Mar 15


That is the intriguing catch phrase for World Water Day, celebrated on March 22nd. You can read all about what “WATER IS”  here at the World Water Day website.

This year The Leakey Collection is focusing on one of those: WATER IS HEALTH with our new Beads for Clean Water initiative.

Water is Health

The Leakey Collection will dedicate proceeds from each Beads for Clean Water Bracelet sold to our “Clean Water for Every Home” project. Our goal is to put a water dispensing unit, locally called a “leak-tin” in every home, so that clean water for drinking and washing is easily accessible.  This will help stop the spread of life threatening disease and illness. This program also teaches children the importance hygiene plays in staying healthy.


Mar 15

Bit of Ireland in Kenya

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. Across the globe, folks are dusting off their green clothing, preparing to celebrate the heritage and culture of the Irish.

Zulugrass Cuff Bracelet

Even in Kenya, there is an enthusiasm unlike past years.  This Sunday, the first ever Irish Kenya Film Festival will be held at Louis Leakey Auditorium (yes, it’s named after Philip’s dad!) at the Nairobi National Museum. The festival will feature 3 Irish films and will end with a concert by Irish musicians.  Feature films include Ken Loach’s The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Cartoon Saloon’s The Secret of Kells, and John Carney’s Once. The schedule and ticket information can be found here.

Kenya is the latest of more than 16 countries that are promoting Irish films for St. Patrick’s Day. Screenings of various Irish made movies will also take place in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, and the USA. So, wherever you are, there could be an opportunity to see great Irish films brought to you courtesy of IFI International and its world-wide network of exhibition partners.

More details can be found here.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from everyone at The Leakey Collection!


Mar 15

Celebrate International Women’s Day By Helping a Girl Graduate

March 8th is International Women’s Day, a day that has been observed from the early 1900’s.  Although females have made huge strides in equal rights since the first protest of workers in 1908, there are still signs of inequality throughout the globe.  Just last week, Patricia Arquette cried for equality in her highly visible acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress at this year’s Academy Awards.

“To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights,” said Arquette. “It’s high time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”  Women in the audience, like Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez, were emphatically cheering on the star of Boyhood while you could hear hooting from households across the US.

Help a Girl Graduate

We still have major hurdles to overcome in Kenya as well, but like Arquette, we are taking visible steps to create change.  It is our goal to give girls every opportunity that boys have, and that starts with education. We have observed that young rural girls who live near us tend to drop out of school before completing their primary education.  There are various reasons for this, including a low perception of value in education for girls, a lack of financial resources from the family, and the need for girls to help with family chores.  We realize that these young teens and their parents require additional resources to keep female students on track towards graduation, and that is why we are introducing our Beads for Girls Graduation bracelets.  Using proceeds from the sale of these bracelets, we will dedicate monies to a girls’ scholarship fund.  We will also hire counselors to educate and mentor the students.

Beads for Girls' Graduation

These handcrafted bracelets are orange in color, to symbolize creativity, change, energy, endurance, and optimism.  We know the value of an education for all people.  This year, starting today on International Women’s Day,  let’s salute the rights of young girls across the globe.

To purchase a bracelet and help a girl graduate, click here. 

Mar 15

Read Across America Day

Monday, March 2nd is Dr. Seuss’ birthday and “Read Across America” Day. We have long believed in the power of reading and education, and this charming video about the 90-year-old Kenyan woman who is attending school grabbed our attention and our hearts! Click the link below to hear the story about this truly inspirational woman and then continue reading to find out how it relates to what The Leakey Collection is doing!


90 year old Kenyan woman attends school

“I want to say to the children of the world, especially girls, that education will be your wealth.”  Priscilla “Gogo” Sitienei

“Gogo” embodies one of our goals: the empowerment of girls and women through education. Our highly successful Beads for Learning Bracelets have improved education for children in rural East Africa. And now, we are so excited to introduce a brand new bracelet to raise awareness and funds specifically for girls:  Beads for Girls Graduation.

Young girls tend to drop out of school before completing their primary education. The Leakey Collection will dedicate proceeds from the sale of these bracelets to our Girls Graduation mentorship program, counseling young teens to keep them on track towards graduation. We will also allocate money to a girls’ scholarship fund.

These bracelets will be in our partner stores this month and are now on our website. Ask your favorite store if they’ve ordered theirs yet. Together, we can Make a Better World!

Happy reading!


Feb 15

Sweater & Jeans

Sweater & Jeans

Jan 15

2015 – Get Your Mojo Back!

Mojo: a magic charm or spell, commonly used to mean “Inspired Energy!”


Twenty-some odd New Years ago I made a resolution that I have yet to break. How many people can say that? In my truly inspired wisdom that day, I resolved to “Never again make a New Year’s Resolution.”

