Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If You Were 1 of the 1.8 Million At The Inauguration - Get Your Ann Hand "I Was There" Keepsake

January 20, 2009 marked an historic event in American history that was witnessed by a record crowd estimated to be over 1.8 million people. Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States becoming the first African-American to reach the highest office in the country.

What better way to commemorate this historic day than an Ann Hand "I Was There" dog tag for $45 (pictured here and available in gold and silver tones). It is a keepsake for years to come to let your family and friends know that you were one of the 1.8 million witnesses to history.

You may shop the entire Ann Hand Obama Collection at

Sunday, January 25, 2009

There She Is - Miss Indiana Crowned Miss America 2009

Credits: Ann Hand Is The Official Jeweler Of The Miss America Organization.

By Oskar Garcia

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Katie Stam always dreamed of becoming Miss America, but she bypassed the kiddie pageants and waited until she was more mature and sure of herself. Her view of Miss America changed in that time too, and made her want her new title even more.

A day after Stam was crowned Miss America 2009, she told The Associated Press that as a little girl, she considered Miss America more of a figure than a full-fledged job.

"I literally saw this girl who's living out her wildest dream," Stam said, but that view changed as she aged. "As soon as I found out the job description of Miss America, it only attracted me further."

The platform for the 22-year-old University of Indiana student is community service, and she says she's eager to start in that role. She planned to fly to New York later Sunday for a series of media interviews about her win.

"It starts right away," Stam said. "Miss America — being the goodwill ambassador for the Children's Miracle Network — that job, that position was laid in my hands the moment they put the crown on my head."

Reigning Miss Americas become a spokeswoman for various causes and charities, including the Children's Miracle Network, a partner to the pageant.

Of those responsibilities, Stam said, "I can't wait to get started."

Stam overcame 51 other contestants, a throat infection and laryngitis Saturday night to win the crown. She's the first winner from Indiana in the 88-year pageant.........(read entire article here)

Monday, January 19, 2009

From Chicago Tribune: Some Obama Keepsakes Bypass Kitsch In Favor Of Style

By Wendy Donahue

January 19, 2009 - One patriot's keepsake is another's kitsch. But even the most highfalutin Obama supporters might one day wish they had seized upon some memento of his historic inauguration to hand down to their children.......

.....Washington, D.C., jewelry designer Ann Hand has sold hundreds of her gold- or silver-tone dog tag necklaces and key chains ($45 each). One version is printed with "This is our moment/This is our time" on one side and the inauguration date and Obama's name on the other. Another version is printed with "I was there" on one side and the Obama details on the other........

(Read entire article here)

