Jun 13

Helen Keller…Paying Tribute to An Amazing Woman

Helen Keller_friends_2

One hundred and thirty-three years ago, an incredible woman was born. Her name was Helen Keller, and soon that very name would be recognizable in most households.  Her ability to overcome obstacles has inspired generations.

Of course you all know her story. Today, we would like to celebrate her life.  She was a remarkable woman who stood as a powerful example of how determination, hard work, and imagination can enable an individual to triumph over adversity.  She not only learned how to communicate with others, she blossomed into a well respected, world-renowned activist who actively campaigned for the betterment of others.

We honor a woman who showed us how much an individual can accomplish even with severe handicaps. She was clearly a woman who helped to Make a Better World!

Jun 13

Summer Contest & Sale

Summer is officially here this Friday, and we need some help from you to name some new Zulugrass Special Sets that are perfect for this time of the year.  Starting today through Wednesday, we will be introducing FOUR new collections and each one needs a name.  If you come up with the name we select, you will WIN that set.  This is a social media contest, so make sure that you have “liked” us or Facebook or follow us on Instagram and check in every day to see what set is added. PLUS make sure you check our page on Friday for a special promotion!

We always love reading the creative names that YOU imagine! But each individual strand  in each set also has a name. Have you ever wondered where those names come from? We’d like to share a few with you.

Some names come directly from the environment where Katy & Philip live among the Maasai.  For instance, this blue colorway – Agama Esoit – is named for the beautifully colored reptile, genus Agama, that the Leakeys see around the Esoit Escarpment.agama-esoit

Or this strand – Watamu Sands – named after a place that is close to the Leakeys’ hearts, Watamu.


Sometimes strands are named after important people in their lives, such as Philip’s daughters.daughters-strands

Don’t forget to check our social media this week and join us in celebrating summer!



Jun 13

Fair Trade Weddings Resource Guide


Wedding season is quickly approaching.  It is a day when young couples commit themselves to a partnership with the intention of happily ever after.  It is also a time when a couple can illustrate their personalities and values.  With the growing awareness of fair trade, it is without a doubt that fair trade weddings will be a theme in the upcoming years.  Here is a resource to help brides and grooms execute the perfect fair trade wedding:

Wedding dresses:

Celia Grace

Celia Grace has a mission to provide brides with a gorgeous wedding dress that matches their values of human rights, environmental sustainability, and empowering women. Their wedding gowns are made by women’s cooperatives, fair trade producers, and refugees rebuilding their lives in the United States. Celia Grace provides their producers with safe, fair, and empowering work so that they can invest in themselves, their families, and their communities.

Store located in Amherst, MA


Encore Bridal

A consignment and resale bridal e-Boutique, Encore Bridal offers new, sample, and nearly-new couture. Encore offers eco-conscious and affordable bridal couture. Their collection includes dresses and bridal accessories from today’s most well known designers at 30-70% below retail. A percentage of the proceeds are donated to help cure cervical cancer and HPV.

1288 Columbus Ave. #133, San Francisco, CA



Here are just two of their many wonderful beliefs. These really speak to us:

  • We believe choosing to re-cycle and re-use is just good karma.
  • We believe in serving women’s causes as much as serving women.

The Bridal Garden

The Bridal Garden is a not-for-profit resale bridal boutique run by Geraldine Brower benefiting children’s charities. They showcase stunning designer and couture wedding gowns at up to 75% off retail prices.

54 West 21st St. Suite 901, New York, NY 10010



Bridesmaid  dresses:

Some of our friends offer wonderful fair trade options.   Check out these:






These guys even have a fair trade gift registry.  We love that!



 Gifts for the Wedding Party:

Here’s where we need to shamelessly plug ourselves.  We have many options for both women and men that are sure to please your entire party.  For the special ladies that are standing up for you, why not get each one a unique mix of Zulugrass jewelry?  Select a personalized color combination for each bridesmaid, and then she can wear it as a bracelet or necklace, depending on her preference.


For the men of the group, how about a sustainable place to keep organized at home?  Each man needs a place to empty the contents of his pockets when he gets home.  This tray is made from fallen wood and adds beauty, and organization to any room.


Look for flowers that are grown locally, are in season, and come from farmers that care about the environment.  Farmers markets are a great resource for organic, fair trade farms.

 Table décor:

This is an ideal opportunity for a couple to show their personalities. Centerpieces, napkin ring holders, guest gifts are all ways to show off individuality, values, and character.

