Sophomore Jensen Pindell twists her silver band ring back and forth on her thumb.
“My family calls it my arm party.”
She’s referring to her six rings and stack of bracelets that she proudly displays daily on her manicured hands.
Pindell has collected rings since second grade, and is always looking for a new ring that comes with a different story to tell. Pindell has been influenced by simple pieces she notices from different places, from layered rings on the beach, to authentic mountain necklaces.
Growing up in a family of all girls, Pindell’s day-to-day hobbies included constantly digging through old jewelry boxes, and pestering her mom to take her to the store Stuff was a day-to-day hobby.
“I’ve always opened my jewelry drawer to [Jensen] and her sisters,” said Ashley Pindell, Jensen’s mom. “[I] let them try things on and share some of my favorite pieces with them.”
Fishing through a shoebox of old photos and memorabilia from her mother’s childhood, Pindell discovered her first ring, a smooth turquoise heart, small enough to fit her slender finger.
“It was my first ring that ever really brought me to enjoying it all,” Pindell said.
Her favorite turquoise heart ring, now worn on her left thumb, serves as more than just a piece of statement jewelry. It’s also a symbol of her mom’s own high school days.
“When I see it on her, it makes me remember when I wore it at her age and what it meant to me,” Mrs. Pindell said.
As she made her way through the farmer’s market, ducking in an effort to avoid the relentless rain, a 6-foot-5, white-bearded man with a jewelry stand caught her eye.
Each trunk, hanging with earrings, necklaces and bracelets, had a unique feel that separated his stand from the rest, her favorite being a thick, silver tribal printed ring.
In search for a ring, and not a life story, she heard about the struggles of a man with a future NFL career, ended by an injury, who fell in love with the artistry of creating jewelry. Of a man she had an immediate connection with.
“He was much older than I was, and he felt that he could share his story with me, so I felt connected to the person behind the ring,” Pindell said. “It will always remind me of his story.”
The place she spotted her next treasure was filled with a little bit of everything: old fashioned candies, chiseled slingshots, homemade crochet scarves and all of it was local.
The ring caught her eye at the register in a small saucer. The band was thin, metallic and shaped in a hexagon and since has been one of her favorite rings.
She readjusted her geometric ring on her right pinky out of habit, which coincidentally was the reason she lost this ring five years prior.
Hunkered down on the bottom bunk of her step-grandparents farm house, the ring wiggled off her finger, and slowly but surely nuzzled into the dark shag carpet.
This is where it spent the next three years, until her grandparents were in the process of moving houses.
“We pulled the bunk beds out and shook the shag carpet, and low and behold, my sister found the ring in the carpet under the bed,” Pindell said.
These pieces mean much more than just a fashion statement to Pindell.
“Finding something yourself brings more meaning to it and it’s almost like it was put there just so you could find it.”