Technique: Jewelry Making
Our Penh Lenh bracelets, earrings, and necklaces are beautifully and carefully handmade by resilient, hardworking Cambodian artisans. They work as a team throughout the production process, using materials such as semi-precious gemstone beads and pendants, handmade gold-plated clasps and chains, and raw silk. The artisan women receive production goals at the beginning of each day and empower one another to reach these goals. After each individual artisan follows a printed template to create the piece and finishes a quality check, another artisan and a product manager conduct additional quality checks. Penh Lenh also provides artisans with training for packaging, so not only is each piece carefully handmade, it is also packaged with care. The strong, empowered women can take pride in the fact that they are creating a beautiful piece of jewelry that is of high quality.
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.