With Love, Mom

I have always said llyn strong fine art jewelry was my first child. Just like a living, breathing child, it kept me up for long hours every day and even kept me up worrying at night. I poured love and care and devotion into this first child of mine day in and day out. I have spent the last fifty years looking at my life’s work through a jeweler’s loupe. It is the magnifying glass a jeweler uses to study the stones. I can easily see the inclusions in a stone with the loupe and it was easy for me to see the flaws of all the facets of the business. Even when I saw the flaw, the creativity fed my soul and kept me energized enough to keep this small and mighty business going for my entire professional career.

Amid the business being a demanding toddler, I had Sydney. I no longer needed the loupe. My daughter, in all her brilliance and clarity, was a brilliant-cut diamond and to my eye, flawless. Although the two had a contrasting finish, it seemed it all worked together. Sometimes, the demands of the business took precedence. I am sure Sydney felt it just as a younger sibling sometimes feels about the older but we both know now the business provided for us. Now, the business has become US.

llyn and Sydney Strong

Sydney has always been kind, always choosing to see the best in those around her. She is exceptional with people. It is going to serve her well in this business. Sydney loved soccer and art and she got to do both at the College of Charleston. Even so, Sydney said she struggled with finding her passion after college. And yet, here we are. She learned the financial end of the business, studied the Gemological Institute of America classes online, and took a cross country trip in her thirties for three months to study and complete the Colored Stone Identification course. She discovered her love of stones. Lapidary is a jeweler’s term meaning the cutting, shaping and polishing precious stones. Isn’t that the process of parenting? Sometimes we are the jeweler and sometimes the jewels have a brilliance all their own. Yes, I am talking about my precious daughter.

We are two independent women with “Strong” personalities. We are braided like a design element of precious metal that appears to be woven together. Since becoming a mother just over forty years ago, I have often felt it is the hardest and most gratifying experience. As an artist and designer, I always said Sydney was my best design ever.

Once Sydney found her love of stones and expressed the desire to become a part of the business, we engaged Dr. Ron Reese, a family business consultant and psychologist that works with families on mixing blood and business and succession planning. Succession is about change. Sydney had to prove herself and I had to let go. It has not always been easy. Ron helped with communication, defining the vision and how to separate our personal lives from our business setting. Now, we are stamping a new Strong for the future.

llyn and Sydney in the shop

To the outside world walking through the doors of our storefront or perusing our website, this is our story but from my heart to my daughter, I want to say: Sydney, you are my best child. Thank you for embracing and cherishing my first child. It has been my greatest joy to have you as my daughter. You have always been the most beautiful girl in the world to me. As a child you were quite precocious. As a girl you always cultivated and embraced many friendships. The wonderful woman you have become astounds and excites me every day. Working together was not an easy task for you or me. We have certainly had our challenges as boss and employee and tried to navigate how to carry on a loving relationship while focusing on the caste (business) we poured ourselves into. At the end of the day, you are what matters most to me. When I look at you, I see the very best of me and of your father.

With Love,


llyn strong jewelry


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