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About Us

Welcome to the Village!

Hi!  Welcome to the Villager Jewelry!  My name is Tandalaya.  I know it’s a mouthful, but think of the Himalaya’s, just with a T!  Our jewelry line’s focus is about sharing soulful stories with the one item that is closest to your skin, jewelry.  To get to know me better, I want to share a soulful journey with you.  Sorry, so long, but some stories just are.

Years ago, I was in design class, and one of the tasks, we were asked to do to pinpoint a time in our lives that we began designing.  I didn't get it at first, me, designing?  I like to decorate, and create pretty things, but the title of "Designer" was way too big for this girl, who grew up in a housing project.  the professor  said, "Think about it, you have been called. You have been designing all your life, since you were little..."  I thought about it, she was right!  I used to go to my father's home as a child, and found it too cluttered, crowded, and uncomfortable, but with pretty things. (He collected antiques, but more like Sanford & Son, less like Sotherby’s).  I would look around the room, remove furniture, people, paint walls, and hang new drapes and chandeliers.  I did this all in my imagination before I could feel comfortable in that space. I did this with people too.  I would imagine people in different clothes, hairstyles, teeth, and jewelry.  But the creativity didn't stop there.  When I was in 3rd grade, I asked my mom for a jewelry making kit for Christmas that I had found in the Sear’s Catalog.  With this kit, one could tumble rocks in some sort of dust, and shine them up, glue them on a bail, and create earrings, rings, and key chains!  It was magnificent!  I loved that kit, but most of all I loved creating jewelry that a specifically made to give to others that said something I knew about them.  I may have picked a blue stone for my sister because that was her favorite color, and she also may have needed a keychain, or I'd make earrings for my neighbor because she was finally going a date with that guy she liked. 

But then there came a time of despairing loss, trauma, and stress.  I grew and developed for many years in emotional Hell and was often depressed and lost in it all.  My interest in making pretty things faded, and the time of the natural designer was lost.  I was a hard and scary time for me.  However, I made it through intact, strong, and relatively normal-on most days.  I owe a lot of that recovery to my Village.  My Village kept the stories of my TIME.  The Villagers were the ones that helped me remember my "meantime".  The time when I was suffering and surviving.  The time and memories I thought I had lost and forgotten because of the stress and sadness was being held for me.  I had many Villagers around me to take my mind off the awful and unspeakable. They were the ones that showed up for birthdays, proms, and graduations when there were no more parents.  They became my family.  What I have come to realize and cherish, is that in that dark place, I was still creating. I created Me.    

When tragedy, and triumphs arise, the Villagers are the ones that show up to support, comfort, and push.  This is and has been a true blessing for me, knowing that I am not alone in the world, and that I have a Village that has my back!  Because of my Village, I was able to find my way back to one of my passions, creating pretty things in the form of jewelry, again.

We all have a Village, be it the one we were born into, or the one we create.  And as Villagers, we all have stories to tell. Our hope is that you wear your stories, and share them with others, so that they may be heard by your Village.  The pieces in our collections carries the names of souls of my Village.  Create, Charm, Cherish. Enjoy!