Someone told me one time many years ago that they were surprised that I liked wearing rings, seeing as how it would draw attention to my hands. Over the years, I admit, there have been times when I’ve hidden them away as best as I could to avoid stares. I was born with Amniotic Band syndrome and my hands are scarred from separation surgeries and skin grafts. The fingers on both of my hands were mostly webbed together as are my toes on my left foot. At three days old, my right leg was amputated below the knee as my foot hadn’t developed.
As a child, I shrugged the comment off as best as I could, not giving it much thought until one night as I was working on making a new ring. Trying the ring on to see how it looked when worn, I had to stop a moment to look at my hands as well. “I’m surprised that you like to wear rings.. given that it draws attention to your hands…” From nowhere, that comment came back to me from my childhood and stared at me.. as if waiting for the response I had never given. You see all these gorgeous rings others have made modeled on beautiful hands with prettily painted and manicured nails.. Looking at my own pictures, I’m sure there have been a blink or two at the hands that model them. They’re not your “normal” hands by any means. I considered maybe getting one of those ring display fingers to take pictures on if I decided to open a web store. But then it dawned on me.. Those are my hands; the very hands that have worked to create the jewelry I wished to wear and to share with others. The hands that I’m so very blessed to still have the dexterity in to craft and create in spite of the fact that most of my fingers are missing at LEAST one knuckle.
I came to realize in that moment that my hands might not be “normal” but they were amazing.. and deserved to be shown off for all that they allow me to do in spite of any differences. So I will continue to craft, and.. I’ll share my creations with any who might want them. To other men, women, boys, girls, young and old: “You don’t have to hide your hands.. or any part of yourself.. away. You don’t have to be ashamed. You were given a beautiful body capable of so much if you take a moment to step back and learn to appreciate all you have been blessed with. Be YOU. Wear pretty rings and jewelry. Draw attention to yourself. Be prepared to tell others how amazing you are. We’re all uniquely beautiful.
Since I originally began this website for hosting my jewelry, I have had to have my leg re-amputated due to invagination of the tissue at the bottom of my residual limb. I was blessed beyond belief with support from family, friends, co-workers and so many people I didn’t even know during this time that I was able to focus on healing and not having to stress over how to pay bills with no income. It’s my hope to raise ABS awareness and grow Uniquely.B.You.Tiful into a community to pay forward all the love and support that has been shown me and help over the years.