The String-Ring Story
Who We Are
Originally from Oklahoma, my husband Jeff and I moved to beautifully wooded Kingwood, Texas in 1996. Jeffrey, our only child, was born shortly after. Both graphic designers, Jeff soon found his role as Creative Director specializing in web design and branding. I began working as a freelance designer and started doing volunteer work at Jeffrey's school when he began kindergarten. As much as I loved the school programs, I couldn't help but feel that the kids could really benefit from and needed a kindness program, but I wasn't sure how to go about it.
It seems to me as though everywhere you look, you come across rude behavior in our society. I've observed, through personal experience or news programming, such violent behavior as road rage, campus rampages, ugly office politics, weapons and threats in the schools, most recently cyber bullies, and simply just a basic lack of respect in our everyday interactions with those around us. I've asked myself, "How can we teach our children to be kind and compassionate when such aggressive behavior is exhibited everywhere you look?"
One evening, my husband asked me to critique the layout design of a jewelry website he had just built for a western jewelry designer whose work was heavy on symbolism - String-Ring started to take shape. Thinking to myself, "I could create an inspirational ring reminding people to be kind using the old custom of tying a string around your finger."
I purchased several different kinds of sheet metal and went to work on my idea. Using my son as a guinea pig to wear the ring, I fashioned several mock-ups until I was ready to send the ring design to a jeweler and have a prototype produced. Even after the prototype was made, still changes went into place to create yet another. I had to find the right design to hold the string in place, and I wanted the colored string to be noticeable enough to send the kindness message but not overpower the ring. The stringing also had many different incarnations. I began using white string and dipping the ends in paint, but eventually decided to go with colored string. First using hemp string, which I soon discovered frayed, and then switched to waxed cotton. Always keeping cost of materials in mind, so kids could be able to afford the ring.
The Peace and Love message of the Sixties Movement felt appropriate for our branding, so we modernized the peace symbol and came up with the Pass It On! tag line (sort of "Pay It Forward"). Jeff built the on-line store and I sent out a flood of emails and press releases notifying friends, family and community that String-Ring is now in business.
So here we are, hoping to communicate a positive message and play our small part in making our world just a little kinder.