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Meghann Samuelson & Tracy Schlagel

Meghann Samuelson & Tracy Schlagel

Meghann Samuelson & her mom, Tracy, are some of our long-time customers, and we had so much fun in this Q&A session talking with Meghann about her and her mom’s favorite AVD collections.  We also loved hearing what Meghann loves most about her mom, why she’ll always bring her mom when she is shopping for a car, and what her mom did to try to stop Meghann from getting a tattoo! 

So Meghann, I understand your mom and grandma first introduced you to Anne Vaughan Designs jewelry?

The first time I met Anne was at the Bizarre Bazaar in Richmond (Virginia), and back then I was more into boys than jewelry!  My mom and grandma got me started on AVD jewelry.  They'd pull out the jewelry they bought at her shows and match them with their outfits.  I would pick on my mom because she was obsessed with Anne’s jewelry… and now she picks on me because I'm obsessed!  I always have a Mother's Day gift and Christmas gift for her that is Anne’s jewelry; jewelry is our thing!

Do you girls have a favorite AVD collection?

My mom and my grandma both like Rustic Creek, Claridad and the Windsor Castle collection, and my grandma raves about her Heron collection.  If I had to choose a line as my favorite, it would be Blush and also the Bloom collection.  I also love my Heartfelt chain, but I like the one-of-a-kinds more than a specific collection because they're so special and so unique.  For my wedding, I wore a one-of-a-kind made by Anne with dangly pearls, aquamarine, and white pearls.  I got a lot of compliments on my wedding dress and my hair, but I got more compliments on that daggone necklace than anything else; it was stunning!

Do you have the same taste in jewelry as your mom?

We're both silver girls.  She likes navy blues, emerald greens; I like tropical blues.  We're starting to come together more and we share jewelry.  She swears my AVD jewelry collection is bigger than hers, but there's no way!  I don't even know how many pieces of Anne’s jewelry my mom has, but we're talkin’ in the hundreds!  I had to buy a hanging jewelry box for the back of my door just for my necklaces!

Wow!  That’s a lot of AVD jewelry!

I like to layer and that's why I like Anne's jewelry because I can layer pieces from different lines.  I work for VDOT, so I work with a bunch of men who don't care what I wear, but I wear jewelry every day.  My style is all over the place; if I feel bohemian or hippie that day, I'll throw on a bunch of different ones.  I actually plan my jewelry first before my clothes.  And my mom likes more simple, even though she’s really into the bling.  My mom drives a Cadillac and she jokes the second she sees somebody with the same one, she's going to sell hers!  She likes a lot of sparkle.

She sounds like a character!  What’s a funny memory with your mom that always makes you laugh?

My dad was military and we traveled a lot when I was young, and one time we were on an airplane buckled into our seats and we felt the plane start rolling forward.  My mom wasn’t ready for it and she started stomping her foot on the floor of the plane like she was hitting the brakes!  We still laugh about that today!

What qualities about your mom do you love the most?

She has infectious laughter; you can’t not join her.  She's got a very unique laugh; I've never heard anyone laugh like her.  She is the most intentional and forthcoming and trustworthy person I know, and she's very good at expressing herself.  If there’s a difficult discussion, you know where she stands, but she's incredibly good at hearing your side of the story.  Her attitude is:  this is my opinion, but I'm open to your opinion.  She's one of the easiest people to get along with.

What’s the best lesson your mom has ever taught you?

To listen.  in watching her, I learned listening is an art.  It's not that you have to change your mind but at least hear what the other person is saying.

How is your mom thoughtful?

She makes homemade treats for my cats!  She found a recipe on Pinterest and made them herself.  She’s a big animal-lover; she has great danes so I go to mom’s house for my dog fix.  But at Christmas, my mom gives my cats more gifts than me!

What’s the best advice your mom has given you?

Do your research.  Make sure you have the facts and try not to go on emotion.  AND negotiate.  I will not buy a vehicle without my mother; she is the best negotiator I have ever seen.  I took her with me and she had the salesguy drop the price, raise my trade-in price, AND put new tires on the car!  She has the sweetest heart , but she can negotiate.  I don't even think they realized a woman just took them.  Although, as the two of us left the car dealership, the sales manager did say, "you're robbing me blind!" so I think they know how good she is!

