Creative Arts,  Fair Fashion

Object Mythology: Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry and Accessories Bring Global Style Together in Your Wardrobe

“Every object tells a story and builds character over time, that is Object Mythology.”

–Karen Chien, Founder Object Mythology

Object Mythology Red Earrings
Beautifully handcrafted, these pearl and cornelian drop earrings are set in 14k gold overlay. Handcrafted by Turkish artisans, this earrings were handpicked by Object Mythology during their last trip to The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. Size: 2 1/4 in. long. $80.00

As an experienced world traveler, I can attest to the wonder of hand-made objects from cultures from around the globe. While living in the Peruvian Andes, I fell in love with the artisan markets scattered throughout the Sacred Valley. The pieces I found there were always charged with a special energy that is impossible to find in anything manufactured. Embedded within the objects are stories, traditions, and teachings from many generations. The songs and poems of the people are woven, carved and welded into their objects.

Object Mythology Peruvian Hat
This limited edition, hand knit wool hat was handpicked by the Object Mythology team when they found it on Taquile Island in Lake Titicaca, Peru. Beautifully hand knit and embroidered, many of the best knitters come from Puno and Taquile island. $35.00

These artisan goods are often made with a refined skill and a deep respect for the materials, often using materials sourced and produced in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. For example, many of the Andean textiles are dyed using the natural plant pigments that are not harmful to the ecosystem. These handmade and often traditional pieces are made with love and you can feel the difference. It feels great buying a unique piece that tells a story and directly supports the people of the craft.

Object Mythology Earrings
These unique hoop earrings feature turquoise, pearl and rose quartz stones in 14k gold overlay. Handcrafted by Turkish Artisans, these earrings were handpicked by Object Mythology during their last trip to The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. Size: 2 1/4 in. long $95.00

Object Mythology, an online marketplace, is making these kinds of treasures easily available to those of us who love unique objects. By building a bridge to the beautiful world of artisan crafts of cultures from around the world, Object Mythology is an example of a brilliant business model. They are providing a sustainable alternative to cheap mass manufactured goods by offering one of a kind pieces, hand chosen with a refined eye for aesthetic and design.

Object Mythology Amazonian Beads
This Amazonian print necklace was hand-beaded by an artist living in the Peruvian Amazon. Its unique design are reflective of the amazonian spirit. Necklace is 17.5 inches long. $75.00

I had the honor of interviewing Karen Cheng, the founder of Object Mythology about her work.

What inspired you to start Object Mythology?

Five years ago, I was heading to Macchu Picchu and met a group of artisans who were looking for work to help provide for their families. Many of them were single mothers who had just learned to knit through a charity organization in Peru and wanted to meet a designer who could help develop their talents to create hand knit products for the US and European markets. I met them at their workshop and felt honored that many had taken time from their families to meet me. I was determined to find a way to help them foster their creativity.

How does travel enrich your creativity?

Travel has always been a passion of mine since I was young. Nothing is more exciting than traveling to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and finding a really interesting silk fabric that I could bring home to create really fabulous pillows for a client or finding unique, interesting vintage pieces like the seltzer bottles from Buenos Aires to dress up a bookcase. It’s always fun to travel and bring back something to remind you of the great time you had on that wildly exotic, fun trip.

How do you choose which objects are worthy of being brought to the world by Object Mythology?

We always look for good aesthetics and design to make sure that the unique interesting objects we bring to Object Mythology fits into the company’s mission to maintain social responsibility on a luxury level. Whether it is the work we provide for the single mothers who make our products or through eco-friendly materials and practices.

What do you seek to inspire through the objects that you provide?

All of the things we carry through Object Mythology have a story. For example, the Cambodian silk scarves are from a workshop where many of the weavers are landmine victims. It is nice to know that the silk scarf you’re wearing helps provide work for someone who greatly benefits from your purchase. Everything we carry at Object Mythology has some benefit whether it’s to provide work for those less fortunate or its eco-friendly. Every object should have a positive social impact on the world.

What is your vision for the integration of art, travel and social entrepreneurship?

To create an luxury lifestyle shopping resource for the individual who desires beautiful things from nearby and faraway places. I’m lucky enough to travel frequently while some may not have the time. Through Object Mythology I hope that everyone can bring something special home for themselves or for someone special anywhere, anytime.