Have you ever stopped to look at a seashell washed ashore on the beach and wondered where it came from? You gaze out in to the horizon and see nothing but deep blue sky merging into the turquoise sea. And yet beneath the water, hidden from sight, is a wealth of marine treasures - millions of mollusks living in their beautifully crafted ‘homes’. How were they made? What happened to it’s inhabitant?
As a child, shell-collecting was a family ritual. We would comb the beach looking for seashells washed up by the sea on its way back to the ocean. Day after day, the universe was leaving behind a curation of beautifully sculpted art lying there on the shore.
Our pursuits would lead us to find hidden crevices in rocks, sometimes landing us in secret spots to discover unique shells that looked ethereal. They were sculpted meticulously, adorned like a sea jewel, colored like a painting. We would press our ears against them to listen for the waves. It was magical.
Did you know seashells have been on planet Earth for over 500 million years? It’s one of the oldest species alive and yet today remain over 200,000 species of mollusks in our oceans. Apart from the clams, conches, snails & cowries that we are familiar with, you would be surprised by how manifold is shell diversity!
A shell, quite literally, is a protective body or shell of a mollusk. It serves as armor for the tiny fragile creatures that inhabits within. Their colors, shapes, sizes, and textures are not accidental and are meant to keep predators at bay.
Ancient civilizations believed seashells were a symbol of the body enclosing the soul. Some cultures consecrated it and maintained it as precious objects reserved only for the elders.
Indian cultures used it as religious charms, especially the cowry shells, which to the imaginative mind, resemble a vulva on the underside hiding a ‘pregnant belly’ within. They were presented to women with the hope of remedying infertility.
Conch shells play a significant role in Indian mythology too. They were sounded when kings went to battle and today, you will still hear a conch shell blowing at the start of prayer rituals.
Given its existence in history for the longest period of time, it is no wonder that shells carry with them so much spiritual energy. They are aesthetically pleasing to behold, and to an unrestricted mind, shells can also conjure up feelings of tranquility, purpose and romance.
I draw most of my creative energy from the ocean and its treasures. It is not a coincidence that seashells feature very prominently in OKRA. They inspire me with their irregularities. They exist so naturally perfect in all their imperfections, each shell unique and distinct yet inhabiting the same vast ocean.
I urge you to feel that energy transmit through you as you wear your favorite piece from OKRA. And especially through the seashells inspired pieces of our next collection - La Marée - coming soon.
Islands of jewelry
More than jewelry, we believe that each of our pieces is a precious amulet that holds the power to ground, uplift or inspire.
Made of regenerated stones, crystals and other foraged natural and organic materials, OKRA pieces are worn as meaningful objet d’art for the independent woman — whether it is to calm the mind, body and spirit, or to bring out the audacious goddess in you.
Follow our official wechat to enter the world of OKRA.