What is something you never thought your mom would do?

My mom hates heights.  And when we were in Paris, you can go all the way to the top of the Eiffel Tower.  So I did…but then when I turned around, there was my mom!  She had followed me to the top, but now here she is standing up against the wall with her eyes wide open and she couldn't even move.  I never thought my mom would do that.  Her hands were flat against the wall and she just slowly followed the wall all the way around to the elevator and she had to leave.  She was not having that Eiffel Tower!

What memory sticks in your mind about a decision you made that your mom didn’t agree with?

I had always wanted the top of my ear pierced and she would never let me, even though I just wanted a small little hoop at the top of my ear, she would not budge.  So I thought I’ll just do it myself, and I jammed this earring into the top of my ear and I did it myself!  I lied to my mom and said it was a magnetic earring so she wouldn’t know I pierced my own ear.  As soon as I wore my hair up, and she saw that it wasn’t a magnetic earring, she was so mad she was ready to rip it right out of my ear!

Was that the only time your mom didn’t approve of something you did?

She was NOT happy when she knew I wanted to get a tattoo.  On my 18th birthday, I went to the tattoo parlor and she was so upset.  She sent me like 50 texts telling me she was mortified and she was so upset about it. The worst part for her was the tattoo parlor was across the street from her work and she refused to come over!  She just kept texting me these gut-wrenching texts.  What’s funny is that I got a tattoo in memory of my grandmother.  It was a hummingbird because I used to watch the hummingbirds with my grandmother and it was sentimental to me.   Now she likes it, but when I was 18, she was not happy about it!

What’s a favorite tradition you have with your mom?

We have a lot of family traditions, but something that is just her and me:  we go to craft shows and, in particular, Arts in the Park in Richmond.  We take off work on a Friday to avoid the weekend crowd, and we like to get lunch at a local restaurant and then go to the show.  We enjoy that time together.  We're both sneaky and we try to pay attention to what the other person likes, but we know they won't buy for themselves.  So there's a point where we break away from each other to go buy the other person a gift.  Then, months later at Christmas or birthdays, you give each other these little surprises and we’re like, "oh man, I knew you'd pick that for me!"  We both love giving gifts and we're good at figuring out what other people would like so we enjoy buying gifts for others at craft shows, too.

What is a memorable gift you’ve given your mom?

She and I are both sentimental gift-givers.  My mom was a huge part of my wedding planning.  I don't know what I would have done without her.  When it was time for the bouquet toss, I explained to everyone that I'm not going to throw my bouquet because there's a lady here who deserves my thanks and my love, and that's this lady right here -- and I pulled my mom up with me so I could give her my flower bouquet.  She had no idea I was going to do that.  And those flowers are still in a vase in a special spot in her dining room.  To my mom, though, her most memorable gifts are probably the Christmas ornaments we made her when we were kids.  Every year when we break out the Christmas ornaments, she knows exactly what year we all made her clay ornaments when we were little.

How are you planning to spend Mother's Day?

We'll probably end up staying close to Richmond (Virginia).  I already did my big Mother's Day plan with a virtual event with Anne Vaughan Designs, so I got to do that with my mom and grandma.  We were able to go through the shop and get a virtual tour.  Every Mother’s Day is a little different, one year we drove the Blue Ridge Parkway.  My mom is very crafty and sometimes she wants to do something crafty, or go to a craft show.  This year we might go to lunch or do brunch at home.  We like to make enchiladas or Dad makes something on the grill.

What do you feel most grateful for on Mother's Day this year?

The time that we've had together.  This past year kind of cleared up our schedules and we didn't have all of these things to do so it was easier to spend time with each other.  It's been a very, very strange year, but just the time and intentions and even though things are starting to open back up, we're still in this routine of just hanging out at the house.  We've been helping each other with home projects and also spending more time with my grandparents.  Honestly, one thing we've learned from this season is take things one step at a time and don't put too much on your plate.  We’re a very close family and I love spending time with my family.  I truly think I have the best mom in the world and I don't know what I'd do without her!