Friday, March 2, 2012

My Stanley: Scarlett

This is my friend, Scarlett.  

Lovely Scarlett has a gorgeous little jewelry shop, just next to the hardware store in Stanley Market.  Whenever we're in Stanley, we make sure to stop at Scarlett's.

Scarlett's jewelry boxes are her favorite colors

She makes beautiful jewelry which incorporates precious stones, beads and hardware that she comes across in her travels to hill tribes in Northern China, Thailand (other South East Asian countries) and around Hong Kong.  There is a very traditional and ethnic feel to what she designs.  Her store is an extension of who she is, from the colors of her boxes (lime green and purple are her favorite), to the photographs she's taken, which hang on her walls.

She will customize a piece for a customer, and is very observant about our preferences.  She knows before I do what pieces I'll gravitate towards.  We shop at Scarlett's to buy many of our gifts to send to loved ones.  She also fixes jewelry.  I've taken a few pieces, that I didn't even buy from her, and she'll take a look at them to mend them for me.  If you're ever in Stanley market, you really must go to her shop.  

Looking at pictures she took of my kids on her iPad.

What I love most about going to see Scarlett is that she's really become a family friend.  She'll ask after my dad, and my sisters.  She'll chat away to my kids about school and their art classes (which is usually why we're there anyway), she knows so much about our lives.  

Always designing new pieces.

The kids love to see her because they know she's got little koala biscuits for them, or a lolly, or a chocolate.  Sometimes, she'll leave me in her shop and run up the hill to the grocery shop, with a child in tow, to buy ice creams.  She's so thoughtful and generous.

During Christmas this year, she asked that we drop by and then surprised the kids with a present for each of them.  Each present was carefully selected based on what she knows about Buddy, Ella and Cally.  I was so touched.  

She helps me learn Cantonese by only speaking to me in Cantonese (as much as I can understand) and she speaks to Ella and Cally in Cantonese as well.  Though I never talk to her about what's happening in the rest of the market, I worry about her a lot.  She has a steady clientele and is good to her customers, but those are the kind of people who have been tipped out by high rents.  I'd be devastated if she had to move.  My whole family would be.

One of the sweetest things Scarlett did was surprise me with a necklace which she made just for me on my birthday.  She knows I like gold and brass colors over silver and asked me to look at a necklace when I was in her shop back in December.  Do you like it?  I loved it.  Good!  she smiled coyly.  I made it for you! 

I told Scarlett that I wanted to feature her on my blog long before I thought about the My Stanley series.    She holds a special place in my life here in Hong Kong, and definitely makes Stanley feel like home for me. 


brummygem said...

what a lovely post. in these days of so much cheap mass production, its wonderful to have such a personal connection to the artisan who makes the jewelry you wear, to know the thoughtfulness and hard work that goes into each piece and to know that each necklace or pair of earrings has a special and unique story behind it. i hope scarlett can survive the high rents too. the loss of artisans like her would be such a tragedy for the market... x

cyeh said...

awww. She sounds like an awesome friend!
I miss HK! Love the photos!

T like Bubble Tea ... said...

It is a pleasure to find something and personal that has a heart in this day and age. You should come tomorrow to handmadeHK at DB tomorrow. There should be some cool local artists. Love the hat and the blazer on you btw :)

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