I am pleased to have a guest blogger, Susan Michel, self-proclaimed Blind Goddess. She was a designer who worked with my mother and our buying team in the 1980s and 1990s. Here she tells us about her current challenges and her inspiring path to create beautiful jewelry through adversity.
I am a jewelry designer who started to lose her vision 9 years ago. And now the unthinkable has happened — I am blind.
When I first got my diagnosis — which included a rubber stamped “no known treatment, no known cure” — I was filled with grief and rage. However, a very sensible social worker gave me some very good advice: I could decide to sit in a corner and cry, and end up alone, or I could decide to keep showing up every day. I decided on the positive.I am surrounded by my family, friends, and wonderful people who work for me, despite my limitations. Everyone has had to brush up on their descriptive skills and communication, and I have had to struggle with my agonizing impatience with my dependency.
Somewhere on my journey a miracle happened — I can clearly see and design, all in my head. Without my sight.
My daughter Alix and a wonderful sketch artist are so in sync with me that we manage to bring to life the images in my own mind. This enables me — a blind designer — to continue to produce new designs every season.Our customers do not believe that I am still doing the design work, but I am. I lie awake at night thinking about trends, proportions and colors — dreaming them into pieces I think the world will enjoy.
Far better to dream of beautiful things than to dwell on what the future holds.
Susan Michel/Blind Goddess
For more information on fundraising and public awareness efforts for retinal degenerative eye diseases visit Laugh For Sight.