I got divorced by myself on a hot February day in downtown Miami. My attorney was with me, but my husband didn’t show up. I couldn’t really blame him, though; I didn’t want to be there, either. Really, it was a sad state of affairs, as I sat in a bone-chillingly, over-air-conditioned courtroom, where broken promises and unfulfilled dreams permeated the air. It was depressing to say the least.
My soon-to-be ex-husband was in New York City working, while I waited for a judge to dissolve the vows we had both taken so lovingly together. I replayed them in my mind while I was killing time…”to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do us part.”
My eyes welled with tears at the memory of the exchange. I didn’t want to torture myself, but I couldn’t help but reflect on the love I had felt on that day and the love I still had for my husband. It all seemed crazy, really. I mean, if I still loved the guy, why was I divorcing him? What’s more, why was he letting me? We had an amazing relationship, our love story was the stuff dreams were made of and we were the couple that everyone always said would actually “make it.” We didn’t.
After the judge granted our divorce, I thanked my attorney and hurried to my car, where I locked myself inside and cried…for hours. After pulling myself together, I did something totally out of character; I called American Airlines and booked a ten day trip to Mexico. Alone. I didn’t tell anyone (besides asking my boss for time off.) I didn’t think anyone would notice.
I was always on the road for work anyway; traveling was actually 75 percent of my job. Until that moment, though, I had never really thought about venturing out on my own (for lack of a better description) to go and find myself. Perhaps it was because I didn’t really know I needed to be found. I arrived in the Mayan Riviera in one piece, but a few days later, ensconced in the lush greenery of Tulum by the breathtaking, crystal blue-green sea , I unequivocally fell apart.
I knew it was coming, so, I let it. I gave myself permission to cry, mourn and remember what it was like being in love with my ex-husband. I also (despite not wanting to) faced my fears about being single again after ten years. Then came the hardest part: acknowledging the disappointment, embarrassment, heartbreak, loneliness and sadness I felt about my divorce.
As the days passed, my breathing, eating and sleeping got a little better. When I felt strong enough, I watched the sun rise and set. During the day, I let nature easily guide me: the surf, the sun and the sand. It comforted, soothed and healed me, or at least started the process. Near the end of my trip, I wandered into Playa del Carmen (the closest town to where I was staying,) a place I had been before with my ex-husband. I strolled down the city’s bustling 5th Avenue (filled with restaurants, boutiques and bars.)
That’s where I stumbled into a quaint little shop that had the most decorative, dainty and delicate jewelry. I fell in love. Each design was inspired by the ocean. I bought five woven charm bracelets: a seahorse, starfish, mermaid, turtle and an octopus. I wanted the keepsakes to always remind me of the beginning of my healing journey, the one I had officially and unknowingly decided to embark on that hot February day outside a Miami courthouse in my car.
After my trip, the days and months got easier, but every now and again I’d regress into a deep, depressing, melancholy mood about my ex-husband. I missed him a lot and no matter how much I faked it, I couldn’t make it go away. Until one monumental day, for whatever reason, the bond that I had felt for so long began to loosen and finally I was able to break free and strangely, so did each woven bracelet I bought in Mexico.
Over time, the seahorse unraveled at the beach, the turtle fell into my kitchen sink, the octopus lost its way on a plane. The starfish? It cracked in half after I accidentally banged it against my favorite living room chair (the one my ex hated and insisted we not buy.) Before I knew it, the memories of my man and my menagerie of sea creatures slowly, mysteriously dissipated.
Only one was left wearable: the mermaid. A beautiful, serene, otherworldly half-woman, half-fish sea lady said to be a matron of enchantment with beguiling beauty, grace and seductive powers. What’s more, though, folklore says she can calm the ocean for safe passage (she’s also related to perilous events such as storms, drownings and shipwrecks.)
The day my mermaid broke free from my wrist was the day I discovered Lexi Jewelry on Instagram. They had posted a picture of a mermaid and their ocean loving hash tags led me to their page. I was looking to replace the woven bracelet I bought in Mexico. Coincidentally, a few weeks later, I would fall in love.
They say there are no coincidences in life. They also say mermaids guide you safely to your ultimate chosen destiny. I’m not sure who “they” are, but I like them. Amongst my travels and busy life, it would take awhile before I connected with Lexi Segre: the creator, designer and owner of Lexi Jewelry. Once I did, it was a match made in “a day at the beach” heaven.
The only way for me to describe Lexi is lovely, hence the title of the blog. She has smiling eyes and an easy, laid-back, kind of energy. For me, her jewelry is reminiscent of my journey by the sea all those years ago. Lexi lets nature guide and inspire her creations. Her love of the sun, surf and sand is reflected in all of her designs.
Shireen Sandoval: What is the inspiration behind Lexi Jewelry?
Lexi Segre: Everything nature, especially water. The beauty of natural stones, crystal formations and shells has always amazed and inspired me, as well as the calming allure of the sea and the real (fish, sharks, seahorses) and mystical (mermaids) creatures that live in it. The elegance of ancient pieces of Greek and Roman jewelry are also inspiring, as well as bold and colorful African tribal jewelry .
SS: Your pieces are sleek, delicate and refined. How do you create and conceptualize them?
LS: So happy you describe Lexi Jewelry this way, Shireen. You’ve put our vision into words. We are always searching for pieces that captivate us – stones, crystals, shells, pearls, corals, fossils – and we design our collections around those elements. Interestingly enough, we are hands-on designers, going directly from idea to reality.
SS: I love the materials you use; they’re so interesting. What stones, shells and metals are you most drawn to?
LS: The beauty of nature is so incredible that I pretty much love them all!
