COLUMN: Eat, pray, design

Jewelry designer finds inspiration on Bali, makes name for herself across continents

June is not yet over but may already prove to be one of the biggest months jewelry designer Azenya Burdett has experienced after British Vogue featured her first – and only – line of accessories.

The world-renowned fashion magazine contacted the local designer after seeing an Instagram post featuring one of Azenya Designs’ sensational, gold hexagon cuffs.

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“British Vogue approached me – through Instagram – and asked if I would be interested in being featured. At first I thought, ‘Is this a scam?’ I actually had to get a girlfriend who lives in England to check it out,” she said with a wide smile. “But it was for real. I submitted the image to them, they did a mention with my website and a little write up and my Instagram handle – and then they sent me a copy. It’s been amazing – and it’s still unfolding.”

The June issue, which features model-actress-musician Cara Delevingne on its cover, hit newsstands just in time for the royal wedding so it’s already received a ton of attention, said Burdett. “It’s definitely given a big boost to sales – how much? I think it’s too early to tell.”

Currently, Burdett is producing her second line of jewelry – just in time to capitalize on the buzz.

Burdett, a single mother of three, has been “dabbling” in jewelry design most of her life. Drawn to raw gemstones and sacred geometry, Burdett spent close to two years living on Bali before moving to Squamish two and a half years ago to raise her three children.

“Bali is really where it all came alive,” she said. “When I was there I was finding inspiration in so many things. I’ve studied sacred geometry – and when I started to investigate it, it just blew my mind. What nature creates is really inspiring. I am inspired by the gemstones created in nature, and the sacred forms that show up everywhere in the universe, really.”

And you can see that clearly in the geometric forms she works with, forms she says are also tied to the chakras she’s studied in yoga. The first line she completed is called the Anahata collection, after the heart chakra. The star symbol of the two inverted triangles stands for sacred union and creation. When you remove the inner lines the six points that are left form the hexagon.

“The hexagon is the most stable form in the universe – the honey bees use it in their comb. It represents stability and coherence, working as a collective and in harmony with one another. Those are the energy properties emitted in this collection,” said the designer, who also does energy work, energy medicine, and is completing her training as a medical intuitive.

Her new line comprises malas, pendants, blue stones that work on the throat chakra to “empower the wearer to use their voice and speak their truth.” It also features Herkimer diamonds Burdett collected on Vancouver Island and sent to Bali to be incorporated into her designs.

“I’m finding that going through the chakras is going to be a good way to put the designs into collections. Being on Bali was quite inspiring, I was quite prolific with designs there. I created hundreds of designs and was able to get most of them made in samples while I was there,” she said, adding she has kept her production there.

“I have friends over there that are helping me to produce it. It’s so great.”

The price point for her pieces starts around $50, but included in any order free of charge is the ceremony Burdett does for her pieces.

“I do a whole ceremony around blessing the jewelry and imbuing it with good energy,” she said. “I’ll clear it and infuse it with a blanket statement ‘to enhance the person’s life in greater than imagined ways.’”

You can’t beat that.

Azenya Designs are available online at azenyadesigns.com, and several pieces are represented at Global Atomic in Yaletown. Burdett will also be vending at both Bass Coast Festival and Blessed Coast Festivals this summer.

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