Yoga inspires many things: enlightenment, awareness, dialog, understanding, inner peace, music, and exceptional flexibility. And it also inspires designers to create beautiful objects, which you can find in the markets of New York City.
I first saw Astrid Schumacher’s delicate and colorful yoga-inspired jewelry at the Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral Market on Prince Street (between Mott and Mulberry). Her necklaces have tiny gold or silver yoga and Buddhist symbol charms, including ohms, mandalas, Buddhas, Ganeshas, infinite circles and more. She combines them with coral colored and turquoise beads, as well as garnets, jasper, agates, pearls, and other semi-precious stones. I’ve been wearing the beautiful little silver Ganesha with deep purple amethyst accent beads pretty much every day since I gave it to myself for Christmas. Sienna Miller and Tyra Banks are repeat customers.
Schumacher also designs handbags and belts decorated with brass studs and made from synthetic, animal-friendly suede. Her Hippie Bags come in large and medium. The 3-pocket belts are stylish and perfect for to carrying your ID, credit card, lipstick and keys. They all come in rich yet subtle colors.
A Swiss native, Schumacher has experience in the fashion world, starting with modeling and then working in the flagship boutique of Rubin Chapelle in the Meatpacking District. Through her travels to India, she became interested in yoga and found that she felt extraordinarily good because of it. During her travels to Indonesia, she met a talented artisan who would hand make small batches of her charm designs. She also works with a woman from Bangladesh, who lives near JFK airport and assembles the gemstones and beads for each piece of jewelry. So not only is Schumacher an entrepreneur herself, but she also supports other talented microentrepreneurs in New York and Indonesia by incorporating them into her production process.
Schumacher spends part of the year living in Temecula, California, and the rest of it in New York City. When she first came to New York, she sold some of the clothes from her modeling jobs on the sidewalks of Astor Place to pay her rent. Years later, she is back on the streets, this time selling her wonderful designs. And she absolutely loves it.
She will be back on Prince Street when the weather gets warm. For now, you can visit her online shop: http://www.astridschumacher.com