Ann Hand Commissioned To Create Limited Edition Lincoln Bicentennial Pin

Ann Hand Commissioned to Create Limited Edition Lincoln Bicentennial Pin

For Immediate Release January 9, 2009 Lauren Beyea 202.434.9543/ FORD’S THEATRE SOCIETY COMMISSIONS ANN HAND TO CREATE LIMITED EDITION LINCOLN BICENTENNIAL PIN Washington, D.C.—Ford’s Theatre Society has commissioned Ann Hand to create a limited edition pin to commemorate the Bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth in 2009. The pin is inspired by the eagle and motto “One Country – One Destiny,” which was stitched into the overcoat Abraham Lincoln wore for his second Inauguration, and which he was wearing the evening he was assassinated. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this pin benefits the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Campaign for historic Ford’s Theatre. About The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Pin On the day of his second inauguration, President Abraham Lincoln wore a wool coat that had a one-of-a-kind, handstitched design of an eagle and the phrase “One Country, One Destiny” embroidered on the inner lining. It was the same coat that Lincoln wore on the evening of April 14, 1865, when he was assassinated during a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre. Commissioned in honor of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth on February 12 2009, The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial pin is inspired by the design from Lincoln’s coat. A bald eagle clutches a ribbon inscribed with the phrase that Lincoln carried with him as a reminder of his patriotic vision. The original coat is part of the Ford’s Theatre Museum collection. The Lincoln Bicentennial Pin, which is crafted in solid sterling silver with 18k gold overlay, is available for purchase through Ford’s Theatre Society by contacting (202) 434-9545 or The cost per pin is $250. The pin is also available to patrons who purchase The Almost Lincoln Bedroom Package at The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C., available from January 1 through April 30, 2009. For more information on The Ritz-Carlton package, please contact (202) 835-0500 or visit About Ann Hand Ann Hand is the founder and owner of Ann Hand, LLC, one of the most distinctive and prominent jewelry design firms in Washington, D.C. The wife of Lloyd Hand, an attorney and former United States Chief of Protocol, Ann is a long-time member of the Washington power structure. Her passion for American history has inspired an acclaimed collection of majestic eagles, stately seals, flowing flags and Washington landmarks. Hand’s creations have been chosen by The White House, Department of State and Department of Defense as diplomatic gifts for foreign dignitaries worldwide. Our nation’s most prominent women, including First Ladies, Cabinet Secretaries, Senators, Congresswomen and Ambassadors have worn her signature pin, The Liberty Eagle. Additionally, Hand has designed for the Armed Services, the Naval Academy and West Point, and she designed the official pin worn by spouses of the U.S. House of Representatives. In recent years her collections have expanded to include a line of cufflinks, scarves, limited-edition enamel boxes and other unique gift items. Hand owns and operates two salons in Georgetown. Capital Campaign The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Campaign is a $50+ million capital campaign that will support the renovation of Ford’s Theatre and its museum as well as the building of the new Center for Education and Leadership, an education center focused on the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. To date, the campaign has raised over $48 million. The Ford’s Theatre renovation and expansion project has been made possible primarily through donations from private sources—individuals, foundations and corporations—as well as $8.9 million in federal funding and a recent $10 million grant from the District of Columbia. As the lead corporate donor, ExxonMobil has awarded the campaign a $5 million Leadership Circle grant and the State of Qatar has joined them with a $2.5 million gift. More recently, the Leadership Circle has expanded to include Ronald O. Perelman, Chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., with a $2.5 million pledge. BP America Inc. has provided a $2 million contribution, as well as $1 million dollar donations each from AT&T, Foster Wheeler; Sheila C. Johnson, Founder of Salamander Hospitality, LLC; T. Boone Pickens Foundation; The Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation/Wayne & Catherine Reynolds, David & Alice Rubenstein, The Paul Singer Family Foundation, Samsung and Toyota. The following corporations, individuals and foundations have also generously provided gifts of $500,000 or greater to this project: The Adelson Family Charitable Foundation, American Airlines, BAE Systems, Carl and Edyth Lindner, General Dynamics, The Freed Foundation, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, O’Melveny & Myers Raytheon Company, Southern Company and Sunoco, Inc. Ford’s Theatre Society Since it reopened its doors in 1968, more than a hundred years after the April 14, 1865, assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, Ford’s Theatre has been one of the most visited sites in the nation’s capital. Ford’s Theatre has enthralled visitors because of its unique place in United States history, and its mission to celebrate the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and explore the American experience through theatre and education. For its accomplishments, the organization was honored in 2008 with the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given by the U.S. government to artists, arts institutions and arts patrons. Ford’s Theatre Society works to present the Theatre’s nearly one million visitors each year with a high quality historical and cultural experience, enhancing the vibrancy of this historic site, an important tool for promoting the ideals of leadership, humanity and wisdom espoused by Abraham Lincoln. Since the arrival of Paul R. Tetreault as Director, Ford’s Theatre Society has been recognized by the critics and theatergoing public for the superior quality of its artistic programming. With works from the nationally acclaimed Big River to the regional premiere of Trying and world premiere of Meet John Doe, Ford’s Theatre has undoubtedly begun to make its mark on the American theatre landscape. In addition, through the leadership of Wayne R. Reynolds, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the mission of Ford’s Theatre Society has recently been expanded to include education as a central pillar of the organization, equal to that of producing theatre of the highest quality. As Ford’s Theatre looks to the future, the health of the organization will be defined and determined not only by the quality of the productions on the stage but also by the success of its educational programming in teaching about the life, Presidency and lessons of leadership of Abraham Lincoln. For more information on Ford’s Theatre and the Ford’s Theatre Society, please visit ###

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Huffington Post - Jewelry Designer Ann Hand Brings Out The Bling For Obama

By Annie Groer

WASHINGTON - January 16, 2009. As a sartorial signifier, nothing says Serious Political Woman or, for that matter, Political Wife, like an Ann Hand Liberty Eagle. Since the early '90s, the red-eyed raptor clawing a faux pearl has, like a sorority pin on steroids, perched on the bodices of countless high-profile Republicans and Democrats, from Nancy Reagan and Cindy McCain to Janet Reno and Tipper Gore.

