The Making of Good Charma: The Peace Bracelet
Not every jewelry line begins with a social goal. Mine did. there are two layers to what I created with Good Charma. The first was to empower the wearer of my bracelets with luck, confidence, peace, and other motivating and healing emotions. The other is even larger - and relates to our, at times, chaotic world today.
The story of Good Charma begins in Thailand, in 2003, on the eve of war. I was visiting close friends, getting ready to travel solo to Bali, when the U.S. announced its invasion of Iraq. My friends encouraged me not to leave under the circumstances, but I felt that it was important to continue, in spite of (or maybe because of) the political climate. I arrived in Bali without a cell phone... totally alone, but not. I was so struck by the beauty of the place and its people, despite global chaos. It blew my mind. Spirituality was in everything that I saw and experienced in this new culture: in the prayer tables, offerings and trinkets, and in the life-sized Buddha statues that seemed at ease in their grandiosity. Everywhere I went I met strangers who wanted to give me talismans that would bring me luck, to share their stories with me, or to teach me about my astrological sign or symbolic animal. I believed it all!
I was so inspired by the feeling of peace, giving and sharing that I wanted to create something to bring back to my friends that stood for peace and love. That’s when I had my “aha” moment. I had always loved to design and make jewelry, and since childhood was drawn to lucky trinkets and talismans. Here I was in a land where symbols were revered and where one could collaborate with artisans to create beautiful, high quality jewelry.
I created a bracelet, and named it, in contrast with the Iraq War, the "Peace Bracelet." This bracelet incorporated all of the symbols that I think of when I think about peace. It had six sterling silver strands, composed of tiny silver beads as well as ornate and detailed beads, with a beautiful handcrafted charm on each strand:
Peace Sign Charm
The first charm I selected for the set was inspired by a peace charm given to me by my father. He collected trinkets from his travels with my mother, and those that he gave to me became my beloved lucky charms.
Peace Medallion Charm
I love words, and weave them into my jewelry as affirmations. I chose four words to be engraved in this medallion: Peace, Love, Harmony, Magic. The shining disc catches the light and spreads a simple yet powerful message.
The dove is commonly seen as a symbol of hope and peace. On a deeper level, I was struck by its nurturing qualities, and wanted this symbol to cultivate a movement of peace.
Yin Yang Charm
The yin yang is a symbol of perfect balance. This small medallion reminds us of the corresponding energies that make up our vast, complicated and beautiful world: dark and light, female and male, life and death, sun and moon, earth and sky, matter and spirit, and on and on into infinity.
Even before my trip to Asia, my love for the Buddha has always run deep. On the Peace Set, he is a symbol of compassion, inner peace and patience.
There’s no chance I would have created a Peace bracelet without including a heart. Universally, the heart represents friendship, trust and of course, love.
I had 20 Peace Bracelets made, and brought them back to the U.S.
I gave the sets to people in the spirit of peace in a time of war. Those of us who wore the Peace Bracelet sets in those early days felt a sense of harmony, connection, and empowerment. I wore my own set and found myself taking off strands here and there to give to people when I felt like they needed hope or to brighten their day. The original wearers of Good Charma followed suit and began to gift strands, from one wrist to another, spreading good fortune.
I realized that I wanted to design more bracelet sets. I wanted to share more and I wanted to GIVE more. To pay it forward. Because, at the end of the day, what you give, you get back, twofold.
The Peace Bracelet continues to be a favorite in the collection. I hear stories from Good Charma fans who cherish their sets or who have found joy in giving strands to a loved one. For myself, I still delight in gathering the sparkling strands of the set, feeling the weight of the charms as they brush against each other, tying them with a ribbon and gift wrapping them in our trademark orange box (more on the symbolism of the color orange later!). I think of the woman who will receive this gift and how it will impact her life. Deep in my heart I know it will bring her peace, love, harmony and magic.
Peace & Love...