Our Bondage Ring is my favourite. I know you're not supposed to have favourites but I wear it every day, I never take it off, even when I take all my other rings off. I sleep in it, shower in it, swim in it. And knowing that my 2 best friends are wearing it at all times too makes a magical spell of friendship that makes me feel connected to them, even if I haven't seen them for weeks and one of them is 4,000 miles away.
The wolf pack
This girl gang have been friends for years and as a group have been through the wringer of life together, sharing adventures, heartbreak and always having each others back. Meet Gemma, Anna, Naomi, Callie and Liz.
How long have you been friends?
Gemma: Myself and Callie have been the best of friends for 18 years. We were the only girls in a very large group of boys. Liz and I met when I was about 19 and then Anna shortly after. Naomi, although I knew of her, we didn’t become friends until about 7 years ago.
Callie: Me and Gemma have been friends since I started going out with her brother when I was 14 and she was 15. I was incredibly intimidated by her at first but we quickly bonded over peach schnapps, takeaway pizza and horror films. Even though her brother and I split up a few years ago we are stronger than ever and always will be; we can always rely on each other and know each other inside and out. I knew of the other girls for years but never met them in person due to severe anxiety which left me basically housebound for years. After things started to improve I met them a few times and quickly learnt what caring, brave and powerful women they were. I'd never had a group of friends that I knew would have my back always, and my best interests at heart.
Naomi: Liz and I were little grebo kids who used to hang around being cool and looking awful in town. Once we were old enough to drink we congregated at the Green Room, where all the grubby looking kids hung out. I got to know Anna whilst we both worked in the town centre and used to have our lunch break cigs at the Green room. At some point during drunken Saturday nights and many mutual friends and boyfriends I met Gemma which eventually lead to meeting Callie (the woman was like a concept for many years!)
Anna: I've known Gemma (my now ex-husband's ex-girlfriend!) for about 12 years. We met and decided we liked each other and the social rules about exes didn't matter. We've been the best of friends ever since. Our friendship has gone from strength to strength, through life's very real ups and downs we call each other "dearest wife"!
I've known Callie from afar for about 10 years (another ex boyfriend's current partner!). Once she became more able to be out and about we firmly bonded and we became her first group of girl friends. We taught Callie that a gang of girls can love each other, support each other, and fight for each other.
Liz and I lived together for over 7 years, and are probably more like sisters than friends.
Naomi appeared in my life, all boobs and big eyes, about 12 years ago also. Naomi and I started out sharing our respective dinner breaks at the Green Room, and went on to develop our friendship to all times of the day and night. At one point Naomi moved to live next door to Liz and I; despite living round the corner from a supermarket Liz and I used to constantly hit Naomi up for cheese, much to the disdain of her boyfriend at the time!
Lizzie: Naomi and I met hanging out with all the goth, greebos and skater kids in our town centre when I was 14. There wasn’t many alternative kids in our town when we were young so we all tended to hang out in various places around town together. Once we got a little older we gradually transitioned to the only alternative bar in town. We used to go to watch bands and then sneak downstairs to have a few drinks on the sly. This is where I met Gemma, then a few years later Anna. Last, but certainly not least, I met Callie, through Gemma, and the coven was complete!
What first bonded you?
Callie: I am incredibly lucky to be able to call them my friends, and the faith and desire to see each other succeed in life, whether it's something small or life changing, bonds us together.
Lizzie: Love of the same music, sense of humour, our need to have fun and be silly but also our slightly darker side as well. Randomly with Anna our initial attraction was smoking drum tobacco as no one else did and we thought it was amazing to find another drum girl!
Naomi: So many little things along the way have helped to build our friendship group. Some pretty heavy stuff like dealing with loss, mental health and questionable life choices mixed in with mutual dislike of many things, shared love of music, LOADS and I mean shit tonnes of boy stuff and relationship bumps, a few bad apples a long the way aaaaand the general feeling that we didn’t have a clue what we were doing and that we certainly didn’t belong anywhere (emo kid).
Anna: The wolf pack itself began as Liz, Naomi and I, when we watched The Hangover and identified similarities between ourselves and the characters (I am reluctantly the bloody dentist!). We swiftly enveloped Gemma and Callie into the official fold. These girls are my world. They've seen me at my very best and dragged me through and lifted me up at my very worst. I don't even want to imagine my life without them in it.
Gemma: Myself and Callie first bonded over Romeo and Juliet, Romy and Michelle’s High School reunion, cheap wine and pizza. We had a holiday to Gran Canaria which basically cemented our friendship for life. Liz, Naomi and Anna and I definitely bonded over our love of loud music, dancing like EVERYONE is watching and basically being the weirdos!
