I got up, worked all day in the shop, and had a great day. Clients I really like came by, and it was fun talking with them. But at the end of the day I hadn't changed my mind, so I went to the computer and typed a letter to send out to clients and friends of Atelier Ivaan. I told them I wouldn't be taking on any custom orders after November 30th, and that I'd remain open till December 31st, but as of January 1st, 2019, the cash register would be slammed forever shut - and then I clicked Send.
Next morning I woke up to a barrage of reply emails - so many that I had an anxiety attack. But it was Remembrance Day, the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, and I was going to meet my brother Hamish at the Cenotaph for the ceremony, so I tried not to read too many emails before I left.
When I came home, there were even more emails. Some said, "What? Are you sick or something?" Others said, "Impossible! I wave to Ivaan every time I go by your store!" Lots more said, "Okay, do what you must, but here's what I'm ordering" (followed by a long list of items).
Eya, Congratulations! I hope this next adventure is full of everything that makes you happy. Best always, Sandra
Eya,Well, that pretty much had me crying, because I find it hard to imagine I'm anyone's hero. Hard working? Yes, I'll cop to that. Generous? I try hard to be. But Alice is one of the most remarkable women I know, heroic in every way, and I value her friendship and love her to bits.I can't believe you are closing down the store! Actually, I totally can, I just don't want to believe it.Just a selfish bit of wishful thinking that your store and Ivaan's work would always be there.You've done such an amazing job of continuing to share his legacy with so much love and dedication.You are still my hero...........What are you planning on for your next act?love,Alice
Then I opened this one from a friend with a special connection to the Atelier, as she co-curated a massive retrospective of Ivaan's work in 2008 and 2009 and knows the pieces almost as well as I do:
Well, I opened the news bulletin. And while it's hard to imagine the Atelier wrapping up,I know you have so many other interests and talents that make this the right move for you. You created something amazing to honour Ivaan, and the book and website and all the beautiful jewellery will live on long after us..... ....All good things for the future, Sonia
This morning I was downtown getting started on a bunch of jewellery orders when I received this email message from our friend Helen.
Helen is one of the "Czech Chicks", a group of talented, beautiful, fun-loving women who have known each other for decades, wear Ivaan's work proudly, and are among his most ardent fans. Helen is tiny, impossibly chic, and so vivacious and full of life that nothing stops her. She looks as glamorous as a movie star from the 1950s. She's a force of nature.
I waited to read her email till I got home. Just as well, because I needed a handkerchief. Here's what she wrote:
I think it was the sweetest thing I've ever read. Thank you, Helen. Ivaan thanks you too.