We may know her as @Thing_Finder but in real life she is Jen Lord, a last name fitting for her because she may very well be the “lord of the rings.” One of the few Canadian antique jewelry collectors we have in our tight-knit Instagram community, and she brings her antique loving style to everyone daily on her Instagram page, as well as her Etsy shop. A newly wed, whom we all celebrated as she tied the knot on her wedding day and gave us followers glimpses into her private ceremony via Instagram. As she curates and collects more jewels, she learns about every aspect of each piece she owns, even if it means doing some extensive research, I wanted to get a peek into her jewelry box and see what defines Jen as a collector. Let’s see what she has to say:
“My passion for collecting started young, very young. My earliest jewellery memories were those with my Gran and Nana, both of whom share a love of jewellery, and fine jewellery at that. I always volunteered to “clean their rings,” which for me meant a soapy dish, a small toothbrush and a labour of love. These quiet moments allowed me to study the stones, the mountings, and work to bring out their most brilliant shine. These early stolen moments with jewels, would create an insatiable appetite, a lust never quite quenched.”
“When I hit about 12 years of age, babysitting and “picking” afforded me a modest jewellery budget. I used to walk from school to all the thrift stores, and then home via Victoria’s Antique Row, selling what small finds I could to the local dealers. Perhaps they took pity on a this small child peddling her wares, but I started to develop relationships with the dealers and the learning was immense, not to speak of the small profits it afforded.”
“My first love in jewellery was Art Deco. Those clean lines, architectural elements and elegant touches, I lusted for it like nothing else. Boys, couldn’t hold my interest the same way a finely crafted diamond cocktail ring could, there wasn’t a hope! These days I would say I go through “jewellery phases.” It isn’t that I ever lose love for one period or another, but I tend to collect in waves and then cull. Jewellery to me is a life long love affair.
Good jewellery makes my heart race, my voice sing, and fills my mind with wonder and excitement. Jewels are talismans of our journey through life. In birth and in death, in marriage and in loss, jewelry in tied to some of the most important milestones and experiences in our lives. To that end, the most meaningful jewellery for me, is that linked to these times. Mourning jewellery has to be one of the most compelling and romantic of all collecting genres for me. I feel so honoured to be able to own such sentimental and deeply personal artifacts of the past. I think only those who feel as I do about antique jewellery can really understand the feeling of awe and respect that these pieces impart on us.”
“As for where I find my jewellery, the more important question is where do I not?! I literally will go anywhere, search anywhere to find what I am looking for. Stinky thrift stores, dusty pawn shops, web sites with poor images bring it on, I am game!”
On how she thought of the Instagram handle “Thing Finder:”
“It comes from this Pippi Longstocking quote:
“I don’t know what you are going to do,” said Pippi, “but I know I can’t lie around and be lazy. I am a Thing-Finder, and when you’re a Thing-Finder you don’t have a minute to spare.”
“What did you say you are?” asked Annika.
“What’s that?” asked Tommy.
“Somebody who hunts for things, naturally. What else could it be?” said Pippi as she swept all the flour left on the floor into a little pile.
“The whole world is full of things, and somebody has to look for them. And that’s just what a Thing-Finder does,” she finished.
“What kind of things?” asked Annika.
“Oh, all kinds,” said Pippi. “Lumps of gold, ostrich feathers, dead rats, candy snapcrackers, little tiny screws, and things like that.”
“My collection is quite varied, from my oldest piece, a memorial ring from 1716 to statement rings from the mid 20th century. I’m inspired by nature, the rare and unusual, and of course other collectors! To me jewellery is my favourite way to express myself and I have been known to change up my jewellery several times in a day. I feel very lucky to have found a great jeweller, Roger, who works with me to create conversion and one of pieces to further expand my collection. I never really know what direction my collecting with take next, but I do know, it doesn’t stop here!”
>> Thanks Jen for sharing your passion and jewels with us! Follow her on Instagram for everyday musings: @Thing_Finder