A Note of Gratitude After Two Weeks in Africa...

It was a sunny warm day over Serengeti. I climbed a small rock formation to take in the view as it unfolded underneath my feet. Beauty as far as eyes can see and majestic animals all around me. In a place of such beauty you can only be truly present and still in the perfect NOW, with words of gratitude running through your mind. "I have a beautiful home full of art and music… My daughter is safe and is growing to be an amazing human being and I am so proud of her each day… Colors and shapes of my jewelry create themselves through me and I am so fortunate to have an amazing team of women that I work with everyday… My gallery is a place of peace and color; it has a unique magnetic pull that you only can experience by walking through the doors… my clients are the kindest, most supportive people and I LOVE THEM. I was fortunate to have been able to create this space and keep the doors open each day for 6 years…ALL IS WELL IN MY WORLD!…" It has been an amazing fast paced 6 years. The day I signed the lease on this new endeavor, I was both petrified and thrilled. The space once was a bakery; was partially dismantled with some old furniture still in place. A graphic design company that was the next occupant, removed remaining overhead lights leaving the place feeling like a ghost town. Walls were green with commercial electrical outlets looking like metal straps, holding the walls still. Huge windows were letting all the beautiful light in…and I was IN LOVE! I saw the beauty of what it could be and felt the history and energy of this building calling me to be a part of it, to create a new place full of color and joy.  

It took us 3 months and a lot of learning from our own mistakes to open the doors to Anna Balkan Designer Jewelry Gallery. It was 5pm on Saturday August 21, 2010 and we had about 10 people in. Our customers came to show their support the day I needed it the most.

By 5:17pm Cynthia made her first purchase - a pair of beautiful unique Ruby Quartz earrings

  I remember every second of that first day as if it was just yesterday. It felt like a dream then, and everyday since still feels like a dream. 6 years and thousands of customers since visited our gallery in Historic Norcross, most of whom find-out about us from a friend or a co-worker. We are so grateful for these referrals, because they mean more to us than just a new customer - they mean to us, and to me personally, that the type of the place we have created and the jewelry I pour my heart and soul into, brings people joy and they feel all the love we have put into all we do. And for that - I am so grateful.  

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend" - Melody Beattie

Thank you for reading and all the support. Anna Balkan.