What bonds you now?
Naomi: All of the above, the continued feeling of not knowing what we are doing still but the eternal support of a pack of strong women who have quite literally seen it all, heard it all, felt it all and are in the process of doing it all.
Lizzie: We are painfully honest with each other, accept each other’s quirks and we help each other through the shit and celebrate all the good times together. We’ve all been through quite a lot in our lives but have overcome it as a unit and become very strong because of it, plus we’re fiercely protective of each other. This is why we call ourselves a Wolfpack (as well as the occasional howling at the moon!). We share the same values, tastes in music, love of space, astronomy, science, books, movies, beers, coffee, wine and gin and they slay me with their sense of humour and quick wit!
Anna: In terms of present day bonds, I think we're bonded by love, history, and loyalty. Our friendships are based on support, honesty and a relentless shared sense of humour. There is nothing I couldn't say to these amazing women; they continue to inspire me, believe in me and push me to be the happiest and best version of myself. Combined, we have a wealth of life experience, both shared and first hand. We each bring our own unique take on life, but are fiercely protective of each other and our pack - it makes us worthy and sometimes intimidating adversaries, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I have these girls' backs, and they in turn have mine.
On top of all that we love good music, dancing like strippers, the moon, the stars (hell, the night sky in general) road trips with excellent sing along soundtracks, gin, expensive whiskey, cheese, bread, live music, tattoos, and we seem to have increasing passion for highlighter! Whilst we've all got our own individual styles there are definite themes running throughout, including (of course) a lot of silver jewellery, frequently purchased from our kindred Bonearrow!
Gemma: What bonds is now is a fierce lady friendship, based on love, trust and respect. We are feared (it’s true, and hiliarious - were told that as a group were scary... haha) but it’s mainly because we are strong and have each other’s backs. We have probably become quite insular over the years!! Between us there probably isn’t anything that we haven’t been through. Whatever and whenever either of us need each other, we are there. We maintain our friendship in different area codes.
What makes jewellery more special when it’s from a friend?
Naomi: It’s the cutest thing ever! Friends have great taste so you know you’re going to love it. Being away from pack as the long distance friend, wearing jewellery from them makes me feel like we’re all just around the corner and reminds me of my girl gang.
Callie: Jewellery from a friend is extra special because wearing it is a little reminder that you have a person that loves not because they have to but because they want to. And we all love Bonearrow jewellery because its so unique and matches our different personalities, I prefer petite silver jewellery and love my delicate, light bondage ring which I haven't taken off since me and Gemma bought each other matching ones for Christmas, I love having two choices how to wear it, on one finger for work and two when I go out, I'm excited to own more Bonearrow jewelery and love supporting such a great independent business!
Anna: Jewellery from friends is so special - when I look through my jewellery I don't see rings, necklaces, studs, I see memories, loved ones, moments. I look at my hands and there sit my friends and family, stylishly wrapping my fingers in silver, love and care; proving over and over they know me well enough to choose the jewellery I so rarely take off.
Gemma: Jewellery from friends tells a story, it reminds me of moments in time, but also of the precious ladies who gave them to me. When I’m wearing the jewellery they’ve bought me, my friends are always with me.
Lizzie: My friends have impeccable taste so you know it would be a killer gift. It’s not something you get from a friend regularly so it is always extra special and exciting when you do! You know it’s been carefully thought about and I love the look you give each other when you spot one of you wearing the gift you bought for them.
What does your bondage ring mean to you?
Gemma: My bondage ring was given to me by my best friend in the world. I’ve had the most difficult year of my life this year, and seeing that ring interlocking with the others reminds me of those 18 long years we've been friends and reassures me that she’ll always be there.
Lizzie: As well as being a beautiful piece of jewellery that makes my hand look prettier, it's a symbol of my pack and the bond we have with each other, which is pretty special.
Anna: My bondage rings sit nestled amongst my other rings, all silver, collected over the years - a combination of vintage treasures and gifts from loved ones; sometimes stacked, sometimes singular. Seeing it reminds me of my friends, reminds me that no matter where I am or what I'm doing, they're right there, always connected, and always rooting for me.
Naomi: For the strength of the wolf is the pack, and the strength of the pack is the wolf
(shamelessly quoting the jungle book).
How do you wear it?
Gemma: I wear my bondage ring over two fingers but on it's own, I love it's absolute simplicity yet it’s really different.
Naomi: All dayyyy erry dayyyy (except when I’m at work because we have uniform restrictions).
Lizzie: Across the middle and ring finger or doubled up on just my ring finger depending on mood and other jewellery.