In the heart of the bustling jewelry district in Downtown Los Angeles, a passionate craftsman sits bent over his sander, polishing away at the wings of a silver Eagle pendant. This passionate self-taught jeweler is Varouj Khatchikian, CEO and Founder of Kabartsy Jewelry, as well as the creator and designer of my Winged Ones sacred jewelry collection.
Our paths crossed by pure happenstance, but there’s no doubt destiny had this partnership in mind from the very start. In alignment with my trademark practice of Eagle Medicine, Khatchikian’s first name, Varouj, directly translates to “Eagle flying above the clouds.”
And Khatchikian lives up to this name. Much like the Eagle, there is an essence of grace, humility, and serenity in his mannerisms. Soft-spoken and with a glimmering kindness in his eyes, he offers a refreshing reprieve from the occasional harshness of the urban Downtown district.
Flanked by his two Visionary associates and self-proclaimed “it girls”, Nanar Joulhayan and Rita Najarian, he makes Kabartsy Jewelry a force to be reckoned with.
“I feel like we all manifested each other at the same time,” says 19-year old Joulhayan, who is the younger cousin of Najarian. “When I was still in high school, I had this dream of joining Rita in the work she was doing with Varouj. He encourages expression, freedom, and creates such an amazing energy in the workspace.”
Bringing Consciousness to Creation
Khatchikian’s arrival at creating spiritually-inclined jewelry seems to have been written in the stars for him since the very beginning. One doesn’t have to dig far into Kabartsy Jewelry’s website to discover the company’s history. Descended from a long line of jewelers, dating back as far as the 1800s in the Middle East and Europe, Khatchikian began this work in Beirut at the mere age of 14.
“It took me about 7 years to learn the craft,” Khatchikian reflects. “About 17 years later, I finally felt like a jeweler. About 28 years later, I finally felt like a designer. And about 38 years later, I feel like I’ve finally realized myself and am ready to put all these ideas out into the world.”
It has been a winding journey for Khatchikian, indeed. In fact, what brought him to his current vision as a jeweler are his experiences at Burning Man and in the mindfulness community.
“Before 2010, I was just a jeweler, I wasn’t even calling myself a designer,” Khatchikian says. “ I did wholesaling, retailing, manufacturing, and had contracts with many major companies. But then, once we got involved with this community, it was different. I remember going to Burning Man and my first memory is seeing this giant statue made out of screws and loose parts. It made me realize I had to think bigger.”
He was so inspired by the experience, he designed 67 jewelry pieces in two months. From there, the current state of Kabartsy Jewelry came to be.
In fact, it was through these festivals, gatherings, and Conscious workshops that our paths crossed. Knowing Varouj was a talented jeweler, it was natural that he became my first point-of-contact for the launch of my sacred jewelry line based on the likeness of the Eagle.
“For us, this connection with Parashakti is so special, because she brings a whirlwind of energy into the workshop with her,” says Najarian, the senior associate in the office and Khatchikian’s longest-standing employee. “She shows us what’s important and never shows up empty-handed, we love doing cacao ceremonies together.”
Najarian reminisces about our first meeting, which was undoubtedly a date created by fate. My initial visit to the Kabartsy Jewelry offices sent me into reflection about the numerology behind this chance encounter. Seeking deeper guidance, I decided to add up the numbers of their office address. Serendipitously, when calculated together, it broke down to the number “1” — which is also the token digit of the Eagle.
I knew from this moment that I had found the perfect team to bring my visions to life.
Infusing Designs with Divinity
One look at The Winged Ones and Kabartsy’s own signature collection, and you can see the great care that goes into giving these pieces divine meaning for the wearer. This dedication to mindfulness is not only represented in the finished product, but in the process itself.
Khatchikian describes the jewelry-making process as highly meditative, his opportunity to dial into introspection and lose himself in a world of his own.
“When I design, I go to a different place,” Khatchikian says. “It’s like a movie plays in my head. Before I carve, design, and shape it, my hands already know the movements. It’s a similar state to when people chant, participate in ceremonies, and meditate. It’s like a ceremony in itself because you tune into what’s within, especially amid the craziness of Downtown.”
The workshop itself exudes a vibe of sacredness and devotion to integrity. Occasionally cleansed with sage and adorned with healing crystals, the team undoubtedly practices what they preach.
This familiarity also ensures Kabartsy makes only the best decisions for their clients, especially when it comes to gemstone selection. When it came to choosing stones for my own jewelry line, Rita personally sat down with me while I analyzed various stones and the vibrations they put out.
The stone selection and sacred jewelry creation process is so individualized. Each piece is created around the stone that accompanies it and not the other way around. This can require reshaping, resetting, and resanding. These are all testaments to the individual problem-solving process with each piece. Much like its wearer, each one goes through its own journey, struggle, and story.
“What’s beautiful about these gemstones is that they’re imperfect, and their beauty is the imperfection,” says Najarian.
The handmade, customized process is why people come to Kabartsy, and why Kabartsy thrives among the spiritual community.
