“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 20 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.
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 was full of pride when I first shared the Womanhood Icon with you back in 2019. Since that time, Womanhood not only became an H&S bag, but also Nena & Co.'s official brand icon. We're so excited to dive deeper into the symbolism behind the icon!”
Anatomy of the Womanhood Icon
The Cycles of Life - The moons displayed represent the different phases of life women cycle through. While some are entering into who they are becoming, others are passing on tradition to the next generation.
The Tides - The triangles lining the central diamond are symbolic of the tides. In this case the tides are a reflection of the strength that women inherently possess through the ebbs and flows of life.
Creation - The diamond shape is often seen in Guatemalan culture as a symbol of creation. Women are natural creators of beauty, life, peace, and many more attributes this world is in constant need of.
Fertility - The first surrounding diamond stands for fertility. This can be seen in several different forms. Everything from creation of life to fertility in wealth, love, or growth in one’s stage of life.
Wisdom - Much like the third eye, the top diamond stands for wisdom. Women are more than intellectual; they have a special ability to find the correct paths for themselves.
Regeneration - The second diamond stands for regeneration. Regeneration is the ability to bounce back from difficult times to reinvent ourselves and improve our circumstances.
Balance - The final diamond found at the bottom stands for balance. A cornerstone in life is finding balance in mind, heart, and health. Balance brings clear thoughts, calmness, motivation and peace.