Meghan Markle recently wore the brand’s Woman Power Necklace at Global Citizen’s VAX Live Concert, while Taylor Swift, Kristen Bell, Selena Gomez, Madonna and more have worn Awe Inspired’s pieces in gold and silver.
Awe Inspired was co-founded by three-time breast cancer survivor Jill Johnson and her son Max Johnson. The mother and son duo were inspired to create fine jewelry that traces with multiple collections representing the wearer’s journey, symbolizing strength, individuality and empowerment.
The brand also gives back to charity. They’ve donated over $700k to their charity partners—including the American Nurses Foundation and Cancer Care—with 20% of each sale going to an organization of each customer’s choice.
Getting the pieces around the necks of A-list celebrities is no easy feat. But the question is—how do they do it? According to co-founder Jill Johnson, the brand hasn’t paid for any celebrities to wear their jewelry.
“It’s all been about getting the right gift into the right hands at the right time,” said Johnson.
Celebrities have related to the brand’s Goddess Collection, which depicts goddesses like Athena, Cleopatra and Mulan. “There are many celebrities who have been gifted Awe who then purchase more to gift to their own teams and friends,” she said. “They want the people they love to have the same empowering experience of finding their inner goddess.”
For example, Madonna wears the brand’s Frida Kahlo necklace every day, according to Johnson, while Tyra Banks wore her Harriet Tubman piece at the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020.
Meanwhile, Pose star MJ Rodriguez owns a piece depicting LGBT activist Marsha P. Johnson. “It was particularly moving to see her wearing her Marsha ahead of her historic Emmy night,” says Johnson.
Other supporters include Selma Blair, who said of the brand: “Ever since I first received my Goddess Necklace, I have noticed how many Goddesses I love celebrating and wearing. They are a reminder of our greatness.”
Demi Lovato is another longtime supporter of Awe Inspired, as well as Sarah Jessica Parker and Kristen Bell, who owns the Joan of Arc necklace and Cardi B, who loves the Ruth Bader Ginsburg necklace.
The brand also has a pendant celebrating vice president Kamala Harris in a special inauguration pendant (which Miley Cyrus has been spotted wearing). “There’s something deeply moving about seeing iconic, powerful women celebrated in elegant and timeless fashion, and celebrities have definitely gravitated to that,” says Johnson.
“Everyone is searching for symbols of strength, particularly in this rapidly changing society that is moving away from organized religion and towards more individualized spirituality,” she says. “Our business exploded during the pandemic because people were hurting and looking for things that made them feel good, including celebrities.”
The brand’s goddess collection includes portraits of historic figures like Aphrodite, Demeter and Cleopatra, as well as more contemporary figures like Marie Curie. This series has been worn by Hilary Swank, Julianne Moore and Camila Cabello.
“Often, celebrities are given products to wear for special appearances and red carpets, but with goddess pieces, they found staple pieces they can wear everyday that feel special and layer with whatever they already have,” says Johnson.
“The mission of our brand is to help people wake up every day with gratitude for who you are,” she says. “There’s something powerful about wearing an emblem of your inspiration close to your heart. I want people to wear them while channeling the spirit of a goddess as you approach the world with wonder, kindness and resilience.”