Monday, May 11, 2015

Thank you zulily for featuring FortuneKeeper and Chrisie on your blog!

Here at zulily, we are very excited to be celebrating Mother’s Day all month long by spotlighting our fabulous mom entrepreneur vendors! We had the chance to chat withFortuneKeeper’s Founder and Co-Owner, Chrisie Canny, to get a behind-the-scenes peek at how her beautiful line of unique, lovingly handmade jewelry came to be. 

Chrisie Canny Hard at Work

What inspired you to start your jewelry designs?
FortuneKeeper started by way of a Sunday night tradition of eating Chinese food. Our family loves it, especially opening the magical cookie at the end of the meal. We read them to each other and it is fun and often the messages are so special that we all find ourselves keeping them, putting them on the fridge, stuffing them into drawers and carrying them in our wallets. Inevitably they get lost or tattered. Tim, my brother, who has a flair for original ideas, decided what we all needed was a special way to carry our fortunes with us and to be able to change them when we wanted to. I had recently closed my small retail store in Brooklyn where I sold candles, gifts and art as the economy was struggling. I love original fun ideas so the two of us decided to create a necklace that would keep your special fortunes close to your heart. It had to be clear, at least on one side, so the fortune could be visible to read; you had to be able to be open it so the fortunes could be inserted and changed easily, and it had to look beautiful, because our dad was in the textile business and although he was no longer here, he taught us that color and design can really inspire us. My daughter Cate, who was eight at the time, had a say in every design decision that we made. She has the family flair and we let her run with it.
The fortunes may have been the launching pad for our handmade necklaces, but soon people were using their FortuneKeepers to hold their inspirational messages, treasured clipped photos, prayers, personal goals and giving them to friends who might need a little pick me up. With so many people looking to hold onto an inspirational message “Read it – Believe It – Keep It” became our tagline, and the FortuneKeeper was born.

Chrisie & her daughter

What has been the most impactful moment since starting your company?
I was at the Union Square Holiday Market in New York City. It is well-known annual outdoor festive that takes place around the holidays in December. FortuneKeeper had a booth as they are wonderful gifts. A young woman came to look at our display and she was drawn to our Butterfly keychain. She wanted to purchase one so I told her I would get her a new one in a holiday box. Suddenly she called me back. She had turned the keychain over and it had a message in it that said “This is your year, Love Mom.” She told me that she wanted it. It was a sample, but she did not care. Her mom had recently passed away from cancer and she felt it was her mom speaking to her. There were so many messages in the samples, but none like this one. We had a good cry together as I lost my dad to cancer and I am a person who believes in signs and symbols. When my dad died butterflies seemed to show up wherever I went. After that special moment FortuneKeeper donated proceeds from every Butterfly sold to her music therapy foundation called “Heather on Earth” that helps children with cancer in hospitals for one year. 

Do they have a unique story that drives each design?
We have themes that are the foundation of our company such as the power of friendship and family, believing in your potential, unconditional love and so many more. Right now we have over 20 images all with a special story. We know that in life we can embrace whatever the challenges might be. We want to aspire to be our best and we have wonderful imagery to tell our stories. Every FortuneKeeper comes with a story card that gives meaning to the image. We have found that very often the purchase is based on the story and not necessarily the image.
How did your relationship with zulily begin?
zulily found us at The New York Gift Show. It was a great meeting and we knew that there was a relationship in the making. All of our pieces are handmade in Brooklyn so we needed some time to get FortuneKeeper ready for our first zulily event. We are a company that has something for everyone, but the truth is our customers are overwhelmingly women. It is a great fit and although we are at opposite ends of the coasts, we feel like neighbors.  We even had the pleasure of hosting the Seattle team at our studio in Brooklyn. We all had so much fun and they loved our bagels!

