AWE: Alive We’re Empowered is a fine jewelry company that honors and celebrates the triumphs of individuals. The distinctive AWE medallion, developed by Founder and Creative Director Jill Johnson, is both an expression of her personal journey as a three time cancer survivor, as well as a universal symbol of strength, hope, and resilience. The four droplets forming the center of the medallion represent the elements of survival: blood, sweat, and tears.

Blood to remind us we’re alive and empowered

Sweat for the determination exerted

Tears of sorrow for the dark times overcome

Tears of joy in celebration of triumph

AWE Alive We’re Empowered was founded in 2016 by Jill Johnson, a three-time cancer survivor with a lifelong passion for helping others through fine jewelry. She relied on her 27 years as a sought-after importer, manufacturer and wholesaler to the jewelry trade to design a beautiful, meaningful jewelry collection that could also empower—and unite—a larger community. The AWE medallion’s message of strength, hope and resilience is an expression of Jill’s personal journey as well as a tribute to those who have inspired her along the way.

AWE is a sub-brand of Johnson’s Minneapolis-based fine jewelry company, Jilco Inc., which has been giving back to organizations like the Fistula Foundation (in partnership with Oprah Winfrey) and the Children's Cancer Research Fund since 1989.

Expertly designed and meticulously crafted in sterling silver or 14k gold, our jewelry is anchored by the AWE medallion—its four teardrops represent the blood, sweat and tears (of sorrow and joy) that define each survivor’s journey. Wearing the AWE medallion signals to the world that you’re stronger because of your experience, and connects you to a larger community, while giving back to your fellow survivors.

Whether on a pendant, bracelet or detailing the top of a signet ring, it’s a distinctive design motif that serves as a beautiful symbol of strength, hope and resilience. Housed in luxurious packaging, each AWE design is accented with a peridot, the gemstone of renewal and self-empowerment.

We’ve designed our website,, to serve as both an e-boutique and a one-of-a-kind online destination for survivors seeking solidarity and support.

Wearing a piece of AWE jewelry symbolically links you to an entire community of survivors, and we encourage you share your story on our Community page as a way to empower yourself and others. There, you can upload a photo or video along with the details of your journey. You can also share your story on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter using the hashtag #AWEinspiringstories.

We believe survivorship is defined by the journey, not the affliction. It’s a moment of triumph that has meaning for YOU. We define it as a personal transformation worthy of celebration and acknowledgement. Being ALIVE and EMPOWERED. We celebrate ALL survivors.

“Being a survivor to me means overcoming the obstacles life puts in your way and becoming stronger“

AWE Founder and Artistic Director Jill Johnson is a three-time cancer survivor, jewelry designer, and successful entrepreneur. Jill launched AWE as a way to unite, empower and celebrate survivors, regardless of affliction.

The inspiration for her collection is the belief that survivors deserve an incredible gift to commemorate their triumph over hardship and celebrate their next phase in life.

Jill has been harnessing her aesthetic prowess and entrepreneurial spirit for more than 30 years. She founded and scaled Jilco Inc, a jewelry enterprise serving commercial entities post studying at the Gemological Institute of America.

From there she was commissioned to design the Dignity bracelet featured on Oprah, where proceeds built 4 hospitals in Ethiopia. Today, armed with her mission to unite communities, empower individuals and give back, Jill is looking forward to her foray into the Direct to Consumer space.

“If we succeed, through this collection AWE will have changed the conversation around survivorship, built a platform and community for inspiration, and have directly impacted lives through our donations.”

When Jill is not out changing the world and spreading inspiration, you’ll find her spending time with sons Max and Adam, meditating or spinning, and reminding herself to lead an empowered life!

Key to our brand’s identity is celebrating survivors, which involves honoring those who have triumphed as well as helping those in need. 20% of all AWE proceeds are donated to one of our four national charity partners, selected because they directly impact the lives of individuals through programs that extend beyond treatment. We are united by a common mission of creating and spreading hope. Our incredible partners are: CancerCare®, Fisher House Foundation, RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) and The Trevor Project. #AWEgiftsgiveback


We donate 20 percent of all AWE sales to one of four national partner charities, all selected because they directly impact those in need of assistance on their road to survival.

Each AWE purchase truly makes a difference in the life of a survivor, therefore you may choose a preferred charity at checkout.

CancerCare is the leading national organization providing free, professional support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical, and financial challenges of cancer.

The Fisher House Foundation provides comfort homes where veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment, as well as millions in academic scholarships to support these military families.

The Trevor Project is the only nationally accredited suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, providing free and confidential phone, chat, and text services, best-practice education programs, and advocacy initiatives.

RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created the National Sexual Assault Hotline and carries out vital programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims, and bring perpetrators to justice.