Mother & Daughter: Joanne and Alysa Teichman’s Inspired Gifts of Love
This is our 3rd article in our 4-part series: Mother’s Day Stories: The Real Gems In Our Lives. To read the introduction to the series (please go here).
“As the daughter of parents who have been in jewelry for more than three decades,” says Alysa Teichman, “there are so many special and significant jewelry gifts I have received from my mom over the years to mark our special occasions.”
While Alysa is speaking, I begin to imagine being Joanne Teichman’s (Co-owner along with her husband Charles of Ylang 23) daughter, and visions of some of the most talented jewelry designers and pieces I’ve coveted over the years begin to swirl around in my head.
But in talking to both Alysa and Joanne, I realize that while many of their gifts to each other are created by some of the hottest names in the business, which Ylang 23 carries, they are all sentimental, heartfelt and are steeped in love and affection this dynamic Mother and Daughter duo have for each other.
In fact, the first Mother’s day gift Joanne tells me about is a paper mache brooch Alysa made for her. “It’s one of my most treasured jewels of all my pieces. Today, it even looks quite chic on my black suede ‘The Row’ jacket.”
Alysa jumps in. “I made it when I was a kid in elementary school in an arts and crafts class. I worked really hard on it and was so excited and a bit nervous to give it to my mom. But of course I was young and now I know whatever I made for her, she would have been thrilled with because it came from me. My mom’s also kept all the Starbucks cups that my brother Jake and I decorated for her.”
“Don’t forget about the book of poetry you wrote for me one year!” Joanne adds, her voice warming over with pride.
Joanne also explains, “Mother’s Day is always a bittersweet occasion for me, especially since losing my mom years ago, and then my only sister last year. I always gave them jewelry and they treasured it and the emotion with which it was given.” She continues, “I now have all of those pieces among other jewels from my mother and my grandmother, and I wear different things when I want to feel close to one or both of them.”
One of the pieces Joanne says she wears often was inherited from her grandmother and is a rose gold signet ring with her grandmother’s initial. “And, when I attend special events, I almost always add a bracelet of my Mother’s to ‘take her along with me’.”
For both Joanne and Alysa –the jewelry is more than shiny, pretty, trendy or timeless pieces that accessorize an outfit –the pieces are part of the history of the maternal side of their family—which speak to their past and present and will tell more tales about their future.
“Our gifts of jewelry tell the story of our close relationship,” explains Alysa who took on the role of VP, Director of Business Development when she finished graduate school in 2016.
Alysa talks about some of her pieces received from Joanne for certain milestones in her life. “For my 16th birthday, I was gifted a Cathy Waterman child charm which is engraved on the back with Mammy, Daddy, Jake, (brother) Chouchou (dog), and Quinse (horse).
For my 30th birthday, I received Cathy’s iconic Love ring in 22K gold.” Alysa continues, “I have very similar tastes to my mom and we often love the same jewelry. I was coveting her multi-opal bead necklace by Ten Thousand Things and also borrowing it –maybe a little too much. But it seemed to have the desired effect. My mother bought me the same necklace. Since then, if she thinks I am going to like it or snag it from her, she considers one for each of us.”
Alysa continues, “Perhaps my favorite and most sentimental piece is a French 1907 gold coin that was my maternal grandmother’s, with whom I was incredibly close. She passed away when I was a freshman in college. My mother turned the coin into necklace for me, and she set it so that it would rotate so you could see the face of the coin and the back which in English translates to Liberty, Equality, Fraternity — the motto of the French Republic.”
“Many of the other pieces I have I’ve either temporarily or permanently stolen from my mother. But isn’t that part of the job of being a daughter?”
“While it might be true that Alysa has, shall we say, ‘lifted’ some of my favorite pieces, she has also given back so much back and it’s so exciting now to have her by my side in the business.” Joanne says.
When asked about her most cherished jewelry (besides the paper mache brooch) that Alysa (along with her brother Jake) has given her for Mother’s day, Joanne offers, “A Jennifer Meyer custom necklaces that says “Mammy”, which is what the kids call me and the Jennifer Meyer nameplate necklace that spells out Alysa and Jake with an outline of a heart in between the names.”
“But,” she adds, “I would have to say that the most epic piece of jewelry I received was a custom Cathy Waterman bangle in 22K gold with the date of my wedding anniversary (11-23-80) and Alysa and Jake’s names in diamonds.”
Joanne concludes, “Alysa and I will continue to create new stories every Mother’s Day, especially after Alysa has children of her own. It’s a time honored tradition that commemorates not only one day out of the year but the connections we share—the laughter, happiness, unavoidable sadness—all of the range of emotions, memories and sentiment which the jewelry conjures up and will forever link our family together.”