It bears repeating, over and over again—talismans are huge this year. That sentiment could be true any year, but never has it been as true as in 2020. We seek protection, we seek wisdom, we seek connections. And believe it or not, we seek those things from our jewelry just as much as from other people.
One of the coolest things about the demand for talisman jewelry this year has been the response of jewelry brands to meet it. You’ll find everything from the iconic evil eye to an array of medallions—and occasionally, you’ll find something completely different.
The Women of Worship—or W.O.W.—collection from young brand Awe Inspired is one of those lines that you just can’t wait to get your hands on. And at $195 a pop for sterling silver, or $200 in vermeil, they’re an accessible gift that many shoppers can treat themselves with, and their loved ones too, as the holidays approach.
Available in five different designs, these rectangular amulets feature female deities in textured frames—it’s like wearing a picture or an art piece around your neck. The five women come from varying backgrounds, each a different race, culture, and religion, but all unite in their power to inspire and protect.
I love how Awe Inspired describes each piece on its website, detailing the kind of person that might be interested in them. The product descriptions even include a theme song, which is like, who doesn’t want a theme song?
There’s Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and purity, perfect for those with an entrepreneurial spirit. Ideal matches for this piece, according to the brand, include those who adore motivational quotes, know the importance of working and playing hard, love to hustle, and inspire and push their friends. Their theme song? “Successful” by Ariana Grande.
Oshun, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility worshipped in the Yoruba religion, may appeal to the romantic spirit, or the beloved. Those that feel drawn to Oshun may have experience playing matchmaker, cry at weddings, and believe that more is more, according to the brand’s website. The song in their headphones? “No Ordinary Love” by Sade.
Mother Mary, also known as the Virgin Mary and mother of Jesus, represents devotion, a connection to all that is holy. Attributes of the perfect candidate for the Mother Mary pendant, according to the website, include motivation from purpose rather than fame, the inability to quit, belief that everything happens for a reason, and dedicating Sundays to family, church, and elaborate brunches. Their theme song? “Sent From Up Above” by Mariah Carey.
Quan Yin, the primary female Buddhist deity whose name means “the one who hears the cries of the world,” represents enduring compassion, love, and mercy. Those perfectly matched to this talisman, according to the brand’s website, always root for the underdog, practice meditation or yoga, provide a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear, and help clean up after a party. “Stand by You” by Rachel Platten is listed as this piece’s theme song.
And finally, Pachamama (pictured at top), the Andean fertility goddess whose name translates to “Mother Earth,” offers nourishment and protection. And—something to appeal to consumers wanting more out of the brands they spend money with—20% of the proceeds from sales of this pendant go to the Environmental Defense Fund. According to the website, a shopper might find Pachamama a good fit if they compost, love to spend time outdoors, and enjoy cooking for their friends. “I Feel the Earth Move” by Carole King is the pendant’s accompanying song.
Speaking of donations, they’re a core principle of Awe Inspired. The brand donates 20% of all its proceeds to its charitable partners, and to date, has given over half a million dollars.
If you love these pieces, you’ll especially love learning about the brand they come from. Max Johnson, who cofounded the up-and-coming brand with his mother, Jill, had a great conversation with our own Emili Vesilind in her “Managing” series. Please do be sure and read it, here.
Top: Pachamama tablet pendant in 14k gold vermeil, $200; Awe InspiredFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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