Jo Stroud is the founder of Mantra Jewellery, a brand of meaningful jewellery designed to inspire and uplift. Jo believes that the power of a mantra to inspire is undeniable. An uplifting word or phrase, caught sight of or remembered through a busy day or during tough times, is enough to remind us to stay strong, be positive and believe in the best. Mantras build mental strength, reinforce self-belief, and remind us how powerful we are. We had a sit-down Q&A with Jo Stroud earlier this month, to learn more about the brand and jewellery we sell in our studios.
Why did you set up Mantra Jewellery?
After 10 years of running my jewellery retail business, Fabulous, sourcing and stocking brands like Pandora, Thomas Sabo, Alex and Ani and other leading international names, I decided it was time to create my own collection, rather than simply stocking other people’s brands. I had seen over the 10 years how women’s relationship with jewellery had changed – it is now much more about how a piece of jewellery makes you feel, than how it looks – so I was determined to create a collection with real meaning and feeling behind it. Personally, I am a ’word’ person – I completely believe in the power of words to motivate, empower, inspire. I studied English at university, worked in book selling for many years, and have always collected inspirational quotes – so I wanted to create a collection that brought together my love of words and understanding of their power, with my love of jewellery. Hence, Mantra was born.
What inspires you?
I love creativity – art, writing, design. I feel completely inspired when I go and see an exhibition of a painter I love, like the recent Matisse and Hockney exhibitions; or when I read poetry, like Mary Oliver or Rumi. I have also read a lot of Buddhist works over the last few years – such as Pema Chodron‘s essays – and find them hugely inspiring. I have always been a keen collector of inspirational quotes, and I have a number of go-to phrases that I use for inspiration, focus and guidance. I am also a runner and a yoga practitioner – and find both running and yoga give me the opportunity to find peace of mind and time away from everyday busy life, which I also find inspiring.
What Mantra has had the most impact on you?
For me, the phrase ‘Change my thoughts and I change my world’, is hugely meaningful and powerful. I have it engraved on my ‘My Mantra’ necklace, which is a longer, larger pendant that we created, which enables you to have your own personal mantra engraved. It comes from something Norman Vincent Peale wrote in ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’, and reminds me that I have the power to change how I think about things: it can be all too easy to fall into negative thinking, which can easily ruin your day for no reason at all. I also wear my ‘Body and Mind’ pendant all the time – ‘The body achieves what the mind believes’ – as it is a phrase that really kept me going when I ran the London Marathon, this year and last. So much in life is about self-belief.
What sets Mantra Jewellery apart from other jewellery brands?
For me, it is the power of its message. The idea is to hold onto your piece of jewellery from time to time through the day, and bring to mind its mantra. Whether you bought it to inspire yourself, or it was gifted to you, it is the mantra that has a powerful effect on you. Mantras change your mindset. They bring motivation, they strengthen resolve, they reassure, they comfort, they inspire and uplift. Most powerfully of all, they bring self-belief. And having a piece of jewellery to represent and embody your mantra is particularly powerful, because jewellery is so personal, worn against your skin; so portable – it goes everywhere with you; and so long-lasting, being made out of Sterling Silver.
And finally, what’s your favourite yoga pose and favourite place to practice?
Personally, I love the warrior poses. You feel strong, centred, in control, and focused. I took up yoga originally to strengthen my muscles for running, but got completely hooked as it gave my mind a complete rest from the busy-ness of life. I had one-to-one lessons first of all, learning the basics and how to breathe and hold poses. My teacher also incorporated meditation and mindfulness, so I would come away after an hour and a half feeling like I was a totally different person! Now, I practise at home, and particularly love taking my mat outside into the sunshine.
Discover Mantra Jewellery at triyoga, whilst stocks last.