Thanks so much for sharing the Washington Business Report interview this week! As you can imagine, I was thrilled to be on the show. And to add to this list of things that I am thrilled about, I was out of my mind excited to have the charm necklace I designed and created with DC jewelry designer, Sissy Yates, listed in the January Issue of Oprah Magazine. A lot of great things have been happening all at once! I wanted to share the background on the Mina Charm and how the symbol got her name.
When I created my business 3 years ago, I wanted to create an image that represented and welcomed all the women who would come into my store. After many ideas and drafts with a designer, I settled on the outline of a woman – with no real defining attributes except her womanly shape. It was my Platonic form. I placed her in circle to support her. To me, she was every woman. She also represented my holistic approach to wardrobing — I start with a woman’s form and then help her surround herself with clothing that expresses her unique personality to the outside world.
Then Sissy and I met in the Spring of 2012 with the intention of bringing this wonderful woman to life in one of Sissy’s beautiful pieces. As we discussed the formation of the piece of jewelry, we spent our time together talking about being a woman working in this world, caring for a family, sustaining and growing a business, and attending to all our relationships – all while trying to focus on our own health and wellness. We shared the feeling of often being scattered and fragmented throughout the day as we tried to make it all work.
But we also talked about how the daily endeavors – and realization of certain goals – give us strength and make us feel whole. And suddenly, the meaning of this form, this woman, became clear to both of us. She is the individual spirit at the center of the universe. She is whole unto herself … and she is also inextricably bound to and supported by the rest of the world. She is uniquely one; she is all.
As for her name, “Mina,” it is a derivation of a latin phrase “Cura Personalis,” care of the whole person . We adapted this notion with a focus on women and thus the latin becomes cura femina – care of the whole woman. Mind, body, spirit. Cura femina… or “Mina,” for short. We designed the piece so that when it is worn you can see through to the woman who is wearing her. It is meant to be a window, a lense through which others see us and we see ourselves.
And so our Mina charm serves as both a symbol and reminder. It is a symbol of the wholeness, the completeness of each individual woman AND each woman’s vital role in the world, the circle that surrounds her likeness. The charm combines the individual spirit and the universal feminine. But Mina is also a concrete reminder to take a moment to breathe, to create a space, to be present and aware during our action-packed and challenging lives.
But as much as we believed that this symbol on a beautiful chain would, in and of itself, be a wonderful and meaningful piece to own and give to the women in our lives — we wanted it to be more than that alone. And I remembered the words of Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright when she said — “there is place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” And I believe she’s right.
It was out of gratitude for the women who have helped us, that we wanted our creation to serve as many women as possible — in particular the most vulnerable. So Sissy and I asked Women For Women International if we could help – through a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Mina — their mission to ensure that the women in war torn countries can find lasting change and participate in the development of their national economy. It seemed that Mina was a perfect fit, and a perfect symbol for the daily work of Women For Women International. Here is piece below about our Mina captured in Oprah Magazine. And you can read more about it and even buy one for your mother, sister, friend or colleague at Julia Farr.