Enlightened and Bejeweled: The High-End Jewelry Designed by Carole Shashona
You can find the high-end cannabis-inspired jewelry by Carole Shashona at Barney’s of New York. The retail location brings cannabis culture out in the open in a big way.
The designer came into her own in the world of fashion, raised in the presence of fashion and art icons such as Valentino and Andy Warhol in his Factory in New York in the 1960s.
“I have been blessed to have lived such an extraordinary life,” she shared. “Being raised around fashion icons like Valentino and artists like Warhol taught me how art and fashion are a way to express oneself and make a statement without saying a word. I had something to say. I wanted to break the stereotypes of cannabis advocates, remove the stigma, and start talking about it so more people could have safe alternatives. If we don’t talk about it, it will never get the research so it can be further developed and more accessible as a real option for people.”
The drug culture was no stranger to Shashona, who admitted learning to roll expert joints while attending the High School for Performing Arts in New York—famous from the 1980 film Fame.
“I was a dancer and was high on life—I became the the designated joint sifter and roller,” she laughed. “I can roll a really tight joint.”
Though she doesn’t consider herself a patient, Shashona has seen many of her friends helped by cannabis. Six years ago, she became aware of its properties from clients who were going through chemotherapy for cancer, and used cannabis for side effects associated with the treatment. Since then, she’s witnessed cannabis help those with PTSD and relieve anxiety, though she’d like to see more research done.
Shashona said witnessing the experience encouraged her to make a statement about cannabis—one of love and compassion.
“I wanted to change the narrative about the plant,” she continued. “I know when people look at me they would not see me as a typical advocate—and that’s what I want to change. No more judgements and stereotypes. Just conversation and healing.”
Her path to enlightenment began in Hong Kong, learning from one of the Grand Masters, leading her to become one of the first female American Grand Masters.
“I walked many gardens and paths with my Master and he always taught me about how nature mirrors life,” she shared. “I’m inspired by nature, the world around me, and use the power of colors, symbols and stones in all of my pieces. Everything in my line is designed with an intention to attract energy for positive flow and wellness and uses symbolism, giving each piece much more than just an accent for style.”
Shashona shared that just as an artist creates their masterpiece, we as humans create our masterpiece of life.
“I design each piece of my collection as a life compass for the person wearing it to provide protection and blessings as they go through the art of life,” she surmised. “Wearing each piece also acts like a reminder of their desired life path, just like an artist has an intention on what they want to portray, my jewelry should be used for that same purpose.”
The stones used in her pieces are no different, stating, once while being operated on she used pink quartz in her hand, wrapping a bandage around it to assist in relaxing in love and energy.
“I use black diamonds for empowerment and protection in most of my pieces,” she added. “Symbols like Buddha, Goddess and Lotus for blessings, wisdom and good health. My cannabis collection was created with the intention to bestow blessings to the wearer, while creating conversations to bring forth social change.”
Though Shashona sees cannabis as a positive experience, both physically and spiritually, she also acknowledges the Yin and the Yang of the plant, as far as perceptions go – encouraging awareness for more education and research.
“I’ve always loved the beauty of the Cannabis plant and its healing powers, so I tried to recreate this beauty using the power of the stones,” she said. “I chose to use the recognizable symbol of the plant leaf, along with a slogan, “Lighten Up” as part of an effort to change the conversation about cannabis.”
As a seasoned jewelry designer with a background of being a Grand Master in Feng, her art has always been her form of communication.
“I always try and focus on the positive. My Shiva necklace from the Cannabis Collection pays homage to the Hindu God Shiva, who has been associated with cannabis for centuries. I designed it with the head of Shiva in black onyx to block negativity, black diamonds for protection and empowerment, and a moon disk for a compassionate mind.”
For more information on Carole Shashona and her designs visit, https://www.caroleshashona.com/.Visit Carole on Facebook, Instagram
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