Yes, that is a cat ring. And yes, those are awesome sock garters with arrows on them! These and many more neat items are made by Elizabeth, hailing from Providence, Rhode Island. She has a shop called With Care, I love her use of vintage imagery and I am a big supporter of the arrow motif. I asked her a few questions about her inspiration and her favorite old things… enjoy!
The vibe of your jewelry is great, such a good combination of sweet and nostalgic. Do you have a character or imagined person that you have in mind while creating?
Thanks so much! I don’t design with one specific person in mind but, in the beginning, I took to designing jewelry as an excuse to buy myself all these pretty findings and neat things. I like the idea and aesthetic of receiving or finding something that might not be intended as a piece of proper jewelry but taking it and wearing it anyway. Like, “Check me out. I am proud of this.” In that sense, I keep my friends in mind when I am making because they are the kings and queens of ad-hoc embellishment! Since my business has grown and I’ve been taking a little bit more of intentional direction in my designs (relying less on those divine, ‘aha” moments and acting more towards cohesion), I definitely keep little inspirational/aspirational characters in mind: spelling bee champions, prize pumpkin growers, urban dandies, folks with perfect attendance… a lot of ideas having to do with accomplishment and showing it off.
I used to have a small collection of old merit pins, they can be so neat. Do you have a favorite that you’ve sold, or is currently for sale? What is the strangest design you’ve come across?
The “Safety” merit pin is merit pin perfection! So much so that I haven’t been able to bring myself to sell any yet! But I do feature it on the front of my postcard. Of the items for sale, I can’t help but give it up to the “Swine” cuff links. Perfect for your least favorite banker! The “Speaking” merit pin features an old, stand-up microphone, left to its lonesome in the middle of astage. There’s an humorously articulate melancholy to that one. The strangest would probably be some of the food-related badges. There are far more designs for bread baking than you would expect! Probably the strangest of the strange is for “Rice Cooking”. Really? Rice?
Your shop’s aesthetic has a decidedly vintage feel, do you collect any vintage items for yourself? How does vintage play a part in your life?
I’m a history nerd, for sure. Vintage and a general theme of “the past” play a huge part in my life. I even spent the year after getting my under graduate degree getting a certificate in historic preservation from the Rhode Island School of Design. Houses, clothes, furniture, and studies; I kind of live in a time warp. Growing up, I didn’t like the styles and choices of clothes that were available at the mall. Also, I was a weirdly frugal kid… concerned about the value of my precious few dollars. Around the age of 12, my mom took me to the thrift store down the street and it all clicked. By the age of 13, it was brightly colored, polyester everything!!! My taste has gotten better over the years (I think?) but I still wear lots of great, old stuff. Collection-wise, I have to be careful because I can really let my hoarding/researcher side get away from me. A couple years ago I got into collecting mid-century tableware and milk glass ovenware and mugs. I also pick up old, carded sewing notions when I find them. I aspire to collect items from the 1939 World’s Fair, but they can be rather pricey. Someday. When I can have nice things. My boyfriend collects old VHS and audio tapes so our house is pretty swollen with things that are at least as old as us!!!
You can also find With Care on facebook.