Meet Martina

Hey y'all!

I'm Martina, owner, founder, and designer of Lillian Jude Designs. 

I'm a wife, and mama of 3; two boys, Sebastian Michael and Theodore Philip, two wee saints, and a girl, Evelyn Rose. I'm married to my best friend and love of my life, Ed Michael (EM), with whom none of this would be possible. 

Lillian Jude has a unique beginning as I didn't plan on starting a jewelry brand. Then one day it sort of fell into my lap.

Being a stay-at-home mom means you sacrifice a lot of yourself for the little ones you love. Since as far back as I can remember I knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. When other kids would say, "I want to be a doctor" or "I want to be a teacher," I would say, "I want to be a mom." Fast forward from young girl, to 28 year old wife, and mom of 3. I had everything I had always wanted. A wonderful husband, the sweetest kids, and I had the good fortune of being able to stay home. I had everything I dreamed of, but I wasn't happy. 

Being faced with the realization that your dream wasn't fulfilling you as a person is a low blow. You feel ungrateful, though you aren't, and you start to question what could possibly be missing. I knew I had to fix this feeling but I didn't know how, because to be honest I didn't know what was causing it.

Being a wife and mother is a vocation, a beautiful, self-sacrificing vocation. In that self-sacrificing often times we lose ourselves. No where in being self-sacrificing should one lose their identity. I'm a wife and mother yes, but I am me.

I realized that I was missing an outlet, a way for me to express who I am outside of my vocation. Yes I am Ed Michael's wife, and yes I am Sebastian's, Theo's, and Evelyn's mom, but I am also Martina. I simply had to remember what that meant.

I never wanted a job - I never wanted to work hard to achieve someone else's goals. Coming from a family of artists and entrepreneurs, creating something of my own was in my blood. If only I knew what the "thing" was. 

For quite some time I had been disappointed with the lack of modern, young, and fresh faith inspired jewelry for Catholics. The pieces I liked were so far out of budget that it was laughable, expensive taste is a burden my friends. But why should taste always come at a price? Why couldn't there be a jewelry brand that fit the style I was looking for, with a price point more could afford?

I scoured the internet and every major online Catholic store I could find, coming up empty each and every time. Lovely pieces, though simply not my style. Not the clean, sleek, fresh vibe I was looking for. I wanted pieces that were representative of my faith, without being obvious. While many of the pieces I ended up designing are blatantly Catholic, i.e the Sacred Heart, and Immaculate Heart disc necklaces, many of the others are more subtle. Pieces that anyone could wear! After all catholic means universal.

Lillian Jude was a name. A name that came to me in the most random of places.  God uses  the everyday moments to speak to us, we just need to listen. While many think my name is Lillian Jude, the name has a far deeper meaning than my own.

I always knew that if I were to start a brand I wanted the name to honor Our Lady. When Lillian Jude came to me, it was one of those God things. Our Lady of Sorrows has always been the patron of the women in my family, so when Lillian Jude came to me the symbolism was clear. Lillian, for Lilly of the Valley, symbolizing Our Lady's tears. Jude however, can't possibly be a difficult one to figure out. For those that don't know, EM is a convert - quite the incredible story really - but one where Mama Mary and St. Jude played a major role. Only fitting the the name of this brand, the thing that would solve my problem, would be in honor of these two amazing people. The Woman whose FIAT lead to our salvation, and the man who is patron of the impossible.

Hand stamped pieces had increased in their popularity. It allowed for beautiful, unique pieces, without the crazy price tag. Yet try as I might I simply couldn't find any brands that made what I was looking for. It was then that I knew what Lillian Jude was meant to be.

Three months later in March of 2018 we filed for our LLC, making Lillian Jude Designs official! Then after months of hard work, an incredible amount of prayer, and support from amazing friends, Lillian Jude launched in September. The response was overwhelming. It was then I was sure I was doing what God had called me to do. 

Wanting to combine my love for jewelry making, a hobby I have had since a I was a young girl, and drawing, I decided that all designed stamps would be originals. The Sacred Heart, Immaculate Heart, Jezu ufam Tobie, the Celtic Motherhood knot, and the Little Flower disc, are all unique to Lillian Jude. While many other brands have beautiful pieces, the pieces you will find at Lillian Jude won't be found anywhere else. 

Going from full-time mom to full-time mom and business owner was an adjustment; one that still has its hiccups. While laundry tends to pile up, and the 10 minute, "get everyone out the door and to school on time", mad dash may be a daily ritual, there is a beauty in this chaos. A beauty I never expected to experience. 

Lillian Jude was founded on the idea that true beauty isn't boastful but found in the simplicity of God's great creation; sometimes we just need to stop and open our eyes to the little details we can easily miss. 

It is my hope that Lillian Jude pieces touch the heart and become pieces you will cherish for years to come!



Speed Friending: Get to Know Martina 

o Cradle Catholic, married to an atheist (baptized Lutheran) convert.
o Mom to 3 littles, Sebastian, Theodore, and Evelyn. Along with 2 little saints up above.
o Italian was my first language.
o My go to Starbucks order is a grande carmel macchiato, with only 1 pump of vanilla, and 2 pumps of toffee nut.
o Artichokes are my love language.
o I listen to songs on repeat until I know all the words, and my current playlist is filled with everything from Hillsong United and Bethel Music, to Khalid and Ava Max. Just keeping it real.
o Favorite novena - the 54 Day Rosary Novena 
o Go to Saints: Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Jude, Padre Pio, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, St. Nonna, and St. Anthony may be my homeboy. Tony and I have an ongoing daily conversation! 

Photo credit and product shots: Courtney Timms Photography