Chrisie's daughter (Cate) & nephew (Grayson)

How Have You Benefited From Working with zulily?
We love working with zulily. They have given us such great exposure and brand recognition. We so appreciate that a company as big and well known as zulily has partnered with us and appreciates the work and craftsmanship of small companies like FortuneKeeper. It is so great when we hear “I saw you on zulily.” zulily inspires us to be the best that we can be. 
What’s in the future for your company?
Today we have expanded our line to include adjustable necklaces, bracelets, key chains, bag pulls and a stainless steel line. We have something for everyone and that’s the story for now. It is ever-changing as life is. We have some wonderful plans for new images and new jewelry designs. So many people have asked us for spiritual designs and religious symbols. We are working on this right now. We are also adding some healing stones to our bracelets and necklaces. We have lots a plans for expanding the FortuneKeeper line. Oh, did I mention that life is a beach? Get ready for some beachy images that will make your day a sunny one! This mom wants to share her passion with all of the women and moms who want to feel the love.
Think of a special saying you would like to treasure in beautiful jewelry around your neck? Shop all of FortuneKeeper’s beautiful designs on zulily, now through Wednesday! (May 12, 2015)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Resolutions or Not? FortuneKeeper Has A Suggestion

  So here we are just a few days away from another “fresh start”, which of course is January 1, 2015. Many of us craft our resolution(s) list while others dismiss it as another list destined to fail. Sure, we have all made resolutions that have not quite turned out as we had hoped, but we love the notion of a new year and the hope a new year brings.
  Maybe every month can be seen as an opportunity to create our resolution list, even every day can be seen as a new start, but there is something magical about closing out the old and ringing in the new! It is hope and change that sparks so many of us to put together our list. It’s almost mandatory! We are all part of the resolution club and if we could just take the pressure off and do our best then maybe we can achieve a few.
  Consider this – the act of writing down a few things that we would like to change gives us a sense of awareness. Think of it as a great opportunity to just review what might make our lives a bit more manageable in 2015. Resolutions do not have to be burdens. They can be energizing. They can be fun, at least if you want them to be. They can even be a single word. We asked our friends what one word would best reflect a 2015 resolution and here are our top 10 – Acceptance, Humility, Charity, Determination, Gratitude, Resolve, Kindness, Fun, Humor, Strength.
Are you in? Here at FortuneKeeper we are! For us, it’s another year to strive for a goal or two. We took our fortunes out of our FortuneKeepers and we all put in a resolution. Who knows what will happen. There are no guarantees, but we are excited that a new year is upon us. May 2015 be a great year for you!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

FortuneKeeper Unique Jewelry: It Seems So Simple But It Took TimeAbout 5 years...

FortuneKeeper Unique Jewelry:
It Seems So Simple But It Took Time
About 5 years...
: It Seems So Simple But It Took Time About 5 years ago we came up with the original FortuneKeeper. It started when we found ourselves...

It Seems So Simple But It Took Time

About 5 years ago we came up with the original FortuneKeeper. It started when we found ourselves hanging on to our favorite fortunes with no place to put them and Tim being the "mad scientist" decided that he wanted to wear his rather than stick it on the fridge or toss it in a drawer only to get lost or tattered. The original FortuneKeeper which Tim designed in his basement studio was pretty grim ( sorry Tim) and then entered Chrisie, Tim's sister who has flair and she took a great original concept and made it look  stylish. Nancy, a family member of sorts, loved it and wanted in on the new venture and she (that would be me) added a few twists and ideas that gave each image a story of sorts, ranging from friendship to facing life's challenges and so many more. OK, so that's the short story of how it started. Our biggest challenge was explaining what it does. Probably between the 3 of us we have explained the concept of how it slides open, how it snaps open (the bracelet version) and what you can do with it to a gazillion people. Finally after 5 years we have the image that you see above that explains the FortuneKeeper. How on earth did it take five (yes five) years to come up with this 4 step instruction visual? Well, time flies and we would rather look forward with anticipation than back with frustration. So as we approach what we hope is a great holiday season for everyone, look at HOW IT WORKS IN 4 SIMPLE STEPS and put something awesome, meaningful, funny, sad, moving or put a fortune in all of the FortuneKeepers that you are going to give as gifts to the special people in your life. 
PS - If you get to the end of this blog you deserve our special promo code inspire15. It saves you 15% on your order and it runs through December 10th. Oh and if you don't get a FortuneKeeper(s) that's OK too. We appreciate you and just having read this blog makes us very happy and grateful.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Thank You Can go a Long Way to Brighten Someones Day!

