by Emma

You may have noticed that I have a penchant for pretty. My Pinterest boards are crammed full of it. But I also think that all things pretty and sparkly have a story to tell.

This could not be more true with The Salvage Project, which ‘unveils unique beauty in the broken, neglected + unwanted by transforming antiques, vintage items and oddities into wearable art.’

I can certainly attest to the beauty of these salvaged pieces, in fact you may have seen on Instagram that I purchased this beautiful piece myself:

The beauty of these pieces isn’t the incredible part of The Salvage Project though, it is the story behind it. I couldn’t possibly try to explain it as well as Chris Barber does on the website, so I will humbly share his words with you:

“For the purpose of narrative + facts, only: Jo took her own life in February 2014.”

“I saw this project develop whilst she was alive and, for Jo, “The Salvage Project” was an escape. It was a ‘place’ she felt like she had a real purpose and somewhere that she saw a future. I’ll always remember her face when we’d finish a certain part of a logo or website. She’d bounce and clap and squeal with excitement. I remember, she used to uncontrollably waddle around like a penguin when she was excited.”

The Salvage Project, beautiful jewellery and a heartfelt story, via Year of the Yes

“It was ‘her’ project. The Salvage Project gave her a sense of independence and a feeling of self worth. She’d learned to use side effects of her illness, such as attention to detail and perfectionism to create one of the few things she was genuinely proud of. This project contributed to moments where she was truly herself + I’m so grateful I was around to see how it made her feel.”

“From the start, we always referred to this as “The Salvage Project”. The word “Salvage” took a much deeper interpretation when I started revisiting the project, after she passed away. Jo left behind mountains of her work including chests of beautiful jewellery and notes on the direction she wanted to take with business ideas and branding. Stepping into her office at our home was like stepping into a time capsule of her ‘happiest’ times.”

“To me, “Salvage” refers to the act of scrambling through the aftermath of devastation to find, develop and launch a project she’d worked so hard towards. I wanted to ‘salvage’ my positive memories of her instead of ‘moving on’. I told myself that “if I can’t say goodbye to Jo, I want my memories of her to be from when she was at her happiest.”

“Forcing myself to think “What would Jo do…?” with regards to this project has provided an overwhelming sense of her presence at a time when I needed it most. It’s helped me to see passed her illness + remember Jo for who she really was.”

“The Salvage Project was Jo’s pride and joy for two years and she never had the opportunity to share the finished product. I wish she was here to be part of it. I’ve utilised every physical note she’s left behind and every memory of her vision for this to finally share it with everyone. The Salvage Project is a small part of Jo and I want it to form part of the legacy and beautiful memories she’s left with us all.”

“This is for you, Jo. Not because I think you’re “up there watching” or whatever, but because I *know* you wanted everyone to see this.”

The Salvage Project, beautiful jewellery and a heartfelt story, via Year of the Yes

50% of profits generated from The Salvage Project are donated to Mind, so buying one of these beautiful pieces can really help to make a difference to someone’s life as well.

The Salvage Project, beautiful jewellery and a heartfelt story, via Year of the Yes

Make This One Of Your Yeses

The ‘one of a kind’ pieces from the original collection are selling out quickly, but more are on the way so head over to the website to check out what’s on offer and hear more about the story behind the project.

The Salvage Project, beautiful jewellery and a heartfelt story, via Year of the Yes

All images by Chris Barber
About the Author

Emma loves sunshine and flip flops, prosecco, chocolatey treats, things that sparkle, trips to the beach, reading and blogging.

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