FROM STONE AGE MORAVIA TO JABLONEC TO WASHINGTON TO YOUR MAILBOX
Although the shape is constant, the variations in the finish and very human production processes of my Goddesses means small differences in each bead and often larger shifts in color between batches.
But the Girls are all about individuality anyway.
Experts have spent a great deal of time considering the original Vestonicka Venusa but we don't know who commissioned and created the original mold for beads or when it was done.
A MOM AND POP SHOP IN BOHEMIA
The mold is owned today by second-generation bead pressers in Jablonec -- a husband and wife team who produce each small batch by traditional methods
" Pressers are always guys, but the boss in this family is the wife," said Lenka Bindzar, who has imported the beads for wholesale distribution for more than a decade. "She takes care of all the ordering and communications and all else that is not pressing glass beads. "
Traditional artisan production in Jablonec "takes a village" with others helping with pressing and stringing during peak production and shops largely shutting down in the heat of the summer. Lenka has been known to order beads she doesn't exactly need to help prop up the families in this very challenged industry.
The Goddesses have not yet been a big-seller for Czech-born Lenka -- but have always held a greater meaning to her.
"I always want to embrace the feminine, because there seems to be lack of it or our of balance feeling. I love 'Mother Nature' and see myself going to church, when I am in the woods or anywhere hiking away from man-made world," she explained. "So these are part of that symbolism. Fertility, life giving, feminism, loving our bodies as we have babies and as we grow wiser with years."
The roots of the original Venuse are also significant to Lenka. "She comes from my fathers region, Moravia," she said. " My parents divorced when I was eight and my Mom always made sure I remember my origins from his side of the family and it stuck with me. "
"The region is the fertile part of my country, where people grow most of our fruit, wine and vegetables. They are known as very generous, optimistic and party people," Lenka added.
When I read Lenka's email about Moravia - it struck me how much her description of the region sounded so much like my Western New York home, reminding me again of all the layers of connection in these simple glass beads.
Your purchase directly supports:
- the small family shop run by a woman in Jablonec,
- a female entrepreneur in Washington state who has built a business of beauty with her passion and pride
- and, in the largest share, addresses a real world need selected by a real world goddess. --
WHAT WOULD VESTONICKA VENUSE DO?
Although some my question my emotional boundaries at this point , I do understand that the Venus herself is not an individual. Still I can't help see her as a collection of the best of who we are and who we can be together. And in that context, it's a privilege to share her journey.