  How is it that saying goes? That you never know how your words may affect others or kindness goes along way or a smile brings a smile. Whatever it is I am thinking about it basically comes down to a compliment when unexpected can bring strength to your day, a smile to your face, a pat on your back. And today was a day that one of you did that for me, and I want to say thanks!
Fiona Gubelmann from Wilfred
 This morning I was sitting in the waiting room, waiting from my mammo and sonogram (just routine) but always nerve racking non the less, the awkward feeling sitting in your robe, fear of talking to the others, afraid of why they are there and what you may hear, your own what ifs growing in your head, but that is when you cheered me up at the moment I needed it. I was on my ipad reading my emails and thats when you went out of your way to write me, just to say something nice."I had to write and tell you how much I love the necklaces I ordered.  They are great and I am sure my friend will feel the same way about hers.  The black chord with the size adjuster is the best idea I have seen.  So many times necklaces are not the length and this is just perfect."
You took me out of that zone and made me smile:) It was also more than that, it was recent events on fbook in my community and the group I decided to leave. I was so saddened by all the negative statements people were posting about local businesses and not enough good things. (hey, we all have a bad day) So you see, your simple words brought me much joy because you went out of your way to thank us! How much better life could be if we all threw compliments out more, because you never now how someones day is going or what they are going through. A simple your shirt is pretty, holding the door for a Mom balancing a carriage and groceries, a thank you note for a dinner, whatever it may be, any small gesture can brighten someones day! So we should all practice saying something nice:) multiple times a day!

A fun night out with my friends who all showed up wearing a FK necklace!
Oh wait, there is more, a trifecta, if you will, you reminded me that we dont advertise that you can wear our Swarovski necklace at any length just by pulling on the magnetic bead in the back! Pick the length according to your neckline and your style! Sometimes you are so used to doing something that you assume that everyone else knows how to do it so thank you again!
 Regards from Brooklyn, Chrisie
 PS: Thank you to all the compliments we have been getting at FortuneKeeper, you guys are the best and we couldn't be on this journey without all of your support!

Sara Ramirez from Gray's Anatomy wearing our Black Buddha adjustable Swarovski Necklace.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How a chance encounter changed the way I look at everything

FortuneKeeper was at an outdoor holiday festival
and I was giddy until...

One of the really fun things that we do at FortuneKeeper is the occasional outdoor fair where the smell of smoking hot food and the silliness of the people who are there for some food, drink, entertainment and some holiday shopping is really fun for us. Even an occasional downpour does not put a damper on a good street fair. 

As you can imagine we bring lots of FortuneKeeper merchandise and fill our booth with all of our images, ranging from Buddhas to NYC subway stairs. This encounter that I am finally ready to share happened during holiday 2012 at the Union Square Holiday Market. Now I must tell you that Union Square is a blast. The people who walk down the aisles are really fantastic. Here is a picture that I took of happy FortuneKeeper customer. We had so much fun that she became a friend. Really, you can meet people anywhere. I once met a now great friend at a bus stop!

So one day it was rather busy and I was working with a few other people and I spotted a young woman who could not have been more than twenty years old. She was looking at our display and I sensed she was nervous, not shy. I am rather outgoing so I approached her and asked if I could help her. She asked me if she bought 20 FortuneKeepers if I could give her a small discount. She asked in a way that made me feel these were not office gifts or stocking stuffers. The Pisces in me sensed that she was here for some reason other than the traditional gift purchase. I asked her if she was OK and she hesitated. She stood silently and then she told me that her 23 year old sister had died in a car accident the prior week and that the family was getting together to honor her and that everyone was going to get a FortuneKeeper to put in a few special words or pictures to share with the family. 

