Favorite Things: Mandi Peterson and her mother’s jewelry box


One of Mandi Peterson’s prized possessions is her late mother’s jewelry box. Since her mother’s passing, the little heirloom has been a powerful tool for Peterson to reconnect with her memories and experience a warming sense of comforting nostalgia. 

My mother passed away two years ago, and my sister and I split up her jewelry. I’ve got two of her boxes. I picked the ones I had the most attachment to. One of them had a fake lock on it, which I believe my mother thought was really funny. I would try to sneak into her room when I was little and get into them. I thought it was a real lock, so I could never get into it. I eventually figured out it was fake when I was 7 or 8.  My parents didn’t like me sneaking into their room, they were private and secretive, but that’s why I wanted to. I was very curious. 

The one with the fake lock is black leather with red velvet inside. It has places to hold rings, and she kept weird little trinkets in there too. The other has trinkets like my grandmother’s lipstick case/holder. It smells kind of weird. It smells like crayons. I didn’t know my grandmother very well, but my mom used to tell me that I reminded her of her. I guess when I put on makeup, I made the same faces as she did. I have random memories like this attached to the things in the box. 

I’m pretty weird about it. I don’t really keep my own stuff in these boxes. I’m really sentimental, I don’t even like really wearing anything in there. It’s pretty much a keepsake for me. I got quite a bit of my mom’s jewelry, my sister and I split it up pretty evenly. I gave her whatever she wanted to have. 

My mother loved jewelry and went to fashion school for a little while. One of the pieces of jewelry in there is a black necklace with beads. I remember my dad giving it to her on New Year’s. I don’t know why but it’s really cute. My parents really liked New Year’s and would always have parties with their close friends. Holding the necklace reminds me to look forward to New Year’s. It’s a tradition I’ve carried over into my own life. 

I have a little end table by my bed, and I also have a little altar with my witchy stuff on it. I keep one of them with the altar and the other I keep near my bed on the end table. I used to not be able to look at any of this stuff at all, but now I’ve reached a point where it’s really nice to look at it again. 

I’m very sentimental and so was my mom. These boxes make me very nostalgic. It just makes me happy to have little things to connect me to those times and my mom in a physical way. 

Interview edited and condensed by Skyler Ashley. If you have a recommendation for Favorite Things, please email Skyler@LansingCityPulse.com


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