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Small Talk with Buddha Mama
Designer Profiles

Small Talk with Buddha Mama

Spiritual and sumptuous may sound like opposing concepts, but when you see Buddha Mama’s opulent collection of 20-karat gold, diamond- and gem-set jewels, the combination makes perfect sense. It’s clear that founder Nancy Badia’s devotion to Eastern philosophy informs her design sensibility, and that her mix of spiritual symbols, ancient jewelry-making techniques and love of Pop Art is what makes the Florida-based brand so beloved by the glitterati. Below, Nancy answers BE’s mini-questionnaire.

Broken English Jewelry - Buddha Mama

What drew Buddha Mama founder Nancy Badia to Eastern philosophy and Buddhism in the first place?

I was seeking something spiritual in my late 30s and found Buddhism. My mother was an atheist who raised me with no preconceived notions of how things should be. I was free to explore and find something for myself, and I did in the loving kindness of Buddhist practices. I shared this journey with my family, and now my daughter, Dakota Badia, the co-designer of Buddha Mama, admires these beliefs and holds them with great reverence. She is forging her own spiritual journey, as all my children do. And I couldn't be happier.


What are some of your favorite Eastern signs and symbols to incorporate in your jewelry?

Dakota and I both individually gravitate towards expressing the symbols in our unique way. Since the first piece of fine jewelry we ever made, based on my tattoos, was a mandala bracelet — a design still available in the collection — let's start there. Of course, Buddhas, lotus flowers and Oms appear throughout the line. Sometimes, the symbols might not get top billing. You might find a lotus flower carved inside a shank or the side of a pendant. An Om might make an appearance hidden in a corner. You never know! These beautiful symbols can have deep meaning for some, and for others they might just feel a connection to them. They are important to us and we love that our collectors “feel” them like we do. Our tag line is “Designed With Intention for One’s Individual Expression.” This articulates our beliefs around how people choose to wear the symbols.


Buddha Mama is known for pairing rich 20k gold with colorful gemstones. Which colors/gems are you coveting most this year?

We continue to covet tourmalines, spinels, tanzanite, sapphires, morganites and diamonds. You'll find a few more rainbow layouts turned bangles and gradation of colored stones show up to highlight some of our new pieces this year. While it's not new, we have a large emerald-cut purple spinel in our collection, which I love. It's crazy beautiful.

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