My ‘Granny chic’ Style Really Comes From My Grandma

My grandmother died of lung cancer in 2008.

I’m the oldest of approximately 15 grandchildren. My family has always been pretty dysfunctional so I hesitate to be sure. Because I am the oldest, and my mother was always the most reliable of her siblings, I got to spend a lot more time with her than some of my other cousins.

My mother hit a rough patch around 2007 when the job market became very tough. We moved in with my grandmother in a situation that was mutually beneficial as my grandmother began to show signs of her health declining.

My grandma with my uncle Melvin – “back in the day”


As a lifetime lover of quirky fashion, I’ve always been really big on chunky, colorful and just fun costume jewelry. That is my jam. Living with my grandmother, she and I quickly figured out that we had this in common. One day I came home from school and found my grandma rummaging through some of her old things. With hands that seemed frozen in time with the painful arthritis she was experiencing, she gifted me a ton of her old jewelry.

My sophomore year in high school, she gave these items to me knowing that I would incorporate them into my funky and 80s inspired wardrobe.

2010 rocking out

She passed away sometime shortly after this gift exchange and in retrospect I recognize that there were many little ways she was telling us that she knew her time was up. Sometimes you just can’t see what’s right in front of you when love is involved.


Over the years my vintage custom jewelry collection has grown monstrously in size. I love it. Some people have an aversion to fake jewelry and that’s fine, if we’re being honest here sometimes I’m allergic but I’m not sure if there’s much that could keep me away from achieving the look.

I want to do more posts exploring ways others could become more comfortable incorporating fun and out-of-the-box pieces into an every day wardrobe. Keep an eye out for that. But today I just wanted to share a little bit about my grandma with you and one the ways that she has made a contribution to the Kristianna way.

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