ZazenBear's seated, meditating bear is the company's symbol for inner peace and the foundation for the fine jewelry and gift collections which are available at the flagship boutique in SoHo. Zazen, the name of the chubby bear whose likeness appears on every piece of jewelry, comes from the Japanese word “za” which means "sitting." Zazen Bear’s 14kt gold Zen Garden I and Zen Garden II jewelry is distinctive and subtle with its curving lines, repetitive motifs and patterns found in traditional Japanese Zen gardens. Pendants, earrings, stackable rings, woven leather and friendship bracelets are meant to be layered or worn individually and bring sense of calm to the person wearing Zazen Bear. The two-story flagship boutique, formerly a teddy bear toy factory, has an award-winning interior design concept that traces the shape of a teddy bear as well as living walls.
Nick Jeong, Zazen Bear’s US CEO, “Zen Garden I is based on circles while Zen Garden II is angular and architectural. Each piece of Zazen Bear 14kt gold jewelry is hand finished and emphasizes the personal touch and connection to the person who wears the jewelry.” Zazen Bear works with fine jewelry designer Myungji Ye, an early adapter of 3-D knitted jewelry techniques, whose woven lines and shapes re-appear in Zazen Bear jewelry.
All Zazen Bear jewelry is made with 14kt gold (yellow, white or rose) and semi-precious stones, including some jewelry accented with pavé diamonds. Pendants, rings, earrings, friendship bracelets and bangles range in price from $125 to $1,800. Other collections include Connected and Inner Stellar.
Seitho, the founder, created Zazen Bear after he returned to Japan in 2011 to practice meditation and calligraphy after experiencing the 9/11 attacks in New York City where he was a student. He created Zazen to help individuals find inner peace and balance in their everyday lives. The bear is a symbol of strength, serenity and support. Everything that Zazen Bear produces is infused with this message. In addition to the jewelry are candles, fragrance sticks, ceramic trays, mugs, tea sets, covered jars and wood desk accessories with simple designs that inspire tranquility and harmony. The SoHo boutique is located at 497 Broome Street.