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On Our Difficult Women Collection

On Our Difficult Women Collection

Last year I posted an emotional video where I declared "NO. MORE. COLLECTIONS." It was a reaction to the hectic pace of the jewelry world, and the insane expectations placed on small makers: 

As a small business owner with no full time employees, I design, photograph, and package my pieces, and they are each filled with my love of the classical world. I was struggling to keep pace with larger brands who have dedicated design teams, marketing teams, and outsource production to big overseas factories (and millions of dollars in VC money!). This is why I shifted to dropping single pieces, each one inspired by ancient tales of myth and magic that were meaningful to me. 

Making this change ironically gave me the mental and emotional space to finally work on a full collection that has been on my wishlist since I launched Common Era four years ago. ⁠

The collection is named Difficult Women. It's a group of women who scandalized the ancient world. Some are cast as epic villains of history, some simply dared to dream in a world dominated by men. All of them deserve to be honored and celebrated by those who came after.⁠

Rather than releasing the entire collection at once, I wanted to share them with you as they come directly off the bench. ⁠


First, because June is Pride month, meet Sappho, an ancient poet known for her lyric verse and celebration of lesbian love. The very word 'lesbian' is derived from Sappho herself, as Lesbos was the name of the island she called home. My dog-eared and coffee stained copy of "If Not Winter", a translation of Sappho's fragments by Anne Carson, has inspired so many of my other pieces, and I'm thrilled to be able to honor Sappho herself with her own pendant. ⁠


Our second Difficult Woman is Hypatia of Alexandria, who has been a personal heroine of mine since I was a high school dork obsessed with history and math. As one of the few known female scientists and philosophers of antiquity, Hypatia defied societal expectations and became famed for her intellect and wisdom, teaching astronomy and Neoplatonic philosophy to the students of Alexandria and counseling leaders of the city.

Unfortunately, like many women who struggled against the chains of misogyny and zealotry, she was murdered by a mob of Christians, who dragged her into a newly converted Christian temple and beat her to death. She has since become a symbol of enlightenment and reason in the face of bigotry and superstition, a role model for women around the world who dream of breaking barriers and fulfilling their own expectations rather than society's. I'm not supposed to play favorites, but I'd be lying if I said she wasn't the piece I'll be wearing forever. 

These pieces are initially available in solid gold, and they're a little more expensive than our molten minis because they have roughly 30% more raw gold in them due to their weight and size. 

I know that solid gold is an investment and not in everyone's budget, so I'm already in the process of producing a vermeil edition, which should launch in the next couple months. You can sign for the vermeil waitlist below.

Keep your eyes on your inbox and our IG to see which Difficult Woman is dropping next! 

With love,

Torie xo