew closer, I would send Brad images I would find of versions of the ideal cuff. Then I would note that he should save them for when he visits Tim and you to discuss making this bracelet. As the weeks grew closer, my text messages became more frequent but Brad was completely obscure and non-committal about the whole idea. I was honestly becoming a bit frustrated.
Meaghan: Little did you know, Brad had indeed stopped by our showroom to talk through the idea. I knew exactly what we needed to do because I distinctly remembered you showing me a photo and saying “this is what I want”, so I was able to take the photos Brad had collected and execute everything confidently, without looping you in. We kept it quite the secret from you.
Elizabeth: I’ll say! April 10th (our anniversary) came and I got a beautiful painting from Nicole Seifert so I was thrilled. I had been hinting at wanting one for years, so he actually had been listening. I was so surprised and he had even had her come over and look at the space where I wanted it to hang. I really couldn’t believe it, he is not someone that is that planned out. He is a “figure it out the day of” kind of person.
Meaghan: We had finished the cuff just in the nick of time to meet the anniversary deadline but then Brad and I conspired on how to actually give it to you and we came up with a fun plan but it required waiting an extra day for our Alx&Co. + The Shoe Hive launch.
Elizabeth: Well, then April 11th, the day of our launch, came around and you came strolling into the party wearing the most amazing gold cuff I had ever seen. I grabbed your wrist and demanded to know if you made it or who the designer was, because it was exactly as I had dreamed mine would look like. I had no idea it was actually mine! I was jealous and demanding and complimentary all at the same time.
Meaghan: You acted exactly how I was hoping you would!
Elizabeth: Without missing a beat, you took it off your wrist, placed it on mine and said the designer was “Brad Todd.” I died.
Meaghan: I cried! (a tiny bit)
Elizabeth: It was magical.
Alexandria & Company is an Old Town-based workshop and design studio specializing in creating and restoring fine jewelry and silver hollowware. They are the in-the-know jewelers of Alexandria and have been serving clients out of their small workshop for decades. Tucked in their historic building on South Royal Street, the team at Alx&Co. brings a personalized, modern approach to their craft – this is not your average stodgy jeweler or antique shop. Visit them during their walk-in hours or online to view their collection of handmade fine jewelry or to drop off a repair project; or, if you’re feeling creative, make an appointment to talk about that custom design project you’ve been imagining.
121-B South Royal Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Design Studio Walk-In Hours (all jewelry services): Wednesday – Saturday 12-6pm
Silver Workshop Walk-In Hours (all silver repair and restoration services): Wednesday or Friday 12-6pm, or by appointment
Appointments encouraged for custom design.