Perhaps it was inspired by the simple hospital bracelet—which some young people sported long after their healthcare stay. Or maybe it was the “Live Strong” bracelet (et al.) that bridged the gap. Whatever the cause, the link between health and jewelry seems to have increased in the past several years.
Eating disorders first rode this trend with pro-ana (anorexia) bracelets, which signify and even celebrate the wearer’s disease with other victims. That seemed unhealthy to jewelry designer Sue Gillerlain and singer/author Jenni Schaefer, who wrote Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence From Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too. They started Life Without Ed jewelry, an inspirational collection that celebrates recovery and separation from these diseases.
In the book line, “Ed” stands for “eating disorder.” The idea—created by Schaefer’s former therapist—is that disorder patients are in an abusive, destructive relationship with their disease and must divorce themselves from Ed to recover.
The jewelry was a natural extension for the women, who noted the importance of meaningful mementos in recovery. “[The jewelry is] a symbol of hope and faith,” Schaefer, who recently appeared on Dr. Phil as an expert on eating disorders, says. “[One survivor] calls it her ‘Ed armor.’”
The line consists of two-sided sterling silver charms, necklaces, and bracelets with the inspiring phrase, a sketched flower symbolizing growth, and a freshwater pearl signifying wisdom. The designers donate 10 percent of proceeds to the National Eating Disorders Association, which promotes awareness and recovery support for victims.
Life Without Ed jewelry can be purchased on sites like www.sarah-kate.com.