How What’s Your Passion transforms Marvel icons into stylish jewelry
It’s been a welcome change that in the last few years the options to show off your favorite fandoms in jewelry have expanded. Companies are offering more than costume pieces or items only featuring logos. Characters and imagery are being made into subtle pieces created in materials like sterling silver and 14k gold. While there are a number of companies leading the way in this developing area, one that will be of particular interest to Marvel fans is What’s Your Passion.
What’s Your Passion sells necklaces, rings, and beads inspired by various Marvel properties. According to CEO Avital Kathein, who spoke to GeekFold at New York Comic Con, this is their third year of working with Marvel for officially licensed jewelry.
“We can kind of throw different ideas at them and say ‘how do you feel about this design?’” Kathein said. “We love little Easter eggs kind of like what we did with one of our first pieces, the S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA rings, where we have HYDRA hiding. It’s also in the certificate and the packaging. HYDRA is hiding in that certificate if you buy either the ring or the pendant.”
The company began after her brother Ari went on his honeymoon and made himself a superhero ring as a personal collection piece. It received a lot of attention and the idea to create What’s Your Passion was born. The two siblings have a history in the jewelry industry. Their parents have been in the business for 38 years.
“We kind of combined what we love with what we do,” she explained.
They pursued working with Marvel and closed a licensing deal in 2016. That’s led to some impressive jewelry created since, including items based on actual studio schematics like a pendant of stormbreaker from Avengers: Infinity War and an Iron Man armor ring. There’s so much to pull from in the Marvel universe as inspiration, but Kathein explained that sometimes projects just fall into their lap.
“We’ll see stormbreaker in Infinity War and we’re like ‘that has to be top priority. We want that right now,’” she said. “Black Panther’s been really hot this entire year and there’s a lot of, for lack of a better word, following behind it and a lot of people relate to it on so many different levels.”
For New York Comic Con, the company made two versions of a special Black Panther bead in a purple enamel and a black enamel that were each limited to 100 pieces and featured Wakanda Forever on the barrel in Wakandan glyphs. Fan requests also play a role in their designs, though sometimes events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe might impact their development.
“We probably have a handful of really persistent women that all want a Loki ring and they’re always contacting us and that one we had to put on hold for a little bit especially because of what happened in Infinity War that people were heartbroken over,” she explained. “I think all of us were.”
The complexity of a piece can impact how long it takes for it to go from initial idea to final product. It can take two to three months from start to finish according to Kathein, depending on how many times they want to go back and modify a piece.
Another thing that sets the company apart is the unique collectible boxes most of their pieces come in. According to Kathein, this was an idea her brother had because he wanted what they were making to be both jewelry and a collectible.
“He himself, growing up in this comic world, he loves the idea of being able to show all the collectible pieces and the fandoms he enjoys or that now his 5 year old son enjoys…Our boxes, what’s cool about them, is they’re a great gift box. They’re a little bit larger, [but] our next phase is going to be a bit smaller and slightly different in how they open,” she said.
There will be more changes and new items to come from What’s Your Passion soon. Kathein said they are excited for the release of Captain Marvel and hope to expand their current collections and offerings.
“We want to work on expanding into an earring line and expanding some of the beads. Those are really popular. People love the versatility of them and it’s really fascinating. When we first released the beads, we thought it was going to be more geared towards women specifically because of the popularity of Pandora and all of those,” she told GeekFold. “I would say it’s definitely evenly split between men and women that wear the beads because the guys love them with the leather cords and they wear them sort of in a surfer style, shorter chain. A lot of the women either wear them on the cord or put them on one of their existing bracelets so because of that we have so many requests to make them earrings that we’ll probably do a basic earring where they’re more like a flat style and then we want to do more complex pieces.”
Creating smaller pieces that are more at an everyday price point is something Kathein wants to pursue as well. She said she’s excited for what they have in the works.
Seeing what they’ve made so far, it’s hard not to look forward to what they may come out with next. Especially with what we know is on the way from Marvel, fans will want to keep a close eye on What’s Your Passion.
Want a chance to win a piece of What’s Your Passion jewelry? You can enter GeekFold’s Geek-tober Giveaway for a chance to win their large Black Panther bead with leather cord until Sunday
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