Protecting yourself from the evil eye
For thousands of years, civilizations around the world have believed that the magical curse of the evil eye can cause serious harm or misfortune and, in response, have created special charms and amulets to provide protection from its malevolent glare.
“Certain charms and amulates can ward off the evil eye and provide good luck ,” says Stacey Talieres, owner of Matimoo (in Greek, Mati means eye and Mou means my), a designer and retailer of such bracelets, available at Bella Salon in Fort Lee, Ora by D’Amore Jewelers in Cliffside Park, Ambience in Edgewater, Marcia’s Attic Kids in Englewood and The Rebecca Collection in Bernardsville. They are also available on matimoo.com and Amazon.com.
The symbol’s history
Many believe the evil eye symbol has the ability to cause injury and death, especially to pregnant women, children and animals. Belief in the eye is prevalent in Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu and Christian religions.
“People in Greece are infatuated with the eye, but here’s the thing – Jewish people will say ‘it’s the Jewish eye’, Turkish people will say ‘it’s the Turkish eye’,” says Talieres. “You can’t specify origin to a particular culture or religion. It’s a universal belief.”
Measures to repel the evil eye vary around the world. The tactics range from the use of certain hand gestures to the display of ritual drawings or objects. Widely used is the adornment of amulets, charms or talismans, which represent some form of the eye itself. The staring eye returns the malicious gaze back only to the individual or sorcerer who sent it. It does not cause harm to others who encounter it.
A symbol and a guardian
Talieres says she realized the eye’s power when she was in a serious car accident. She walked away without a scratch but the car was practically destroyed. Hanging from her rearview mirror was her evil eye, which she always kept in her car. After the impact of the accident, she looked up and there it was – fully intact.
“At that very moment, I realized it had done its job protecting me,” she says. “I often reflect back to that day and how fortunate I was to survive.”
Her husband, Mike, believes in the powers of the eye as well, but was never comfortable with wearing anything incorporating the symbol. The options on the market were clunky and cumbersome and many were not fashionable at all. So Talieres, who held a a high ranking job in the fashion retail business, put her knowledge to work and created her own, simplistic and practical line of Mati bracelets. Earlier this year, as Matimoo took off, she quit her job in retail and focused on the power of the Mati full time.
“In reality, you sometimes don’t need a $1,000 item to make you feel good,” says Talieres, whose bracelets come in seven different color choices. They are fully adjustable and each one contains a unique eye charm. They sell for just $8.95. “The mystique of having a statement piece adorned with diamonds isn’t going to buy you extra protection.”
There are several components in the manufacturing process of each Matimoo bracelet.
One step is the selection of the perfect evil eye bead which must meet quality and aesthetic standards, and also possess individuality and character. Band colors include turquoise, neon pink, neon yellow, black, white red and blue – red being the top seller. A high quality cord with a wax coating ensures durability. Each bracelet comes with a set of two eyes: one traditional blue and white bead, which sits front and center and on the back side of your wrist sits another metal bead with the evil eye etched in.
“You might see variations between the eyes and that’s okay,” says Talieres. “Each eye is meant to have a bit of its own identity.”
Paying it forward
As Talieres feels the eye has protected her, she believes it will watch over all of her customers too. Talieres donates a portion of Matimoo’s sales should go to a cancer charity in honor of her father’s own death by the disease. Bracelets have been donated to a New York City police precinct to help protect the officers on their beat and Matimoo is a participant of Robin’s Racers Vendor Event to aid Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.
“That’s really our whole mission, and the mission of the evil eye symbol, to help people,” says Talieres. “Our mission at Matimoo is to be able to impact lives throughout many different landscapes.”