Being able to make meaningful accessories for folks is one of our favorite things about AENDEE. We love when somebody entrusts us with the honor of transforming their keepsake clothing into new items for them to cherish & wear. Today we’re bringing you the story of two super sweet gentleman who received surprise heirloom accessories as gifts this Christmas. Read on to hear about the process, the story behind the materials and how the gifting all came together.
We'll start with a little introduction of the main characters in this tale: Nicole (lovingly known as Gigi), Brady, and Warren are part of a tight knit group of friends here in Fargo-Moorhead. A lot of laughter, love, and fun has been shared between them and we love how supportive they are of one another (and how thoughtful they all are, too!).
According to Gigi, "Brady and Warren are wonderful cheerleaders for my business and great friends. They are always there when I need them and I wanted to do something sweet for them to say thank you for being a friend. When I started telling friends what the plan was, to surprise them each with a set [of custom handcrafted accessories], they all wanted in on it 'cause Brady and Warren are great friends to everyone."
Gigi coordinated with Brady & Warren's families to find the perfect fabrics to use for the project. We then worked with her to decide which materials would be best for the guys and what items we'd be able to craft from each material source. She brought us quite a mix of options - a beautifully embroidered button down, a bright blue and white polkadot scarf, a pair of life guard shorts and some lovely lavender velvet. It turned out that we were able to create a freestyle bow tie, a pocket square, and a set of cufflinks for each of them - all from material that held a special place in their hearts.
Warren explains that "My bow tie, pocket square, and cuff links (not seen) are made from a scarf that belonged to my mother, who dressed simply but always looked quite put together. She passed away 15 years ago from Ovarian Cancer."
"It means the world to me to get to wear this piece of my mom. I receive a lot of compliments on how sharp they look and people are really touched when I share with them just how special these pieces really are to me. They were also given to me as a surprise from a group of close friends. I was so moved I cried for nearly 15 minutes. It was incredibly moving and the best and most meaningful gift I've ever received."
Warren's matching bow tie & pocket square are most certainly dapper- we're so glad that we were able to create such special pieces for him, he definitely wears them well.
Brady's bow tie is also pretty amazing. He explains that "My bow tie is made from an embroidered shirt from Mexico. My maternal grandparents were big travelers and took a trip to Mexico shortly after my parents got engaged. They saw this shirt and brought it back for my father. I remember seeing pictures of my parents both as newly engaged and newlyweds with my dad in this shirt. They got married in the 70s and it paired great with his bell bottoms."
In addition to the unique bow tie that we made for Brady we also crafted a one of a kind pocket square and set of cufflinks from special fabrics sent to our studio. Brady shares a bit about the story behind his pocket square that was crafted from his "Guard" uniform swimsuit. "All through high school and college I worked at my local swimming pool. I started teaching swim lessons and life guarding and for my college years managed the pool. Those were some of the best summers, and not just because I got to be outside (I am very fair skinned, so I had to bathe in sunscreen), but because I got to watch the kids in my community have so much fun at the pool and watch them grow up."
Gigi organized the gifts to be a surprise and the whole group of friends pitched in to make the gift possible. So how does giving such a special gift feel? Gigi says that "We all wanted to give them the perfect gift... both were totally surprised and honored. Some tears were even shed, I think. It was a very special moment I don't think any of us will forget any time soon."
While the guys were each aware that the other would be receiving a special gift from AENDEE - neither of them knew that they would also be receiving a set of their own accessories. We asked Brady to explain how it feels to receive such a meaningful gift and to be able to wear a piece of his personal & family history. He says that "Wearing these items creates excitement for me in a couple of different ways. First it is exciting to know that my bow tie comes from my maternal grandparents (both deceased) by way of my dad and with the help of my mom. My pocket square brings back so many memories from such a great time of my life. I didn’t even realize we still had my suits until I got the pocket square. But more special than all of that is that so many of my friends wanted to do something special for me and put in to provide this amazing gift for me... Each time I wear them I think of each of the friends that were involved and it gives me the best feeling ever"
So there you have it - a little glimpse at how awesome our job can be here at AENDEE. It is amazing to work with people like Gigi, Warren & Brady and all of the other wonderful people that bring their heirloom projects to us.
If you've been holding onto material/fabric from your past, consider having us transform it into a keepsake that you can actually wear, use, and enjoy. We're happy to brainstorm with you to see what can be made to help preserve your memories in a new way.