Khatchikian likens the process to the custom computer his son recently built. It’s a smattering of parts coming together, and if even one component is off, the end result won’t function properly.
“Those precious gemstones represent us and are going to represent the customer’s story,” says Joulhayan. “They’re the essence of this company and how it started. Varouj’s ambition grew us into our Spirit potential.”
The type of sacred jewelry Kabartsy creates has evolved from diamonds, and the commitment to naturally acquired (as opposed to lab-grown) stones make it that much more personalized.
“The end result is so satisfying, heartwarming, and fulfilling,” says Najarian. “You go through all this hardship and this imperfection that takes so long to fix and put together. When all that is done, you have something to appreciate for its beauty.”
From Colleagues to Family
The energy the trio exude is unmatched. It’s familial, warm, and loving — and there’s no doubt the positive connection between these three is at the core of Kabartsy’s success. Khatchikian sets the tone with his welcoming and open-hearted demeanor.
“What I wanted to create was a family,” he reflects. “That’s why I don’t hire individuals, I hire their hearts.”
When Khatchikian started the company, he was committed to independence and individual success. However, he realized eventually that success wasn’t possible without the support of others — advice he learned from many of the Conscious entrepreneurs he followed.
In his search for someone to assist with day-to-day operations, he came across many people who weren’t the right fit, or with whom he couldn’t connect. One day, he was looking out the window of his Downtown office and extended a request to a Higher power, asking for someone who could handle his weak points.
With the intention out in the universe, it was only a matter of time. Just a few weeks later, Najarian walked through the door.
“I was looking for someone who would really trust me with their operations,” she recalls. “I knew I could handle that work and that was a manifestation on its own. So, I walked into this office and this feeling overtook me.”
To date, Najarian approaches her job with the same sense of novelty and awe.
“The benefit of being part of this team is that we can be ourselves to the fullest capacity. We hug our customers, we form friendships with them, we are authentic. We don’t dress a certain way, we don’t change the way we act. Varouj doesn’t tell you what to do, he just tells you the end goal and lets you achieve it in your own way. You’ll connect with that goal and a collaboration will form.”
Joulhayan is now the newest member of the team, but she emanates the energy of a veteran in the field.
Between the three of them, there is a remarkably intuitive workflow. According to the team: the clients bring the magic, Khatchikian elevates it to conception, Najarian perfects it, and Joulhayan publicizes it.
Khatchikian lends the entire process an air of wisdom and significance, which is wholly absorbed by his team.
“The difference between the jeweler and the designer is the designer has to create his own tools,” he says. “Whatever you need, you make it as you go. And ask yourself: ‘Why do you want to make this piece? What’s the importance? What do you envision?’ It’s important to know the application of the jewelry before it goes out into the world, to meditate on its intention.”
An Advocate of Craftsmanship through Sacred Jewelry
Khatchikian’s entrepreneurial nature and self-taught abilities have inspired him to speak to the talents many are afraid to embrace. He’s a strong believer in the “Whatever Your Mind Can Conceive and Believe, It Can Achieve” mentality.
Not only is he consistently working on evolving his collection to feature more pieces that speak to him personally, but he is spreading wisdom to fellow skilled creators who are afraid to manifest their talents into livelihood.
He has created a podcast, audiobook, and various YouTube channels to help people realize their potential in the sphere. At the heart of his success and our partnership lies one important facet: the commitment to uniqueness and conscious craftsmanship.
“We’re in Downtown LA, so you have thousands of manufacturers,” Najarian says. “What makes our jewelry stand out is the presence of intention. There’s no 9-to-5, no constant routine, no monotony. The only type of jewelry we make is special stones, special cuts, special sizing. Everything is one-of-a-kind, like the people who wear them. The vibrations of the workspace — our love, our heart, our positivity — come through in the final product.”
To learn more about Kabartsy Jewelry, visit their website: https://kabartsy.com/.
You can also shop The Winged Ones collection, designed by Kabartsy.
Varouj runs a number of YouTube channels, including Develop Your Mindset, Bella Divina LA, Kabartsy Jewelry, and VJools, which focus on goal fulfillment and skill mastery. His book, “The 10 Stages to Skill Mastery” is available now.
Parashakti’s shamanic healing work is born of more than two decades of experience facilitating workshops, trainings, and retreats around the world, in Los Angeles, New York, Mexico, Bali, Guatemala, Indonesia, Israel, and Greece. As a lifelong dancer, her path as a healer followed a severe injury – a period of what is often called shamanic dismantling, after which her mission shifted towards healing. Over the last 20 years, Parashakti has developed the Seven Foundations and the Dance of Liberation™, as maps for her spiritual practice, living and breathing these foundations in daily ritual. Dance of Liberation™ has been practiced by over 10,000 dancers around the globe. It’s was born of a mission to help people experience ecstasy – without taking it.
Above all, Parashakti is dedicated to serving community and creating a sacred container where people feel safe enough to experience their deepest essences, honor their voices, and shine their brightest light. Join her on the Dance floor: www.parashakti.org