A pioneer in the arena of poetry-inscribed sterling jewelry, Jeanine Anne Payer will be closing the doors of her 25-year-old business as of Jan. 1, 2014, according to a letter posted on her company blog.
“I am announcing with a heavy heart that Jeanine Payer Inc. as we know it will be closing on January 1st of 2014, which is the right decision at this time,” reads the post, which can also be found on the business’ Facebook fan page.
“The poetry that surrounds us here has a magical effect. We hear innumerable stories from you that are inspiring, transformative and moving; always so personal, as the work we create is to all of us. I am and always will be uplifted by these stories, both the happy and the sad, and the fact that you chose to commemorate events, milestones and celebrations for yourselves and for your loved ones with such sensitivity, with just the right design and passage.…
“Love is where the art starts, and I am at a place in my life where, as a mother of a six-year-old, I want to put my heart and soul into raising my son. I am not sure what the future will hold, and I am keeping the door open to possibilities regarding this work that I so love and to the poetry that inspires it. For the time, it is important for me to focus inward and on my family to create a space for future creative/artistic outlets.”
At press time, Payer could not be reached for comment.
Aida Kaplowitz, owner of Ocean Grove Trading Co. in Ocean Grove, N.J., has carried the Payer line for almost its entire existence; Payer had been in business just two years when Kaplowitz spotted her work at a gift show in New York City. It was a piece inscribed The soul is here for its own joy, by 13th-century Persian writer Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi—the most frequently quoted poet in Payer’s work—that spoke so loudly to the gift shop owner and compelled her to pick up the line.
“I can honestly say that Jeanine Payer’s work is my favorite collection of jewelry that I have ever had and ever sold,” says Kaplowitz, rattling off poems from Payer pieces that made for memorable sales. Among them: a woman who had lost her husband, whose daughters were helping her navigate the loss.
“Her daughters had helped her so much during that time that she bought gifts for them,” Kaplowitz recalls. “The pieces she bought for them suggested that they were like a ship that had taken her through the strongest storm of all. And for herself, she bought Keep not standing fixed and rooted. Briskly venture, briskly roam, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
“The thing about Jeanine’s jewelry is that because it touches people so deeply, the writing they choose for themselves becomes a transformational reminder about a pivotal point in life or a celebratory time,” continues Kaplowitz. “On top of that, customers just think the designs are exquisitely executed in organic shapes. A lot of jewelry with imprinted writing became popular after Jeanine’s debut, but the poetry chosen doesn’t have the depth of the works that she is drawn to using. I’m going to be making a sizable order of the pieces that customers have cherished through the years.… I’ll be stocking up before Jan. 1. I don’t see her work as replaceable.”