For jewelry designer and Mana Culture co-founder Jahnavi Jasmine, traveling to distant lands has provided the ultimate inspiration for her bohemian creations -- and her business philosophy. Jahnavi remembers designing her own pieces at a very early age, drawing artistic influence from the culture, the energy and the natural splendor that surrounded her.
Living a simple lifestyle also influenced Jahnavi’s early designs. The profound serenity and carefree spirit of the spiritual community in which she grew up would be a recurring theme in her future creations. Without the distraction of material things, she drew endless creativity from the earth and the sky. Her fascination with metal and stone began, and her communion with life’s greatest designer -- Mother Nature -- deepened.
“I grew up with the understanding that nature was family. It was joy. It was beauty. And it could supply everything you need -- from raw material to inspiration -- for amazing design.”
Fate brought Jahnavi to Austin, Texas, where she grew her part-time passion into a full-blown business. Just before Christmas 2008, Jahnavi decided to sell a few of the creations she had made throughout her travels. After spreading out a clean bed sheet on a city sidewalk, she laid out her culture-rich and nature-inspired jewelry designs. Overwhelmed by positive feedback, this success had to be taken as a sign from the universe. Soon after, she quit her job to focus exclusively on building a jewelry business.
One year after that serendipitous sidewalk sale, Mana Culture opened its first brick and mortar store in Austin, TX. A second Austin store opened in 2013. Mana Culture now has two brick and mortar stores in Austin; a thriving online store; a powerful mobile selling channel exclusively for public events and festivals; and a wholesale business.
To decide on a name for her business, Jahnavi once again drew inspiration from the cultures she was exposed to during her travels. In Hawaiian and Tahitian culture, Mana is a form of spiritual energy and healing power that permeates the universe.
Most of Jahnavi’s creations incorporate natural materials that possess their own "Mana." Quartz, Labradorite, Moonstone, and many other ancient gemstones used in Mana jewelry represent powerful metaphysical and restorative properties. A striking fusion of these expressive minerals, organic form and sculptural design gives each piece a unique, excavated-from-the-earth appeal.
To this day, Jahnavi excels at creating a beautiful tension between raw and refined, resulting in jewelry that can be best described as the embodiment of “barefoot elegance.” At home in her Austin sanctuary, Jahnavi continues to design for the laid-back, modern gypsy -- the free spirit who likes to wander, to dream and to chill. She designs for the woman who wants to send a confident, yet carefree signal. She designs for the woman who wants to look stunning whether she’s in Birkenstock sandals or stilettos. Jahnavi often refers to her pieces as being perfectly wearable "into a business meeting and out to the beach".