We often get asked if we at Ananda Soul are part of a specific religion or belief as some of our jewelry as well as the choice of materials can be associated with gods, deities, and specific religious rituals.
The answer is Yes and No.
We are a Bali-based brand that is deeply intertwined with the local culture and its rituals. About 90% of our staff is Balinese and as you maybe know, the Balinese culture is embedded in a unique form of Hinduism special to this precious island. The local Balinese population is deeply devoted to their daily offerings and prayers, blessing the entire island multiple times a day as well as regular ceremonies and rituals on auspicious days.
Since moving to Bali 12 years ago, being surrounded by a culture where people live a life deeply embedded in integrity has transformed me in ways I can’t even begin to describe. It has nurtured my ability to be compassionate, shown me what true community means, and instilled a deep knowing that we are all connected - beyond the external differences.
Working in this company has been a life-changing experience to live alongside each other here, creating lives and art together without limiting our experience to religion, nationality, skin color, gender and sexual orientation and we continue to learn from each other in the most heartwarming ways.
I, as the designer, am only a small link of this company. For the past 7 years, I have been working alongside an amazing woman, Yulia, who helps me bring my ideas into shape. None of it would be possible without her and without the rest of this family that makes up our team and community.
In addition, we have been working from day one with the local artisan community that Bali has been know for throughout history. This island is home to one of the most thriving traditional communities of artisans in the world and we are deeply devoted to make sure those traditions, techniques and practices don’t get lost but instead, are highly revered in the process of bringing these artist's offerings into the world.
Together we are making it possible to spread symbols that are created with the intention to uplift others.
Together, we have made it through challenging times such as the volcano eruptions and earthquakes a few years back that significantly affected tourism and we are committed to making it through this crazy year together as well.
Because the 19 women and 2 men who run this company alongside me are much more than coworkers – to me they are family. It is together, with every single one of us here, that we are able to create jewelry that is meant to bring hope and instill a sense of love and being loved.
And yes, some of our jewelry pieces are indeed inspired by different symbols deriving from the religions of Hinduism, Buddism, ancient Egyptian mythology, and Christianity - however, we do not intend to promote one specific religious conviction. Our wish is to share the essence of these symbols to instill those very qualities in the people wearing our creations. To instill compassion through the compassion angel who was inspired by Mother Mary. To evoke a sense of mindful consumption and deep appreciation for our blessings in the image of Lakshmi. To strengthen courage through the Scarab beetle as we go through phases of transformation.
To us, certain symbols, along with the myths and stories that accompany them, come with a specific intention that we love to offer and pass on to a beautiful community that believes in the power of intention and manifestation. And this is what our work is about.
To us, it is less about religion, but more about the true meaning that lies behind the token one chooses for him or herself.
It is also part of our practice to bless every single piece in a special ceremony held by a Balinese priest who fills the designs with prayers of peace and love for the people who will wear them.
We encourage the receiver to find his/her own intention for it, as ours are just an offering, a suggestion.
We are always open to any kind of feedback, in particular the ones that feel challenged in their truth. Feel free to speak up and share your feelings around this topic.
Sending you waves of love during these crazy times