It all started as a gift for my husband. Valentines Day 1994 was rapidly approaching. As an airline pilot, Neil was away from home a lot. I wanted to give him something that he could carry with him as a private reminder of our unwavering love.
I was sure that my husband would be reluctant to wear a visible item of sentiment other than his wedding band. So I decided to give him a simple heart pin to be worn inside his airline jacket over his heart. I thought in that private location, each time he happened to glimpse it, he'd smile, reminded of home and the love we share. I shopped all over Nashville and Franklin, Tennessee for a simple heart pin. As I shared with each salesperson, what I was looking for and how I was planning to surprise my husband with a symbol of my heart for him to wear over his heart each day, each salesperson said "I've never heard of a man wearing an item of sentiment inside of his jacket over his heart. You've come up with a unique gift for men and great business idea!"
Unable to locate a simple heart pin, I fashioned one myself out of a tiny earring and gave it to Neil along with a little note that read "Whether we are near or far, we'll always be heart to heart."
The impact of this symbol of our shared love was immediate. Neil said that it provided him with a source of strength and reminder of our love whether he was running errands around town or "flying the line". His comments made me realize the power of love in that tiny heart.
My nursing colleagues liked my gift idea. Totally agreeing that the choices for a sentimental gift for a man are few and far between, my nursing colleagues said that they would love to give a Loving Heart Pin to their husbands too. I encouraged them to ask their husbands about the idea of a little heart hidden on the inside of their jackets. The men really liked the idea. Their encouragement helped bring The Loving Heart Collection by Jean Schnaak® to reality.
It's been twenty four years since the giving of that first Loving Heart Pin. What began as a simple pin is now a collection of Loving Hearts such as pocket hearts, necklaces, earrings and more, all accompanied by a verse card to help people express what is in their heart towards someone special. As I fill each order I say a little blessing for the tiny heart - that it may serve others well. I like to think I'm nursing the hearts of others.
In case anyone wonders, my husband still wears his Loving Heart Pin in his jacket over his heart. I wear one too.
"My belief is that in this busy world we need to take the time to express our love to the people closest to us. Words of love need to be spoken. Gifts from The Loving Heart Collection by Jean Schnaak® are designed to help people express their love, caring and encouragement to others during the good times as well as the challenging times of their lives. My hope is that by telling the special people in our lives how much they mean to us, that our world will be a better place." - Jean Cotten Schnaak