We spent the next hour together, just the two of us looking at all of the images and the stories associated with them. We talked about her sister and she told me the images that she would have liked best. We both cried and it was such a moving experience that I think about it every day. When she was ready to leave we hugged and I told her that she was a beautiful young woman. 

About an hour later she returned. She had been wearing a necklace that was handmade in her home state in the western part of the country. She took it off and put it on me. All she said was "you are a beautiful person" and she left.

In times of joy and in times of grief we get "gifts" that forever change us and stay close to our hearts.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Fortune Cookie Hoarders! You can never have too many FORTUNES.

We at FortuneKeeper Jewelry & Accessories love people who collect fortunes. We are 3 New Yorkers and in New York we love our Chinese food. People who live outside of New York think we all go to Chinatown for our dumplings but really there is not a 5 block radius anywhere you go in New York that does not have either a Chinese restaurant or take out storefront. A little trivia, Chinese people do not eat fortune cookies and by Chinese we mean actual restaurants in China and very traditional Chinese restaurants in New York. My aunt is Chinese and she takes us to places that are very traditional and orders in Mandarin. As soon as she orders I know we are not getting any cookies. That's too bad because fortune cookies are really fun and even the ones that get a little messed up when translated can become awesome when adding the "in bed" at the end of the fortune. So there are three of us at FortuneKeeper and it is Tim who actually is a fortune hoarder. Hey, better fortunes than old newspapers and phonebooks. It seems there are thousands of fortune hoarders. They confess to us when they see us. They put their chins down as if there is something embarrassing about collecting fortunes. We very quickly cure them of this seemingly shameful habit because collecting fortunes is really fun and meaningful. So it was Tim who wanted to store his fortunes some place other than taped to his fridge or stuffed into his wallet. I won't go into detail but I will say that Tim can take a nail and make a nail salon. He has the gift of creating things from items that most would discard. Sometimes we go to wholesale gift shows and people will ask us where we got a mirror that they think is fantastic and they have never seen before. Right, they have never seen it because it is a piece of glass with air-conditioner ducts that Tim has managed to turn into art! We are doing some fun things in our Brooklyn factory and we will share our photos with you. Now go have a great Chinese meal and cherish the great fortune that might just inspire you to Read It - Believe It- Keep It.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Why It's Time For Dogs & Cats

Is there anyone reading this who has a dog or cat who does not feel passionate about their animal friends? Some of the most personal Facebook posts that I see are pictures and stories about our canine and feline companions. I know that I do not consider myself a dog "owner" but rather a dog named Kaydee is a member of our family. She adds a beautiful layer of pure love to our lives. When she greets us at the door she seems to be saying "I love you, welcome back, I missed you so much,  oh I am so happy to see you, did anyone ever tell you that you are amazing and fantastic and I am so happy you are home?"
When I visit my mom who lives in an assisted living center,  sluggish people slumped in chairs perk up. Kaydee makes them smile. They want to touch her. They ask me questions about her and she knows they are fragile. She is gentle with them. When Kaydee and I go out for a walk, she is a kid and adult magnet. Why is this? I am not sure but I suspect that people just understand the beauty of her being. She seems so happy to see everyone. 
Kaydee (white and black) with her best friend Scout

The same is true for cats. I had two cats, Charlotte and Cagney. They slept on my head. They are different then dogs. Some people think cats are aloof, but this is far from reality. Cats simply show their love differently than dogs. When you least expect it,  the sandpaper tongue is kissing you.
This is why FortuneKeeper is bringing dogs and cats to our collection. We are collaborating with a brilliant artist named Dean Russo who does fantastic work. He donates a portion of his proceeds to animal shelters and other great charities and we will do the same.  Check out our Facebook page for more details. Some of the design elements will be different from our current collection. We will keep you posted and to all of the Dean Russo fans who overwhelmingly  loved the collaboration of Dean Russo and FortuneKeeper, we thank you for your many wonderful comments. 
Stay tuned for a new style necklace, key chain, bag pull and bracelet.