Laura Brown, New York City

My dad, my late father Richard, died four years ago. He was a bit of a legend. My father could walk into a gas station or the Oscars and become best friends with everyone. When he was really sick, I went to his place and started picking up some pictures, and I happened upon this hysterical photo of him at the Royal Easter Show, which is a big agricultural show in Sydney. He’s sitting there [calmly]… with two acrobats. And these guys have lightning bolts on their little silver suits and dad’s standing there with his “Brown’s Cows” t-shirt that he designed himself, to much acclaim. This photograph symbolizes everything that he did, also the sort of person he was. He was a dairy farmer that befriended everyone. 

Christian James Smith, London

I was married, now I’m not. Was a difficult time with a lot of tests and low points but now life is very different. When we’re in the midst of things we forget these are transient moments no matter how long they last. I recycled the gold from my wedding ring, kept the diamond and commissioned a jewelry designer, Anna Loucah to create this ring. It’s my Phoenix ring. The stone represents the hardships, the gold, possibilities. It’s good to remember what we have been through before so we realise these episodes are what enriches us.

Keith Kaye, Minneapolis

My special treasures, used daily, are a paper knife I made in woodworking class when I was 13 which I had engraved and gave to my father and this hand carved wooden Tajik comb obtained from the craftsman while traveling in Tajikistan with my daughter. Both bring loving happy memories.

Kathy Fennelly, New York


à propos of Zady’s OWM …when I was 16 I was given a charm bracelet for my birthday. For several years I added charms from places that I visited, or that symbolized other memories…a miniature Koran and my name in Farsi from Iran, a Greek cup, a Spanish mantilla comb, a Tequendama god from Colombia, a bicycle from Bermuda, a pineapple from Hawaii, academic society pins from college, a British guard house, a Mexican sombrero, a track medal that my father had won, a British guard house, and one that I now regret: a lion’s claw from Tanzania.

Annie Johnson

I don’t have an emotional attachment to too many things, but these are my treasures. Ring from my husband’s grandfather who collected beautiful things, 1930s gold locket that my grandmother was given as a young woman, engraved with her initials, and my wedding band, which I’ve worn everyday for the last 8 years, which has what I believe is the secret to happiness inscribed inside. 
[via Instagram

Brandy Pham, New York

My husband gave this keychain to me when I was 14 years old. It has a grain of rice with both of our names on it. I moved away shortly after and didn’t see or speak to him again until I was 19. It’s just something I’ve always kept in a box and never let go of and still means so much to me. Maybe deep down in my heart I knew we’d meet again one day… 

[via instagram]

Sherrell Dorsey, Connecticut

Tuesday contribution to #OWM (objects with meaning) Zady campaign: 

This journal has been with me for over 10 years. It was a high school graduation gift that I almost immediately wanted to discard or re-gift. After all, most 18 year olds find cash as an acceptable gesture of accomplishment—not a cheap journal that may or may not have been a last-minute find. 

My, oh my, how that would have been a tremendous mistake. 

In my darkest of nights and most trying of life crisis, I’ve spent the past four years telling this little journal of mine my souls desires, best kept memories and sorted reflections that have held bits and pieces of my identity. 

Who knew there would be such solace in a battered old notebook of thought? 

My journal has survived breakups, days abandoned while traveling from city to city only to be left in hotels and flown back to be reunited. 

Thank you person, whoever you are, that gifted me this incredible treasure.

It may not be one of the more glamorous things that I own, but it is arguably the most important and most cherished.