One might think this bold Nama Brass Fringe Necklace would be the kind of necklace you would only wear for a special occasion. Well, almost every other day must feel like a special occasion to me because I tend to wear this lovely piece of art as a regular part of my spring wardrobe. I can't seem to get enough of it! I think it's probably because I got to witness first hand every step of the process in making this gorgeous statement necklace last summer during my visit.
We partnered with an artisan workshop in the Kibera slum of Nairobi that up-cycles used brass into luxurious jewelry. They traditionally employed men for the collections crafted for our friends at SOKO, another fantastic socially conscious brand. We collaborated with SOKO to give this workshop a reason to start training and employing women from the slum community. During my visit, the newly hired women had completed their training and were at different stations making this beautiful statement necklace for Raven + Lily.
Some were cutting the brass tear drops, some were hammering, some were forming the chain,
...others were polishing the brass, and finally a few were putting the final components of the design all together.
There were six women I met that each played a specific role in this amazing necklace. I can see their lovely faces and I feel their strength when I wear it. When I interviewed Petrolina, she shared, "I would love very much to expand the work so that I can help those less fortunate to be able to feed themselves."
I hope Petronilla and the other women know how proud I am to share this new collection with the world. I know they live in one of the largest slum communities in Africa, but their new found employment gives them hope, purpose, and sustainable provision to improve their livelihood.
And my new Nama Brass Fringe Necklace makes me feel their powerful beauty inside and out.
Shop the new brass jewelry collection here.
Photos by Melinda DiMauro