Hillary Clinton wore hers to meet Mother Teresa. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright donned one to take the oath that broke the glass ceiling in Foggy Bottom. Even Geena Davis got one to play Mackenzie Allen, America's first female president, on ABC's "Commander-in-Chief," which is fitting since the very eagle was copied from the legs of a White House piano.

These days Ann Hand, the undisputed Queen of Bejeweled Patriotica, is flying high with a line of Obama bling that includes $175 Swarovski-studded black plastic sunglasses, (shown in photo on left Ann Hand and Washington-based tech exec Basel Dalloul modeling glitzy Obama shades) inspired by a trip to Vegas as the official designer of Miss America baubles (her shades touting John McCain and Hillary went nowhere); a $25 blue plastic mini-thermos, its crystal collar rendering it too delicate for the dishwasher (but perfect as a party favor at Thursday's hot-ticket Cafe Milano party in Georgetown); and the $75 Great Seal of the United States circle pin bearing Barack Obama's name ($3,800 in 18k gold and diamonds).

She now has two Washington stores, takes private commissions and her website has generated orders for Obama trinkets from as far away as Singapore and Norway. Hand did not set out to build a mini-empire that has expanded well beyond jewelry to scarves, ties, boxes, blankets, paperweights, perfume, T-shirts, frames and other objects designed to celebrate American history and the U.S. military.

She just wanted a hobby. So back in 1988, with her five children grown and gone, she started making earrings in her kitchen. "I'd wad up pieces of the Washington Post, mix them with flour and water and put them on a greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees. When they dried, I'd paint and bead them. They were not always patriotic. I was just trying to do something pretty." Although she had taken a few jewelry-making classes, "I never thought this was going to be a business. I knew I didn't want to work with gold and silver. I don't like to get my hands dirty. I didn't want to be soldering."

Tragedy turned a diversion into grief therapy. "My son Tommy, my baby, was 27 and he was struck by an automobile and died in Florida. It was a horrible, horrible time for us. My husband had his law practice. I had just started this, so I could get lost in my work from early morning to night. I was stringing pearls. I learned how to put on clasps. It did help me recover." So did her friends, many of them Congressional wives. The Hands had come to Washington in the late 1950s, when her husband, Lloyd, was hired by a fellow Texan, Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson. By 1963, LBJ was in the White House and his trusted aide was chief of protocol. Johnson left office and returned home in 1969, but the Hands stayed put. After Tommy's death, Colleen Nunn, wife of Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn, asked Hand to design a brooch of the statue of Freedom that tops the Capitol dome. "I said, 'Sure, I can do that,'" though she wasn't convinced she actually could. But the design was sound, and the pins were produced in Rhode Island.

The ubiquitous eagle was hatched in 1991 or '92, she recalls, and "no one would buy it when I brought it out. But it took off when Pamela Harriman became ambassador to France. She wore it and wore it, and a lot of people who told us no one was wearing eagles because they were kind of corny saw that this sophisticated citizen of the world liked it. Then Hillary got one."

And so, it seems, did every third woman in politics who felt moved to spend $150 on a piece of costume jewelry. An additional $125 buys a pair of matchy-matchy eagle earrings. Not every design has been such a runaway hit. "I did a drawing of Lady Justice," says Hand. "I was so excited, and then the prototype came in and it looked like she had a 44-inch bosom and a 22-inch waist. And I learned that something on paper doesn't always translate to metal."

On the other hand, a $45 "First Pooch" dog tag, with a paw print in honor of a non-existent canine that may someday occupy the Obama White House, is selling briskly.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

From ABC's The View - Ann Hand Obama/Biden Inaugural Pin Featured

Barbara Walters Shows Obama/Biden Inaugural Invitation and 56th Inaugural Collectibles Insert Featuring Ann Hand Pin.

Click on the image below to view the episode which originally aired on 1/13/09.
(Note: You will be asked to download the ABC media player that only takes a few moments)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Message From Ann Hand – Limited Edition 2009 Obama/Biden Inaugural Pin

I am delighted that I was chosen to design the Limited Edition 2009 Obama/Biden Inaugural Pin commemorating this historic event in American History.

