Our Penh Lenh bracelets, earrings, and necklaces are beautifully and carefully handmade by young Cambodian artisans. Artisans at Penh Lenh use materials such as semi-precious gemstone beads and pendants, handmade gold-plated clasps and chains, and raw silk. The majority of the materials used to make these accessories are sourced from Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Bali, which are all located within the Southeast Asia region.
Artisans work as a team throughout the production process, and the time to make each piece of beaded jewelry varies depending on the piece; the production time can take 30 minutes to three hours. Penh Lenh’s artisans receive their production goals at the beginning of each day, and, based on the piece that they are making, they will often help each other with accomplishing these set goals. They receive a printed template so that they are aware of the design for the accessories, and everyone conducts their own quality checks. Once the artisan finishes a quality check, another artisan and product manager will conduct additional quality checks on the product. Penh Lenh also provides artisans with training for packaging, so not only is each piece carefully handmade, it is also packaged with care. Originally, a goal for the beading technique was to use it for the therapeutic benefits that it provides, such as for those who are recovering from experiences such as an illness. The caring, motivated, and passionate artisans have experienced hardships in life and can take pride in the fact that they are creating a beautiful piece of jewelry that is of high quality.”
To create the cotton thread tassel, artisans begin by cutting sections of the thread. They meticulously ensure that the number of threads are consistent so that each tassel is exactly the same size. After the thread has been cut, the sections are carefully aligned; the tassel is formed by folding the threads in half and securing it with 14kt gold-fill wrapping wire. Once the tassel thread is tied to the wire made jump ring, the wire is pushed through a gold-plated brass cone and pulled as tight as possible. A brass bead is placed on the wire end, creating a small ring. A 14kt gold-fill earwire is placed on the ring as the finishing touch.
Each layered tassel earring is made individually, starting with the top tassel and working down. Production time for each pair ranges between one-and-a-half to two hours. To maintain them, it is best to avoid getting them wet. Production time ranges from 45 minutes to an hour to create the flat tassel earrings. If wet, hang or lay flat to dry. If tangled, lightly comb the tassels straight.
To make the beautiful gold necklaces, the artisans begin by cutting 14kt gold-fill chain. Clasps and extensions are attached using a wire-wrapping technique. Each chain has extension clasp options at 16, 18, and 20 inches. A tiny tassel is handmade, directly attached to a jump ring and placed on the chain. We are proud to work with talented female artisans at Penh Lenh as they create beautiful pieces of handmade jewelry.
At Sidai Designs, Maasai women preserve traditional, local beading techniques, passed down over hundreds of years, to create each piece of jewelry in this collection. On average, two artisans collaborate to create one bracelet. They intricately join traditional glass beads, 24k gold-plated glass beads, and a cotton tassel with precision. The colors used are often significant to Tanzanian culture, and these pieces may be worn during special ceremonies.
Female refugees at GAIA in Dallas, Texas create beautiful jewelry like the playful beaded bracelets at The Little Market. These bracelets are handmade from beads, elastic bands, a gold charm, and a tassel for added fun. Many of the women are learning these techniques for the first time while working in a collaborative and supportive environment. These women are a diverse group of individuals from Burma to Tunisia to the Democratic Republic of Congo to Iraq. GAIA provides critical living wage employment, aiming to pay more than twice the minimum wage in Dallas, and encourages these talented women so that they can successfully rebuild their lives in the United States.
Andre Paul Lefond leads and mentors a team of approximately 30 artisans within Haiti Design Co.’s Horn & Bone workshop, established in 2009. To begin the process, raw horns and materials are ethically and sustainably sourced. Next, they are heated over charcoal until softened and then moved to a cast iron press to be flattened, reheated, and molded. Each piece is thoroughly sanded, smoothed, polished, and sealed. Once complete, it is sent to Haiti Design Co.’s Jewelry Team, and the necklace is beaded together from start to finish.
Artisans at Olive & Annie create beautiful jewelry from 100 percent recycled brass. They enjoy the flexibility of either working from home or out of partner workshops in Ngong Hills. Olive & Annie is dedicated to environmental sustainability, using materials that produce zero waste whenever possible. Each piece of jewelry takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours to complete. Olive & Annie’s designs are inspired by women’s rights, human rights, and ending sexual violence.