Nov 15

Full of Thanks and Wishes for You and Yours

may the love of family

The pastoral Maasai are some of the happiest people on earth, joyously celebrating life’s special occasions. They have very close community and family ties so our wish for you this holiday season is the same – that you would have the opportunity to make your celebrations full of that joy and peace with plenty of time to spend with the people you love.

We here at The Leakey Collection are so thankful for all of you who partner with us to Make a Better World.


Oct 15

October Is National Domestic Violence Month

Domestic-Violence-monthDesigned to raise global awareness and fundraising support, cause-awareness days and months mark time periods on the calendar when a particular social issue is highlighted for special attention.  Each person and organization has a heart for different causes that are important to them. Obviously, The Leakey Collection is passionate about women and empowerment issues across the globe.  Over the past fifteen years of running our fair-trade business in rural Africa, we have witnessed some wonderful changes in areas that we never expected.  One such area is a dramatic decrease in domestic violence.  Although that wasn’t one of our initial goals, it was a direct result of our efforts.

“Fair Trade companies around the world concur that domestic violence abates in households when women can become financially independent contributors.” Katy Leakey

Last month, we were honored to have played a small part in the Accelerate 4 Change event, benefiting the National Coalition for Domestic Violence that we wrote about here.  

Most definitions of domestic abuse include “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.”  Of course, the issue of domestic violence is NOT ever simple nor do we want to suggest that. But we do want you to know that providing work opportunity for the Maasai women in Kenya and other communities around the world can help.  And we thank you.

Oct 15

Empowering Women & Girls Makes Economic Sense

The recent International Day of the Girl really made us think about how empowering & educating women & girls can change the world! This year’s theme of “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030″ addresses the fact that adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, but also that “If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to CHANGE THE WORLD – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders.”  Powerful words!

young girls

Studies show that when an educated girl or woman earns income, she reinvests 90% of it into her family. She prioritizes food, medicine, and education for her children. In one of our recent videos about The Leakey Collection’s early days, our founder Katy Leakey shared that even the Maasai men eventually acknowledged: “The women spend the money on the RIGHT THINGS. They put the kids in school. They buy the food.”

Mandy Moore wrote in ONE.org: “Each additional year of secondary school can increase a woman’s earnings by 10 to 20 percent, and that increase yields real profits for the countries they live in. When 10 percent more women in a country complete secondary education, the country’s annual per capita income grows by 3 percent. Investing in women and girls makes economic sense.”

We believe in this so firmly that not only is our mission to empower our female Maasai artisans through entrepreneurial ventures, but we are working to keep young adolescent rural girls, who tend to drop out of school before completing their primary education, on track toward graduation. A portion of the proceeds from each Beads for Girls Graduation bracelet is donated by The Leakey Collection to our Girls Graduation counseling program, as well as toward a girls’ scholarship fund.

Beads for Girls' Graduation


Oct 15

We Practice 360° Fair Trade


The words “Fair Trade” mean so much more than just “feel-good words.”

As a member of the Fair Trade Federation, The Leakey Collection is fully committed to the principles listed above in all of our transactions.  These principles were created by using the global principles of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) as their foundation.

360 logo

Our Fair Trade Federation membership means we go beyond the fair trade basics. It’s a 360° approach that’s about building true partnerships with artisans and working to create positive change through all of our work. 360° fair trade means not only fair wages, but also long-term, holistic partnerships that empower artisans to grow their businesses. As an FTF member, we go through a rigorous screening that looks at our whole business. We call it 360° fair trade, meaning that we’re committed to being fair and responsible in everything we do — socially, economically, and environmentally. We practice 360° fair trade, which means we take a more holistic approach than only looking at wages and work conditions. We partner with artisans and make a long-term commitment to helping grow businesses and strengthen communities. We’re proud to practice 360° fair trade. We build true partnerships with producers and act responsibly in all of our work: socially, economically, and environmentally.

The month of October is Fair Trade Month. There are many options to buy fair trade products wherever you shop so make your purchases mindfully. “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live in.” Anna Lappe

Every purchase matters.

Sep 15

Zulugrass “Journeys” to a Movie Set in South Africa

Zulugrass has traveled from Beverly Hills (in a previous post) back to Africa – this time to South Africa.