I’m particularly fond of certain colors and crystal shapes of stones such as calming ocean blues (aquamarine, lapis, turquoise,) mystical iridescent stones (labradorite and moonstone,) enchanting sparkly crystals (druzys and quartz,) and soothing deep reds (garnets, tourmalines, rubies.) Shells are another amazing miracle of nature – where a not-so attractive snail creates one of the most beautiful, perfect and lasting pieces on earth. The color and shapes of corals also attract me and are incorporated into a lot of our creations. We love all metals as well! Since Lexi Jewelry makes lasting affordable jewelry, we mostly use 14k gold-filled wire and chains. Enjoy the rustic appeal of Brass and the great qualities of Argentium (tarnish resistant Silver).
SS: What is the most unique piece of jewelry you’ve ever created?
LS: The Mosaic Collection has probably our most unique pieces. Where 14k gold- filled wire is hand-formed into the shapes of mermaids, fish, elephants, octopus, sharks, dragonflies and others, adorned with gemstones, mother of pearl and corals.
SS: What type of fashionista do you see wearing your baubles?
LS: Any and all women and girls who appreciate a piece of jewelry that is unique (they won’t find it at the nearest mall) and which has meaning to them, while it enhances their own individual flair with our handmade in Miami pieces.
SS: Is Miami’s surf & sand an inspiration for you?
LS: Yes, Miami’s surf, sand, sun and waters are great part of our inspiration. It’s our lifestyle! In addition to the sea, Miami’s landmark pools — the Historic Venetian Pool and the Biltmore Pool – are great inspiration sources, were I enjoy swimming and volunteer at the Venetian Pool to teach children to swim during the summers.
Just as the sun and water makes people happy, we hope our jewelry does the same, as our pieces are meaningful and easy-to-wear, with a boho-chic style perfect for Miami’s lifestyle.
SS: When styling me for the blog, what was the feel you wanted to create?
LS: We wanted to create an attractive, sexy and sleek look that was at the same time comfortable and exemplified our year-round Miami sea and sun lifestyle. We teamed up with the heavenly bikini boutique of “Nic del Mar” in Coral Gables, where owners & sisters, Jeannette and Lyanne Roger, kindly teamed with us in styling these amazing outfits. We chose a see-through bottom, elegant, black maxi dress and a sexy, comfy, nude color jumpsuit to exemplify our Miami laid-back boho chic lifestyle, with outfits than can be worn from day ‘til night.
SS: If you could style one celebrity in your jewelry, who would it be and which pieces would you decorate them in?
LS: We would love to style actress Kate Hudson. Her sexy Bohemian style would be so much fun to compliment with our Lexi Jewelry pieces. She’s so gorgeous!
SS: What’s the one piece of jewelry you’re most obsessed with?
LS: Our Fish in the Fishbowl Mosaic necklace and Labradorite Shark Mosaic necklace, both inspired by our son Luigi when he was about 7 years old, are the pieces closest to my heart.
SS: Describe your Fall/Winter 2015 line.
LS: Our Fall/Winter line 2014/2015 combines the sleekness and edginess of spikes and arrowheads with the softness and shimmer of white pearls, the clarity and icy qualities of Crystal Quartz, the softness of pink corals and the calmness of Labradorite, moonstone and blue lapis. A one-of-a-kind collection of handmade Cameo bracelets and necklaces is also part of our Fall/Winter offerings.
The designs vary from longer boho pieces, to delicate short necklaces and also statement gemstone chokers. Lots of bangles, cuffs and wraps adorn the arms and finger/hand bracelets for the hands and a variety of feminine earring styles.
Buddhas, elephants, hearts, fish, moons and others are sprinkled throughout.
SS: I know that you love “Astrology and Stones,” can you give me some advice on what I should wear from your line as I’m a Leo?
LS: Since you are a Leo, your astrology stone is Crystal Quartz or Rock Crystal. A good overall health enhancer – it is good for the mind, body and spirit. It’s a very powerful dispeller of negativity because it receives, activates, contains and amplifies energy. The ancient Greeks believed it was water frozen by their Gods and therefore called it Krystallos, meaning ‘ice’. You should decorate yourself with a bunch of these Crystals: Lexi Jewelry’s single crystal dagger necklace, leaf-shaped crystal earrings, our crystal quartz brass cuff bracelet and one of our silk druzy wrap bracelets.You can also choose from a 14k gold filled bangle bracelet with a Leo charm and quartz stones or from a Leo Cameo bracelet hand carved in Italy by artisans with your Leo sign. A miniature wearable piece of art.
SS: What does Lexi Jewelry ultimately stand for?
LS: A woman without jewelry is naked. Lexi Jewelry is Elegant, Sexy, Feminine, Boho, One-of-a-kind, Happiness, Meaningful, Confidence, Versatile, Miami, Handmade, Beach, Day, Night, Zen, Nature, Life.
I never ended up replacing my mermaid bracelet. Maybe it was because she had granted me safe passage during the time I needed it most. Once I sailed into smooth waters, she broke free and released me into a new harbour of peace. I’m proudly anchored now into a place I’ve never been before.
The right kind of love is a rebirth of sorts. It restores, renews and regenerates your hopes and dreams. Lexi’s Jewelry has that same message. We’re all a part of nature and the song it sings; some of us, however, see and hear it more than others.
Lexi is one of those people. In fact, she takes it one step further by creating and designing the beautiful trappings we’re surrounded by everyday in Miami. Wearing a piece of her jewelry isn’t just about looking good, it’s about feeling happy and that’s why “Lovely Lexi” will always be one of my favorite things.
Blog styling & jewelry by Lexi Segre
Pinterest: Lexi Jewelry
wardrobe by www.nicdelmar.com
photography by tod p/t4twophotography
Hair & Make-up by Odette Hernandez
Editor: Matthew Auerbach