As the founder of Nena & Co. I’ve always loved the idea of pairing the Nena logo with an icon (think Nike swoosh) that embodies everything my company stands for. The problem is, every symbol I dreamt up over the years didn’t capture the heart of Nena. The word “Nena” is a name my mom calls me and all the girls in our family, and a name I’ve adopted for my own girls. So, creating an icon for Nena & Co. had to mean something truly special. An icon should go hand-in-hand with the logo. You should see it adorning packaging, hang tags, product, social accounts, the website and so on. I continued to explore icon ideas that revolved around ancient weaving techniques but it didn’t ever feel quite right.
I believe that sometimes we start down a path with a goal in mind and we end up accomplishing other small victories along the way. Sometimes that path leads us somewhere else all together, and we find that was the real reason we started in the first place. I began 2019 with the desire to connect the weaver to the customer through our Heritage & Society collection by using traditional weaving symbols in the design of our woven panels. I started by gaining an understanding of the meaning of each symbol, then worked to find an inspiring woman a little closer to home to tell her story and how it relates to each bag’s symbolism. Much of my research took place while I was pregnant with my now 4 month old, Santiago. I was so drawn to the symbolism focused on fertility and became a little obsessed with the idea of creating a bag around it. I couldn’t help but reflect on how difficult my fertility journey has been, recognizing that fertility is only a part of the greater picture of womanhood. That’s when I realized that I needed to create an icon focused on Womanhood; our ebbs and flows, our seasons, powers of creation, our never ending journey to find balance, and our constant regeneration and rebirths.
Each month we find a woman we admire to represent the monthly H&S bag, but as we searched for the Icon (person) to represent “Womanhood,” it dawned on me that not one woman can represent us all. We needed more women from different backgrounds, different problems, different perspectives, and different victories; because although we as women have so much in common, we are also so unique and special, and that needed to be represented.
My heart is full of pride (and my arms are covered in goosebumps!) knowing I’ve finally created an icon for Nena & Co. and I finally get to share this with you in the month of May -- the month in which we get to celebrate the great women in our lives. This month I’m so thrilled to present to you “Womanhood” as not only May’s H&S bag, but Nena & Co’s official brand icon.”
Anatomy of the Womanhood Icon
The Lunar Phase Cycle - The gradual lunar phases represent the cycle of life from birth, through adolescence, maidenhood and womanhood.
The Tides - The repetitive triangular shapes represent the tides in an ocean; notorious for its strength, ever changing currents and rhythmical pattern of coming and going or decline and regrowth.
The Diamonds - The non-self-intersecting shape, whose four sides are equal in length, is a symbol of creation; bringing ordered existence to the world, inventing, producing, and defying restraint.
The Four Eyes - The symbol is derived from amphibians which were once connected to divine powers because of its ability to live in water and land. The left eye represents fertility, the top middle or “third eye” represents wisdom, the right eye represents regeneration and the bottom fourth eye represents balance.