About Kristin and Bird's Tail Designs
“My struggle with chronic pain led to a passion for telling stories through jewelry, a passion for helping other women feel strong, beautiful and confident.” - Kristin
As a first post and introduction to the new chapter of Bird’s Tail, I am beyond excited to welcome you to the Bird’s Tail Blog! This is the first in a series of stories behind the layers - stories of daily inspirations and musings about everyday life, fashion trends and selfcare. These stories are an exploration of the layered, female life. I introduce to you: #livinginlayers.
Where it all started:
The first story that I want to share isn’t an easy one for me to tell, but it is the story of how Bird’s Tail came to be, the story that brought us to this moment together. It’s the story about my past, my struggle with health and the dangers of “perfection,” the story of a high school English teacher, turned mother, jewelry designer and yoga fanatic…
In my past, I strived for perfection, as many women do, I worried about EVERYTHING. I wanted to be a PERFECT mother. a PERFECT wife, a PERFECT teacher. But I was exhausted. And I got sick. This venture to perfection forced me to break down both mentally and physically.
In my eighth year as a full-time high school English teacher and mom of two (at the time), I developed debilitating, chronic headaches that soon spread across my entire body. The pain got to the point that it felt impossible to get out bed in the morning.
I was scared. I was depressed. I had my first panic attack in the parking lot of Target.
I lost over twenty-five pounds. I had horrible thoughts of not wanting to go on anymore (thoughts which still make me feel guilty to this day). I saw countless doctors, was poked and prodded more times than I can remember and was put on a laundry list of medications to deal with my symptoms.
The doctors threw out terms like Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, TMJ Disorder, Anxiety, Depression.....
I went through the school year just going through the motions, not remembering much of it at all. And at the close of the school year, I decided to stop working all together and take some time to heal and find answers.
Determined to find a more natural way to heal, I started practicing yoga, changed the way I ate - cutting out gluten and most processed foods. I read books on managing my mind and utilizing my breath. I started incorporating essential oils into my everyday life.
Slowly I started to get better.
My pain lessened, my digestive issues were fewer and farer between. I even had a few pain free days here and there - a reality that I never thought was possible again. I started to find humor in things. I pursued my passion for yoga and even got certified to teach. And most surprisingly to me, I began making jewelry - as a hobby.
I became enamored with beads and stones and different metals, sketching out designs and bringing them to life with my hands. I used jewelry making as a form of storytelling. I turned to my yoga practice for inspiration for my shapes and forms. I looked to nature for ideas for movement in my creations.
Soon friends and family members began asking me to make them pieces too. And I did.
I would see people on the street and in stores wearing my creations and the satisfaction was beyond rewarding. I loved hearing that they felt beautiful wearing my jewelry!
It was then that I decided that I wanted to share my jewelry with the world - that I wanted to build my own jewelry brand.
I began teaching myself new jewelry making skills - watching videos, reading books, practicing different techniques and honing my skills. I felt alive. I felt free. I felt empowered. And as my passion grew, so did my vision for what I could do with these new skills.
And out of this crazy journey,
Bird's Tail Designs began.
Bird's Tail is the birth of many worlds for me; it is my journey through sickness, family, teaching and yoga - brought to life through shapes. metals, beads, chains, symbols and gemstones.
Because of the support of my husband, my three, beautiful daughters, employees and countless friends along the way, I am now a mother, a wife, a yoga teacher and a jewelry maker. I am not perfect, but I am perfectly defined in what I am meant to be. And even though I still struggle with chronic pain, I have found healthier ways to manage it.
My story is what developed Bird’s Tail Designs. It’s a story of passion, support and eventually, feat over the physical burdens that once took over my life. Each piece of jewelry I make is a story for women who are going through, have gone through, or may have a severe challenge in their lives. Together, we empower and support each other to rise above our challenges.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing in this journey with me, for helping to make Bird's Tail a reality.
With gratitude each and every day,