I am also delighted to share with you a copy of my personal invitation to the Inauguration which included an insert entitled “The 56th Presidential Inaugural Collectibles” featuring the Ann Hand Limited Edition 2009 Inaugural Pin. (See copy of insert and photo of pin below. The Inaugural Pin is proudly made in the USA)

"This stunning keepsake pin" is available exclusively at the, the official online catalog for 2009 Presidential Inauguration merchandise.

I also invite you to visit my online store at to shop my Ann Hand Obama Collection including pins, necklaces, cuff links, sunglasses, and dog tags just to name a few of the unique items to commemorate this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Excerpt From The Straits Times - Obama Inaugural Commemoratives Hot Sellers

Blinging the change: Obamabilia sells like hotcakes

WASHINGTON - January 11, 2009. From beer to ice cream, lapel pins to T-shirts, if it has anything to do with US president-elect Barack Obama, it's selling like hotcakes as people everywhere snap up souvenirs marking his inauguration.

'So many people want a memento of this historic time,' Ms Ann Hand, a jewelry maker in Washington who has made a collection of accessories to commemorate Mr Obama's swearing-in on Jan 20. Hand offers cufflinks featuring the red, white and blue 'O' logo of the Obama campaign, a necklace reprising Mr Obama's 'Hope' theme, sunglasses encrusted with Swarovski crystal to spell out the name of the 44th US president, and half a dozen other jewelry items.

None come cheap, but even in a slumping global economy, demand has been so strong that many of the accessories are on back order.

'Everything is selling better than I expected. We're doing a lot of overseas orders - Hong Kong, Norway, Sweden, Singapore, Japan, Britain. We've never had that before,' Ms Hand, who has been in business for 20 years, said.

'It's really wonderful to know that people overseas want our president's lapel pin,' she said.......

Thursday, January 8, 2009

From WUSA - Local Designer Creates Line of Obama Jewelry

By Lindsey Matsis

WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA), January 8, 2009 You may have seen some of Ann Hand's Creations on some of the most powerful and influential people in Washington.

She's known for her elegant gold Eagles and American flags. And now, she's turning her attention toward the inauguration, and incorporating the President Elect's symbol for Change.

"We did get permission to use that to make cufflinks and our 'Hope' necklace," Hand said. Many of the items in her line are practical, like coffee mugs ($30), keychains ($45), and sunglasses ($175). "We tired to make it as affordable as we could," she said, "Some day maybe they'll open a box and say, oh, my grandmother or great grandfather was at the inauguration of Barack Obama." Hand is looking out for famous faces who will show off her designs. "We can tell you that Oprah has our sunglasses because she's been been wearing them in public," she said.

Hand is hoping the first family decides to wear some of her unique designs. She is also contributing a portion of the profits from the sale of the Seal of the United States pin to help soldiers families.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

From The Wall Street Journal - Heard On The Runway

Lunchtime Snap: The Barack Obama “Badge Brand”
By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
........This morning, Washington, D.C.-based jeweler Ann Hand started selling a line of Obama-related jewelry and accessories that include $45 silver dogtags that say “First Pooch” and $175 sunglasses that feature the word “Obama” in crystals on the side. Ms. Hand said she normally does a candidate-themed pin during presidential election years but this is the first time that she’s introducing a line of 10 items inspired by an incoming president. (Ms. Hand, who said she’s an independent, noted that before she began selling the items today, she’d received 1,000 pre-orders for a $75 Obama pin she’d designed, some from countries like Spain and Singapore......

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Inauguration Watch From - Ann Hand Obama Inaugural Pin

By David A Nakamura December 10, 2008

Souvenir Watch: The Obama Pin. A periodic look at Obama tchotchkes to memorialize the big day.

Item: Obama Inaugural Pin

Maker: D.C. jewelry designer Ann Hand

Price: $75 (available in 18-carat gold and diamonds by special order)

Why: From the Web site: "The designs of Ann Hand have gained international recognition for their distinguished, elegant appearance and exquisite quality.Worn by First Ladies, Cabinet Secretaries, Senators, Congresswomen, Ambassadors, Hollywood Leading Ladies and women from all walks of life."

Inauguration Watch Verdict: Classy, understated bling. Patriotic colors. But where does one wear this after Jan. 20?

