Document your travels in diamonds, gold, and pearls.
Lust-worthy Find: Garland Collection
Credit: Courtesy of Garland Collection

Our happiest memories often come from our travels. The places we’ve been and the people we’ve had along with us on each euphoric journey past our comfort zones tend to stick in ways no other experiences can. I’ve found, after every trip, I return home with a greater sense of personal clarity, perspective, and strength.

When I look back at my own travel memories — family drives to Vermont growing up, a semester “studying” in Paris, my first trip to the West Coast after college to help my best friend move, a spontaneous two weeks in Spain booked with my first tax return, and my first “I love you,” exchanged in London — I find them to be significant pieces in the puzzle of my life. Ones I wish I could freeze in time and keep in my pocket, or around my neck, close to my heart.

The latter is the essence of Garland Collection, a line of personalized jewelry intended to encapsulate special places, people, and themes in one’s life as wearable memories. There are custom pieces with diamond monograms and quirky vintage estate finds, with identity as the connecting thread (or chain, if you will).

For designer Nicole Mann Novick, travel is definitively the element that has inspired her the most. Considering her own life’s travels and understanding that specific places are especially meaningful to many, she is particularly drawn to estate charms with worldly significance: a globe, a suitcase, an automobile, or an airplane.

Novick began her own personal charm collection with a piece that would eventually inspire the brand. This was her signature pendant, based on the antique monogram from her wedding invitation. On her honeymoon, she and her husband traveled to South Africa and Botswana, where they returned shortly after for a second trip.

On the flight home, she designed an elephant pendant with diamond eyes and a gold lion’s head as a reminder of their time spent there as a new couple. Similarly, Novick’s palm tree charm with pearl coconuts was inspired by her second home in Southern California, where she spent nine happy years before moving back to New York City with her children.

Novick’s career travels have been another source of inspiration. Finding solace in Paris’s “love locks,” formerly attached to the Pont des Arts, during a lonely Fashion Week trip, she went on to design diamond heart padlock charms with her family’s initials to symbolize the connection between Paris and her family. Now each of her meaningful charms lives on a necklace, which she brings on each trip away from home.

“It’s a very personal piece that tells our family story, and I carry it like a talisman wherever I go,” she said.

It’s a romantic idea, collecting charms like passport stamps. A small but palpable reminder of how far you’ve come and the happy times you’ve had along the way, clinking musically with each step toward the next adventure.