There are many DIY ideas for centerpieces and guest gifts.  Some of these include painted stones, with either hearts or messages,  a sea theme, or even just lovely sustainable plants, creatively potted.  We love this pinterest page for more ideas:


We also must note that Zulugrass makes an ideal napkin ring holder, which would brighten any table setting and then serve as a perfect take away gift for each guest.


 Coffee and Tea:

You should definitely serve fair trade coffee and tea at the reception.  That’s an easy one.  Although we are working on our own unique blend, it’s not quite ready so here are some other good options thru the Fair Trade Federation:


If you attend a fair trade wedding this summer, we’d love to hear about it.  Send us your ideas and photos, and we will certainly share them to help create more awareness about the power of fair trade.

Jun 13

Leftovers: Leakey-Style

“One in every seven people in the world go to bed hungry, and more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 die daily from hunger.”

That’s a very powerful and profound statement!

June 5 is World Environment Day and this year, the focus is an anti-food waste and food loss campaign. The theme – Think.Eat.Save – encourages you to become more aware of the environmental impact of the food choices you make and empowers you to make informed decisions. Read more here.

Katy and Philip Leakey have made it their goal to lessen their negative impact on the earth as well as to create as much of a self-sufficent food supply as possible.  When asked “What are you doing that supports World Environment Day’s theme, Philip answered: ”Same thing we always do. Any scraps are set out for the animals. We make sure that all the little guys get fed too -  mongooses, genet cats, birds, insects … Everyone!  Nothing is wasted.”

Read below about other ways in which the Leakeys reduce their “foodprint.” shambaIn addition to raising their own veggies in their shamba (garden), they also grow fruit and avocados. (Guess you can’t take the California out of the girl!) They have become beekeepers and harvest their own honey.

Not only do they raise the more traditional livestock such as chickens and ducks, they have tanks full of growing and healthy tilapia! No fishing pole necessary.
The same spirit of conserve, reuse and recycle – NOTHING IS WASTED as Philip stated – that led the Leakeys to design jewelry from grass, motivates them to be creative and thoughtful about using leftovers. In this case, the nutrient rich water from the tilapia tanks serves as a hydration source for their gardens.

Not even the leftovers from the processing of the Marula oil is wasted. The pulp from the fruit is used for Marula jam and chutney, and after some research and a bit of trial and error, they developed a food that causes the tilapia to thrive – the seed cake left over from the processing of Marula oil. The fish love it!

Maybe it’s time to think beyond using those leftovers in the refrigerator.

Please let us know what plans and ideas you have to “Think.Eat.Save.”



May 13

Black & White & Chic All Over!

Don’t miss out on this hot trend!


Black and White is THE fashion trend this season, and it’s one that we love at The Leakey Collection! Every fashion magazine, every runway show, every boutique is presenting this classic and timeless, yet completely fresh, look!

It can be elegant and sophisticated or casual and simple. As usual, the right accessories can really make your whole look complete. But if you don’t feel comfortable with head-to-toe black & white, we can still help you stay on trend with our black and white jewelry pieces!  Click here to see all our Black & White jewelry.

Check out our Look Book video showing this Black and White trend! Click here Black and White Look Book or on the photo below to begin the video.


May 13

Honoring Mary Leakey This Mother’s Day

Like all loving sons, Philip Leakey knew that his mother was special. And the world soon discovered that, too.

This spring, UK’s Royal Mail honored “Great Britons” in a special commemorative stamp series depicting famous personalities. Mary Leakey is one of those “Great Britons.”


Quoting Norvic Philatelics:

“Mary Leakey (1913-1996) – archaeologist and anthropologist.  An eminent archaeologist and anthropologist, Leakey’s discoveries include the first Proconsul’africanus in 1948 and in 1959 the Zinjanthropus boisei (now known as Australopithecus boisei.) So significant were her finds they forced scientists to change long held views on human evolution.”

We caught up with Philip to ask him some questions about his famous mom:

1.  As a boy, what were your favorite times spent with your mother?

From age 12 or so, I would explore our surroundings to find new sites for mom’s anthropology digs.  Exploring these potential opportunities together was very exciting and rewarding.

2.  What would you do for your mom to show her how special she was?

Mother liked to eat seafood.  From the time I was 15 or 16, I used to cook all types of seafood dishes for her.  That was something we both enjoyed.

