Jennifer Fernandez’s sterling silver pieces are inspired by the furry member of your family

By Janet Kinosian
February 24, 2010 12:45 PM

Jennifer Fernandez has been a jewelry junkie most of her life. “I grew up surrounded by sentimental women who, from the time I was born, showered me with name bracelets, birthstone jewelry and charm bracelets that told a story about my life and my family,” explains Fernandez, a canine-loving jeweler based in Florida.

So when Fernandez and her husband got their two Jack Russell’s, Chili and Ernie, she was on a mission. “I was looking for jewelry that would really tell the story of my dogs as part of my family,” she says. Much to her dismay, her search came up empty.

That’s when she decided to give up her job designing high-end home interiors and re-train herself as a metalworker and jeweler, going back to school to learn the craft. Her company, A Tail of Two, is her answer to remembrance jewelry customized for the animal in one’s life.

Out of her Tampa studio, Fernandez has created some beautiful pieces: “bone lockets” handmade in the form of books ($185), a sterling silver muddy paw-print ring ($64), fire hydrant earrings ($36) and, our personal favorite, the inspired peace symbol made of dog bones ($128) – a symbol so right, it looks as if it’s been around forever.

“Each piece I design tells a story – either about my life with dogs or someone’s life with a dog,” she says. “They are frequently funny or quirky, but always sentimental.”

Part of the pure and intimate enjoyment of her work is creating a personal memento of pets that have passed way with birthstones or other memorabilia provided by the owner. “Memorial pieces are always the hardest to do,” she admits.

A big rescue and shelter animal advocate (she volunteered with the SPCA in her hometown while she was learning metalwork), Fernandez creates charming sterling silver pebbles with potent pro-shelter adoption thoughts and phrases which she hopes people will use to help strengthen the ever-growing ‘Don’t Shop, Adopt’ zeitgeist. It’s her way of giving back to the rescue community.

“I designed [them] with positive affirmations about animals and rescue,” she says. “I believe putting the words and the stones out there in the universe forever changes the future for animals in rescue.” A portion of every sale goes back to rescue groups nationwide.

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