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The judge of our #claypotstory contest, Elissa Schappell

Every piece of jewelry is a story waiting to be told. 

Back in March, in the middle of closing our beloved Brooklyn store, we announced we were holding a contest for the best Clay Pot stories.

We reached out to our dear customer and friend Elissa Schappell, Author of Use Me and Blueprints for Building Better Girls, Co founder of Tin House and Columbia MFA professor,  to be the judge of the contest.

From Elissa:

The uproar and outpouring of love and grief that met the news that The Clay Pot, a family-owned business for fifty years was so outsized that it might occasion the donning of black armbands, and had The Clay Pot sold them, (guaranteed to have been made by local artisans) we’d have worn them.

For two weeks customers streamed into the small shop in Park Slope with stories shared at a range of decibels, shrieks of disbelief, the low thudding of men who’d always found the perfect gift for the women in their lives, banging their heads on the cases muttering, I’m done for. Owner Tara Silberberg and her intrepid crew performing a combination retail and emotional triage hugging the regulars while ringing up sales, and reminding the masses that, the store in Soho was still open and thriving. Finally, they put out a roll of butcher paper and invited customers to put their emotions into words, but that wasn’t enough. So, they invited the faithful to share their memories. Some tales were comical, a shelf of ceramics and glassware broken by an errant pirouette, a customer’s water breaking while waiting in line, some were harrowing, a husband’s finger shut in a car door is saved only by his wedding ring. Most profound were the discoveries a piece of jewelry that appeared in the moment as though summoned, speaking so clearly to its future owner, it was as though it had been waiting for them.


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