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!

Mar 13

The Clover Tree-Styling a St. Patty’s Day Outfit – Entries

Mar 13

A Dog-Cat?!?!?


Meet Leo, our dog-cat as we call him.  He follows us around camp just like a dachshund, and when we hold our hand in the universal language of “Stop, sit,” he does.  He is also easy to retrain.  Leo was banned from the kitchen tent while the kingfisher was raising its kookaburras in the earth wall behind the tent. Then a month later he was allowed back, all with no fuss. 

Leo had a tough urban upbringing; abandoned and left to the streets by an American expatriate family when they returned to the states. He was then left with deep scars and a cauliflower ear from a terrible fight while looking for a new home and incarcerated in the KSPCA as incompatible with other cats with no hope of a family to adopt him.  He endeared himself to us as one of the most loving cats we had ever met.  Leo hugs like a joyful 4 year old, with paws around your neck and pressing his face into your cheek.  He nuzzles and purrs with great enthusiasm.  After a month long slow introduction to life in the wild and our beautiful, albeit a bit prissy, Mara, he has really taken to both.  Beauty and the Beast; at last Mara has a friend and Leo a home.  If they can just make it past the newest resident …  more to come.

Mar 13

Zulugirl Publishes Novel – The Clover Tree

Kim FosterThis month, our featured Zulugirl is author Kimberly Foster.  A resident of Bellevue, Washington, Kimberly was a sales rep for The Leakey Collection from 2005-2008.  In addition to handling sales in the Pacific Northwest, she also was our “go to gal” for anything related to writing.  Press releases, blog posts, and marketing materials were all shown to Kim before publishing, and she could make anything sound poetic.  It was this gift and her love for writing that eventually prompted her to  trade in her sales hat for a computer and a manuscript.  And we are certainly glad she did!  Just last year, she published her first novel, The Clover Tree.  It is a captivating story that delivers a powerful message about manifesting dreams.  Although it is classified as a young adult’s book, it is a wonderful narrative that appeals to readers of all ages.

Although Kimberly is no longer officially a member of The Leakey Collection, she will always be a part of our family.  We recently had the chance to catch up with her.

TLC:  Have you always known that you wanted to be a writer?  

Kimberly:  Yes.  When I was a young girl, I published a “newspaper” for our street!  Then, I really wanted to be an advertising copywriter.  Instead, I ended up teaching high school English and enjoyed some sales positions.  All the while, I felt like a book was in my future.

TLC:  Bringing a book to life is quite an accomplishment.  What kept you going?  

Kimberly:  The storyline really “found” me, and it was a labor of love to write it.  I learned a lot about the process.  My first draft had barely any dialogue!  What’s funny is that the final product is mostly dialogue, and I pride myself that the dialogue is really authentic.  I loved the characters so much that they were the ones to keep me going.  And, finally, my daughters.  I wanted them to see me finish the book and bring it to fruition.  

TLC:  Team sports are a big part of The Clover Tree.  How have they impacted you as an individual?  

Kimberly: Some of my happiest times and best friends have emerged from team sports. Teams provide a place where success depends on working with others and loyalty – two skills that have very much defined my personality.  That’s probably why my main character, Kate is a soccer player.  Not only am I intimate with the sport because of my own experience, but I recognize how teammates can buoy you on and off the field.  

TLC:  How has your life changed since The Clover Tree was published?  

Kimberly:  Thus far, my life hasn’t changed too much.  There’s a lot of humility in promoting your own work, but I do feel a strong sense of accomplishment and pride in the product.  I love to flip through it and read sections to stay connected to Kate and her journey.  

TLC:  You have always been a compassionate person.  From your novel to your involvement at The Leakey Collection, it is apparent that you really connect to people.  Tell us more about your My Hero Bear project.  

Kimberly:   My Hero Bear is such an important project to me as it provides comfort bears to families that have lost a loved one.  My mom had similar bears made for my sister and me after my dad died, and mine is still enormously comforting to me.  It’s made with the fabric from one of his favorite shirts.  So, when a neighbor lost her son in Afghanistan, I made the family one out of a military fatigue and it was so well received, I explored branding the idea.  So our signature elements are using fabric and collar from a favorite shirt and a tag that reads, “I was once worn by someone dear, through loving memories will always be here.”  So far, I’ve produced several for young families that lost their father.  It is humbling every time I present them with their bears. 

TLC:  What did you like best about working at The Leakey Collection?  

Kimberly:  It’s hard to decide!  It was always so fun to hear stories of Kenya and the Maasai from Katy and Philip.  They brought the jewelry and people to life and helped me enter a culture I was not familiar with at all!  However, despite their brilliant storytelling my favorite experience was…. Drum roll… and you are probably going to faint when I say this, but it has to be the trade shows!   They were grueling physically, but it was the one place we were together as reps and sharing the story of zulugrass and The Leakey Collection.  I loved my co-workers, and I loved talking about the jewelry.

 Everyone at TLC is so proud of Kimberly for following her dreams!

Mar 13

Celebrating International Women’s Day

katy-with-womenFrom the early 1900′s, March 8th has been a day when the world celebrates the achievements and strength of women across the globe.  Fortunately, International Women’s Day has been gaining momentum each year, as individuals realize the power of women.  This day is especially important to our company.  The Leakey Collection is built on the concept of empowering women to make real change.  Our founder, Katy Leakey, had the vision 10 years ago to create a sustainable business model that would give women in rural Africa a means to earn an income, where before there was none.   Katy is an inspiration to all that meet her.  On this special day, not only do we celebrate Katy and the positive change she has provided to women across the globe, but today, and every day, we celebrate you – mom, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, grandmother, friend, female!