I never dreamed of being a jewelry designer nor owning my own business.
This is my story...
I grew up in a small town in North Carolina, with loving parents, two older brothers, and more aunts, uncles and cousins than you could count. Each Sunday, our church service ended with the congregation singing the J.E. Rankin hymn, God Be With You Till We Meet Again. As a child, this song signaled the end of having to sit still in church, and the commencement of a big "Sunday Dinner" and an afternoon of play. Now each time go back to my home church, I sing this song, knowing that each day is precious and each person that I love is to be cherished.
As a former Atlanta, Life Flight Nurse specializing in trauma care and labor and delivery, I have had many opportunities to witness relationships undergoing life changing events. Some events, like the birth of a child are joy-filled and full of promise. Then there are those events that alter lives forever. My heart has ached on many occasions as I have heard the last words of love spoken at the bedside.
In these busy times, our most valued relationships need our attention. I feel blessed to be able to lead a company that inspires others to share their love with the special people in their lives.
My passion, my business and my collection of jewelry are about caring for others, much like my career in nursing. In fact I'd like to think that I am nursing the hearts of others everyday as these little creations serve others through the years. Sharing the Loving Heart Collection by Jean Schnaak® with others and having the privilege of hearing how these little hearts are "working" in peoples' lives is a wonderful and rewarding way to spend my days.
The Loving Heart Collection by Jean Schnaak® Story
It all started as a gift for my husband. Valentines Day 1994 was rapidly approaching. As Chief Pilot for American Eagle Airlines, Neil was away from home alot. This particular year, I was trying to think of a Valentines gift that would be meaningful. On many occasions, I had given him shirts, ties, books, tennis equipment, even silk boxers. This time I wanted to give him something that he could carry with him as a private reminder of our unwavering love.
I was sure that my husband would be reluctant to wear a visible item of sentiment other than his wedding band. So, I decided to give him a simple heart pin to be worn inside his airline jacket over his heart. I thought that inside his jacket, this little heart would be a very private reminder of my love for him. Unable to locate a simple yet elegant heart pin, I fashioned one myself and gave it to Neil along with a little note expressing my love. He has worn it close to his heart ever since. I wear one too.
The impact of this simple heart was immediate. Neil said that it provided him with a source of strength and reminder of our love whether he was running errands around town or "flying the line". His comments made me realize the power of love in that tiny heart.
My nursing colleagues loved the idea. Totally agreeing that the choices for a sentimental gift for a man are few and far between, my nursing colleagues said that they would love to give a Loving Heart™Pin to their husbands too. I encouraged them to ask their husbands about the idea of a little heart hidden on the inside of their jackets. The men really liked the idea. That was all there was to it....The Loving Heart Collection by Jean Schnaak® was on its way to becoming a reality.
It's been twenty years since the giving of that first Loving Heart™ Pin. I continue to create new items to help people express their love to others and I prepare each order for my clients. I like to say these days I'm nursing the hearts of others.
In case any one wonders, my husband still has his Loving Heart™ Pin in his jacket over his heart.
"My belief is that in this busy world we need to take the time to express our love to the people closest to us. Words of love need to be spoken. Gifts from The Loving Heart Collection by Jean Schnaak® are designed to help people express their love to others during the good times and the challenging times of their lives. My hope is that by telling the special people in our lives how much they mean to us, that our world will be a better place." - Jean Cotten Schnaak R.N., Designer / Founder, Loving Heart LLC