Wives celebrate nuances of military life with fine jewelry

Four military wives who were inspired by years of coffee table talks discussing the unique struggles of military life decided to make a difference by creating products that celebrate their lifestyle.

The spouses’ combined efforts saw the 2009 creation of the Nomadés Collection, a military-oriented charm and memento business.

Heather Osborne of Camp Lejeune is one of the founding members who helped breathe life into Nomadés at a time when the jewelry line was still an idea between friends. During her husband’s 21-year career in the Marine Corps, she met many others who also expressed a desire for something to commemorate their journey.

“All of our paths crossed in the Marine Corps where we would talk about things like moving every few years for deployments and the difficulties of raising children alone,” Osborne said. “The conversations kept revolving around the fact that military spouses do a lot of things that civilian spouses don’t necessarily do. We all agreed that something needed to be done to let these women realize they are special.”

The Nomadé collection offers unique charms and jewelry that often reveal personal stories of dedication and relocation. Each charm is strategically designed to represent a different place or service branch using imagery and symbols associated with the different subjects and locations.

Nomadé Team Leader Angela Richwine was initially attracted to the business three years ago while aboard Camp Lejeune after seeing the traditional Eagle, Globe and Anchor charm at a Bunco dice game.

“I decided to get involved with Nomadé because I love listening to every spouse’s journey, their friendships and memories,” Richwine said. “Even if the same people have been to the same duty station, every story is different.”

Richwine moved to Fredericksburg, Va., after retiring two years ago, but still visits Jacksonville from time to time to visit with her friends.

“The charms absolutely bring people together,” she said. “I have a wonderful group of ladies on my team from the Marine Corp, Air Force, Navy and Army. They are special to me because I grew up with all boys and now I have all these sisters. ”

The business originally started with only Marine Corp charms, but demand forced the collection to expand to other branches and produces. Four years later, the catalogue now boasts an in-depth array of items spanning from braided leather necklaces to customizable drink coasters.

For many spouses who may have trouble holding a steady job due to relocation, Nomadé offers not only meaningful trinkets but also an opportunity to have an independent income.

“We are a nomadic population and this is our lifestyle,” Osborne said. “Everywhere the military moves, Nomadé consultants can go there. Women like jewelry. and it’s a very portable conversation piece.”

Jacksonville currently has three consultants available for contact: Susanne Volinski at CharmedNavyWide@yahoo.com, Angela Mullaney at yourstorybyangela@aol.com and Rosa Frank at rosafrank.charms@gmail.com.

The catalogue is published twice a year in the fall and spring, each time offering a list of new items. Since it has a constantly expanding product line, the easiest way to stay up-to-date is to visit their facebook page or website at nomadescollection.com.

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