The Pin and The Message for 2015

My lady bug bee pin, by Joan Rivers, paired with a tee by Missoni (for you, Joan)

“The bee pin has been my signature.”  ~ Joan Rivers

As I move into 2015, I look back at TFIO 2014 for the stories and the messages that meant so much to me. I treasure stories like Ilene Beckerman’s who created the book which later became the play – Love, Loss, and What I Wore – as a way to document the clothes and the moments and memories of her life; like Isabella Rose Taylor who as an artist and a fashion designer at 13 was told she was never too young to dream; like Daniel Silverstein, a New York designer who is 100% committed to creating beautiful clothing with Zero-waste technology; like Pro-Age revolutionary Cindy Joseph who wowed me (again) with her outlook on life and true beauty; like Lisa Curran, a swimsuit designer who never forgets the importance of bringing out the best in a woman’s self esteem, and like my dear cousin Drew Ann Rosenberg, who as a Director and Assistant Director of films and television, is a woman working in a male-dominated profession.

But perhaps the single most important message came from comedian Joan Rivers. On Labor Day we heard that Joan Rivers, one of America’s hardest-workers (forget the fact that she was 80 years old!) was in critical condition following a medical procedure, and finally the news followed that she had passed. To honor Ms. Rivers I wrote about her in a piece I titled, “Joan Rivers: Beeautiful!” As a designer for QVC, Joan Rivers had a signature bee collection as part of her jewelry line. With a name like Melissa, which means bee in Greek, I have collected several of Ms. Rivers’s bee pins. But I never understood why the bee meant so much to her until I heard her tell the story: “The bee pin, for those of you who don’t know, has been my signature. It represents achieving the impossible because the bee absolutely cannot fly, cannot get off the ground, the way it’s built; yet it flies and makes the world beautiful. So it gives you hope … When people say, ‘give up,’ … no, no, no, no, no … don’t give up, up and at ‘em, make the world better.”

That is the message that I carry with me into 2015 and I happily share with youDon’t give up, never give up – even when people say you can’t or you shouldn’t. If you believe in it, do it. Do it. And make the world better for it. The bee somehow finds a way to fly. Joan Rivers did it. And we can, too!

Photo by Alexandra



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Celebrating an American Worker, Joan Rivers


Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers – Photo Credit: Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Michigan Avenue

Labor Day is the day to honor the American working man, but I must take a moment to celebrate America’s hardest working woman, Joan Rivers. After a medical procedure, Joan Rivers remains in critical condition at Mount Sinai hospital, and today, I am thinking of Joan.

I have been a Joan Rivers admirer for a while; I followed her career, and have been inspired by her resiliency. When she lost everything, and started a new design career with QVC, I followed her (I own a signature Joan Rivers bumble bee pin). And as she worked her way back, I followed her, watching her on E’s “Fashion Police.” But it wasn’t until last year, when Joan Rivers turned 80, and I watched the touching documentary, A Piece of Work, that I had a real peek at the hard-working woman who is Joan Rivers (which I documented, here). I learned that Joan Rivers never stops. She is always working. She never gives up. And she loves her family and friends and takes care of them.

I am thinking of Joan Rivers on this Labor Day. Her family is prayerful, as am I.

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