The Journey Is the Destination,” based on the critically acclaimed bestseller, is also the name of a film in production in South Africa, chronicling the life of photojournalist and creative activist, Dan Eldon. On July 12, 1993, Dan and three of his colleagues were beaten, clubbed and stoned to death by an angry mob in Mogadishu during a violent time of upheaval.

Growing up in Kenya, Dan became friends with Philip’s daughter, Lara, forging a long history of friendship and support between the Leakeys and the Eldons. “The Journey” features a talented cast, among them Ben Schnetzer as Dan and Ella Purnell as Dan’s sister Amy. Maria Bello, star of the 1990′s TV series “ER” and movies such as the recent “McFarland USA,” plays Dan’s mother, Kathy Eldon, a best-selling author and visionary in her own right. Los Angeles Confidential Magazine named Kathy one of Los Angeles’ Most Influential Female Power Duos with activist Maria Bello.

Maria Bello

Maria Bello

It is such fun to see Maria wearing Zulugrass on the set, along with actor Mika Basson, as Elinor Tatum who participated in the Student Transport Aid Safari that Dan led across Africa to deliver aid to a Refugee camp in Malawi.

Mika Basson

Mika Basson

You can follow the progress of this film right along with us here or here. We look forward to seeing this in theaters!

Sep 15

Peace is Always Beautiful

Peace is Always Beautiful

Sep 15

7 Reasons You Should Practice Yoga

Yoga month
Yoga makes you feel better!  Research shows that it helps with so many different ailments that we couldn’t list them all!  But as far as we’re concerned, it is a practice that tones your body, calms your mind, and lets you reflect on what is really important in your life.  Now that sounds like something the whole world needs.
Since September is National Yoga Month, we decided to share 7 reasons WE like yoga (and our reasons just so happen to correlate to our Yoga-Inspired Chakra set of Zulugrass).

Red = A strong color. Yoga teaches you to accept yourself for who you are and to be confident.

Orange = To quiet the mind of all the “noise” enables your creative side to flow. It can improve memory, help you maintain focus, and reduce negative thoughts & emotions.

Yellow = After time on the mat, you leave feeling invigorated, healthy, and energetic.  Watch out world!

Green =  The color of healing. Practicing yoga increases the production of the “love hormone” known as oxytocin and increases serotonin levels. Additionally, yoga can lower blood pressure, in turn lowering risk of heart disease.

Blue = It can be soothing and relaxing, a state we all aspire to be in more often.  This calmness enables you to communicate more clearly.

Indigo = Balances your mind and body, reduces stress levels and relieves our nerves, allowing for a deeper, better-quality sleep.  More restful sleep makes everything better!

Violet = Setting aside time to do yoga can improve your mental clarity by allowing you to live in the present and get away from any to-do lists or responsibilities.  This is a time for YOU.  You deserve it.  Go ahead, enjoy!

And to help you LOOK good while you FEEL good, we’re offering 25% off all yoga-inspired jewelry through the end of the month!

Sep 15

Zulugrass Helps Call Attention to End Domestic Violence

The Leakey Collection was honored to be a part of this past weekend’s charity event Accelerate 4 Change at the Warner Brothers Estate in Beverly Hills, benefiting Children Uniting Nations and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  Hosted by Ben Talei, M.D. & Cinemoi Studios, the evening included special performers, a silent auction, guest DJ, and a fashion show featuring designs from Brian Lichtenberg.

Celebrities and other attendees were given TLC’s purple “End Domestic Violence” Zulugrass bracelets as their entry into the event, as well as being included in the gift bags. We were grateful to see so many of them immediately adorn their wrist or neck with the purple strands to show their commitment to this cause.  It was a fantastic night of coming together, supporting two at-risk groups, and getting the word out to help put an end to domestic violence!




Aug 15

Step by Step Guide to “Build Your Own Custom Necklace”

Custom necklace from Pure Art

Our Canadian friends Pure Art have created a fantastic way to wear Zulugrass using your own beads and charms, as well as porcelain and wood charms from The Leakey Collection.

zulu8_pure art



Jul 15

Say Hello to Summer Lookbook & 25% off


We have just completed our summer lookbook and we’d love feedback from our wonderful community of fair-trade fashionistas!  Our newest designs are inspired by warm waters, outdoor fun, and the bright colors of nature!

We invite you to enjoy our 90 second video Say Hello to Summer Lookbook.  In addition, to celebrate this holiday weekend, we are offering 25% off our entire site.  Discounts will be automatically taken upon check-out.

Happy 4th of July!!!