Photo from Ann Hand's Web site.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Fox News - Ann Hand Interview

From Howard University News Service - Political Jeweler Creates Patriotism, Politics in Designs - Election 2008

Political Bling Maker Prepares for Inauguration Sales in January
By Stephanie Kennard

In the spirit of patriotism, Washington D.C. jeweler Ann Hand's designs gain much attention during presidential election years.

Hand, a fine jewelry designer in the Georgetown neighborhood, designs lapel pins supporting candidates running for national office: her newest pin resembles the presidential seal and is gold with red, white and blue gems. The pin, $75, was designed especially for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama and is scheduled for release in early December, but can be reserved on her website

"Election season is always a wonderful time, people always want a piece of history," Hand said. "People supporting President-elect Obama were genuinely so excited. They were really showing support much earlier in the game than any other candidate."

Hand's boutiques, Ann Hand, LLC, are located at 4885 Macarthur Blvd. NW in Palisades neighborhood and 2900 M Street NW in Georgetown.

In business since 1988, Hand's specialty lapel pins compose the majority of her collection with symbolic pins of American pride, and others designed especially for government and military affiliations. For example, her collection includes American flags, peace doves, and her famous "Liberty Eagle" pin.

In addition to Obama pins currently generating majority of Hand's sales revenue, the "Liberty Eagle" pin has generated a large amount of revenue for years. The pin is a sterling silver eagle plated in 18k gold with a ruby gem eye and set above one pearl.

"The eagle symbolizes strength, unity, and power," she said. "I wanted to design beauty and strength that women would like to wear."

The pin, Hand's expression of feminine power, has been seen on the lapels of Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and former Secretary of State Madeline Albright.

Originally from the Houston area, Hand moved to the district in the early 80s with her husband, former chief of protocol to President Lyndon Johnson, Lloyd Hand. While in D.C., she took up crafting and a few small beading classes before deciding to enroll in the Gemological Institute of America.

"Over the past 20 years what began as a hobby, became a passion and soon a global business," Hand said.

Her pins have become the gift of choice amongst politicians with The White House, Department of State, and Department of Defense utilizing her collections for "diplomatic gifts to foreign dignitaries."

"We were in D.C. and surrounded with a general sense of patriotism," she said in response to the idea of patriotic lapel pins.
This year's candidate pins were silver plated with Swarovski crystals. A tradition since 1996, Hand held a mock election based upon the sales of her candidate pins. This year Obama won her election. Expanding upon her Presidential collection for Obama, Hand designed an additional inauguration memorabilia, gold toned and silver toned dog tags set for release in early December. The tags bear the words "I was there," and "This is our moment, this is our time" with the date Jan. 20, 2009.

Additionally, Hand's collection extends beyond politics. She designs jewelry to benefit the Miss America Pageant Scholarship Fund and other jewelry for women.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

From Washingtonian - Dress Up in Obama Bling

Washington jeweler Ann Hand sells Obama necklaces, watches, cuff links, and coffee mugs.

By Emily Leamon
If voting wasn’t enough, now you can show your love for Barack Obama with a bit of bling. Washington jewelry designer Ann Hand has created a Barack Obama collection to commemorate the historic inauguration. For $95, you can score a glitzy silver necklace featuring Obama’s name written in 84 Swarovski crystals. Bling not your bag? Hand also has Obama watches, sunglasses, cuff links, dog tags, and pins. Her favorite item is a blue Obama 2008 travel mug with six rows of rhinestones for $25 .

A limited-edition inaugural pin, priced at $75, is the centerpiece of the collection. It features the presidential seal above Obama’s name, which is flanked by two crystals. For $3,800, you can special-order an 18-karat-gold version and swap out the crystals for diamonds. Both come inscribed with the Ann Hand logo and the date of the inauguration, January 20, 2009. Hand, who has made only 2,500 inaugural pins, received more than 1,000 orders within the first week of advertising them in her store and on her Web site. “I didn’t realize they’d be so popular,” she says. Hand’s dog tags, priced at $45, come in gold or silver tones and a choice of inscriptions. One reads: “This is our Moment / This is our Time,” and another says, “I WAS THERE”—meant for attendees of the swearing-in ceremony on January 20. Items range in price from the $25 mug to a $175 pair of sunglasses, which have several rows of Swarovski crystals on the temples. The crystals create an outline for the letters OBAMA. “We’re trying to keep prices as low as we can, with the economy,” Hand says. “We want this line to be available to as many people as possible.”