When you meet Whitney Rooker, the two things that strike you immediately are her warmth and relaxed style. Her image is neither practiced nor honed, just as being a jewelry designer was never studied, nor dreamed. It all just happened.
Whitney never saw her current role as a jewelry designer coming. It occurred out of a great family loss and a determination to honor and remember the life of Major Joseph “Trane” McCloud. Trane was Whitney’s first cousin who died in a helicopter crash while serving others and our country in Iraq in December 2006. The tragedy generated an inspirational creation of a memory bracelet for her family and friends to wear as a daily reminder and way to honor her courageous cousin. The beautiful beaded bracelets supported the continuous circle of life, with one single bead being different than the others reflecting the missing loved one.
After repeatedly being stopped and questioned about the bracelets she was wearing, a friend suggested that she begin selling them. She considered the wider significance that comes with selling to the community at large and decided, with the support of her husband and three children, that she was ready to sell her creations locally. The message was welcomed and before she knew it, orders were coming in regularly. Never forgetting her commitment to her cousin, WTR Memory Beads donates 10% of its profits to the McCloud Family Fund to help Trane’s surviving wife and children . Furthering her support for others, Whitney also donates another 10% of her profits to various charities that support other courageous fallen heroes families.
As Whitney’s business grows, she has expanded her vintage and simple collection to also include a diamond and gold collection. In staying with the original focus of her memory beads, the strength of the diamond and its eternal light is a perfect expression of the love, courage and memory that Whitney created in her first simple designs. Gold is her most recent venture, and Whitney’s timeless creations are not only one of a kind, but done in yellow, rose or white gold. The gold and diamond pieces blend perfectly with her original designs and allow her strong client following to further collect WTR pieces that last forever.
Presently, when Whitney walks out her front door, she is constantly being stopped by people offering positive comments but always leading to “Where did you get those beautiful bracelets and necklaces?”. Whitney is continually amazed that people notice; she smiles and says “Thank you. I made them.” She shares her story briefly. People fall in love with the designs and the sentiment. The feelings that her designs evoke are universal: LOVE, LOSS, EMPATHY and COURAGE. She also knows that she will be returning home with NO jewelry on, as she tells you “They buy it right off of me!”.
Whitney’s designs can be viewed on her website www.whitneybeads.com. Please feel free to contact us with any questions 404-229-4073. It takes a village, so to speak, and all of us working with Whitney are happy to accommodate any of your special requests.