Mandy started working at The Locket Sisters about four years ago when my sister and I had to do some international traveling to find answers to some questions that our local mentors and colleagues couldn't provide. I remember we gave her a whole setup for getting photos inside lockets with our process from her home (which is hilarious to think about now).
Mandy has been here part-time since nearly the beginning, since before there were even many lockets to make at all. She was here when the pandemic hit and we had to send her home indefinitely (thank goodness she came back). She was here when my sister left The Locket Sisters to lean into her passion of health coaching, and she even once came straight to the studio from her daughter's weekend soccer tournament in Iowa when Kare11's Saturday morning show just about blew the lid off this place.
I met Mandy through my sister, Amy, who met her at preschool drop off when both of their dogs named "Bear" ran out of their cars at the same time. But I knew of Mandy long before this, because she married my favorite high school teacher, Mr. Taylor. I always wondered what she was like, because he was such a good teacher - AP Lit - funny, inspiring, made writing cool and reading hip - the kind of teacher you're cheering for even when you're a kid.
Mandy's hands touch nearly every locket, and she allows herself to be moved by your words, your stories, the pictures of the people you want to keep close to your heart. She pays such close attention to your requests and the tedious nature of our craft.
Now, Mandy is here full-time. She closed a chapter as a youth pastor in St. Paul with this shift, and I know from experience that even exciting changes bring grief and loss, too. One of the ways we'll honor that within this work is letting those same assets of warmth, leadership, connection and engagement fill spaces here at The Locket Sisters with things like expanding partnerships, affiliates, studio appts and group events. I have a feeling that my imagination doesn't stretch big enough to predict the impact her increased presence will have on The Locket Sisters. But I'm excited to find out.