3.  What do you think of the new stamp that came out in her honor?

I think it was really nice that the British honored her this way.  It’s fantastic.  Throughout her life in Kenya, mom was the one that remained strongly British.  It is fitting that they have made a stamp in her likeness.

This Mother’s Day, join us in honoring all the special mothers around the world.



May 13

Honoring Teachers Across the Nation and the Globe

Today is National Teacher Day, and we want to honor all teachers, even those across the globe.DSCN3604

Over the past month, we have been thrilled to see just how many families in the United States appreciate the teachers in their lives and have chosen to thank them with a gift of Beads for Learning Bracelets!  This gift has been doubly valuable as it not only shows honor to the recipient but has benefited the school children in East Africa immensely. The profit from these bracelets goes directly to fund teachers’ salaries in rural Africa and to improve education there.  Thanks in part to a wonderful article in Kiwi Magazine, we have sold more than 555 Beads for Learning Bracelets at www.leakeycollection.com in less than a month.


Read what Katy Leakey says:

TLC: Education is obviously very important to The Leakey Collection.  What changes have you seen since the inception of the Beads for Learning program?

Katy: Not only have the extra teachers reduced the student teacher ratio, but parents are seeing an improvement in their children’s performance.  Parents have also been able to send more than one child to school.  As a result, we are seeing more girls receive an education.

TLC: What is the current ratio of students per teacher near you?

Katy: It is now between 35 & 40:1 whereas when we started, it was 80-1.

TLC: What are the future plans for teachers/education because of the contributions from TLC?

Katy: Any new teachers will have higher qualifications.  In time, we will work with existing teachers to improve their skills.

TLC: Did you have a special teacher in your life?  If so, what made them special?

Katy: My 4th grade teacher was the head librarian.  She let me work in the library putting books back on the shelves, and I fell in love from that first moment with books, libraries, and the vast, mysterious, adventurous, far-reaching world through the written word.  I was forever “hooked,” and still am, on books and libraries.  As an artist, I create illuminated pages, and when I trace back to my first seeds of passion for the magic of books, it began with the lovely, shy, retiring woman (whose name escapes me some 48 years later) who let me roam the narrow library aisles in the small grammar school in my hometown.


May 13

Join Hands Day

holding hands

Saturday, May 4 is Join Hands Day. According to the American Fraternal Alliance, “JOIN HANDS DAY brings young people and adults together and begins the process of developing understanding and trust across the generations. It is a day to begin a year-round process of relationship building and to make great contributions to your community.”

We love the the idea because it meshes with our vision of making our world a better world, whether it’s through local communities or bridging local communities with those in rural Africa. Every little bit helps.

For some ideas where to start in your local communities, click here.

Apr 13

Share Your Plans for Earth Day to Win Zulugrass!

Are you participating in any Earth Day events for 2013?  WE ARE! 


As a company dedicated to finding innovative uses of natural materials to create our beautiful lifestyle and fair trade products, The Leakey Collection identifies with the ideology of Earth Day Network.

 Not only is it our mission to maintain environmental integrity in the Rift Valley where Katy and Philip live among the Maasai, but we also wish to foster that same environmental integrity in our local communities.

Several of our team members in the United States are participating in various activities this weekend to promote awareness of the environmental responsibility we have as individuals.

On Saturday, we are excited about participating in a local street fair to introduce and show how one of the most sustainable products ever – GRASS – can be used to create beautiful and versatile jewelry we all know as Zulugrass.

Sunday’s event is a fundraiser for a local school, and we plan to share our ideas of sustainable living with all that attend.  One is never too young to learn about ways to protect Mother Earth.

Tell us about YOUR plans for Earth Day on our Facebook page, and we’ll enter you in a drawing to win our 2013 Earth Day Set of 6 Zulugrass Strands – Protecting Our Earth.  Comments must be posted on The Leakey Collection Facebook page to qualify.



Apr 13

What is This Dudu?!?!

dudu 1 (2)

Philip and I are perplexed!

We see a wide variety of wildlife in East Africa, but this dudu (insect in Swahili) has us stumped! We’ve never seen anything like it and really want to know what it is!

It laid these white eggs on the roof of our tent, and we can’t wait to see what hatches.dudu eggs

But we’d like your help in identifying it.

The first person to identify it and supply supporting photographic documentation with a brief description will receive a credit for one of our Special Zulugrass 6 strand sets, valued at $64.95 retail.  We want to know!!!  Post your answer to our Facebook page to win!