What I do instead is take the week between Christmas and New Year’s to think about what I want for the coming year; i.e. what personal, emotional goal would I passionately love to achieve? Over the week I think about how to attain that goal so by the 1st day of a new year, I have a crude plan in place. By the last day of that year, I reflect upon the crispness, fuzziness or absence of my achievement. By giving myself a year rather than one day to make a change, I hope that I will stand a better chance of success, which for many years worked like a charm.

Sadly, of late, each year speeds by like time-lapse photography, and I find my goals slipping over the cliff of business and old habits as springtime warms into summer. Pangs of guilt arise in October after the summer’s distraction of fun, travel and exploration fade. Once again, my favorite time of year – the nesting and brooding time of year when leaves blush and nature begins to hibernate – leads me to revisit my year’s ambition. By then it seems a distant dream, a moot point with the holidays looming again, so I have been caving in, letting go, disappointing myself more with each lightning fast year.

I want my Mojo back. I need my Mojo back!

Recently a friend told me a story of how I’d helped her get her Mojo back many years ago. When she had ‘burned-out’ and felt lost, I told her that when I felt like that, I would go to the library (before Google) and walk the aisles until something piqued my interest. I would do this for days until finally, looking through stacks of books I’d selected more out of some hidden instinct than any ‘knowing,’ interests and trends would emerge, shedding light on something I’d want to pursue.

It was a timely reflection she shared, and I decided to try an updated version this year to help me get past my funk of self-disappointments. I knew that I needed to stimulate my passion again, which, to me, equates to curiosity, learning, and giving so I did two things:

#1. I started walking without purpose to explore without intended discovery.
#2. I thought of something I missed in my life. This turned out to be my love of keeping up with culture, science and new thought. As an artist, these subjects feed my mind, which feed my curiosity, which leads to exploration, which leads to discovery, which leads to something I could give or contribute to others, which leads to feeding my soul.

The walking has been life-affirming, and after devouring several new-to-me magazines filled with articles about culture, life, art, science, technology, poetry, and the environment, I feel the dry and cracked plains of my mental studio turning green again.

I invite all of you to share your “Inspired Energy” this January and share your wellspring of renewal with us so we can all learn and inspire each other. I’ll be asking the women here in Kenya the same this month and posting their practices. From time to time, we all need to rekindle our unique spark.

May 2015 be our year of Inspired Energy; innovation, exploration, creation, and contribution. Here is to our success in moving forward to create our dreams and a better world for all.

Happy New Year!
Katy Leakey

Jul 14

Mr. Flop is back!

Mr. Flop's sonIn the form of his son!

Unbelievable and true. Mr. Flop, as most of you know, was an old, wild zebra, banished from the main herd, who with a special, loyal companion I named Finely because of her delicate pattern of stripes, made his home in our camp.  He was last seen in November of 2011.  Since then our local herd has grown to over 45 individuals and during the past several months, a small, rebel group of 6, one of them less than a year old, has ‘moved into camp’. Just as Flop used to do, they graze around the sleeping tents all night and feed freely on the fringe of camp during the day, unconcerned with the noise and business of our bustling lives just thirty feet away.

The other day Philip noticed a distinctive mark on the stallion’s back, so I checked my photos – sure enough it’s a match!   Flop sired a son who has carved off a number of females from the main resident herd and moved them into camp just has his father had done years earlier.  What extraordinary behavior!  Mr. Flop’s family lives on in our camp, and we couldn’t be more thrilled!!!

May 14

Ev – A Love Story

iPictures 192I feel her in the wind, in the leaves, in a bird’s song, I feel her in all of nature around me.  I remember the leaf fights during the heavy southern California rains as a child.   A two year old giggling from under my bath towel as she wiggled my nose; “Ah, I’ve found an ear … then this must be a nose” as she tugged my ear.  The fire crackling as she read poetry, her voice deep and feathery, with the dog, cat, my brothers and me all captured by her passion.  I remember our long talks, our dog walks, our nattering over a glass of wine watching the sunset over the shimmering bay.   I smell the coming rain and think of how I had to describe it, her birth defect, born without a sense of smell.  Holding my hand, head back, eyes closed in fanciful delight as she filled her lungs then in a big whoosh exhausting the cool crisp air and asking, “What does it smell like, the rain”?  “Sweet, cool, wet, and grassy”, to this day she and the first rains are one.

I think of her painting, of having to pose for her when she studied photography, of our crazy stories when we worked together, of being curled up in her bed and holding a cold press on her nose bleed weeks before she died.  I think of her incredible beauty, her smile, her laugh, of her joy in life, of her deep friendships, of her love of animals and her compassion for humanities imperfections.  She lived life fearlessly.

I miss her laugh, her stern but honest critiques of my work, her unyielding determination, her granite like assuredness, her warmth, her singing me to sleep with bar room ballads like; The Night That Jonny Murphy Died.

I smell her on the wind, I see her in the landscape of Africa, I know she is free, I know she is in me.  I love her like no other, my mother, my Ev.

Katy Leakey

Mar 14

Staying Warm – Entries

Nov 13

Cowgirl Chic – Entries