Apr 15

A Gift for Mom and One for You

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and is a time for memories: either reliving the sweet moments of the past or making new ones.

Philip Leakey remembering a special bond with his mother: “From age 12 or so, I would explore our surroundings to find new sites for mom’s anthropology digs.”

Katy Leakey recalling a sweet memory about her mother: “I smell the coming rain and think of how I had to describe it to her, with her birth defect being born without a sense of smell.”

That’s why our Celebration Bracelets honor very special occasions and on this day, perhaps the ones that made her a mother!  The Leakey Collection’s interpretation of each month’s color will commemorate children’s birthdays or other special times in her life, and they are meant to stack and mix & match.

Celebration Bracelets

In addition, from now till May 8th, with each order over $25, we will give you a GIFT WITH PURCHASE!  One Zulusport 7″ Bracelet with a heart charm to keep for yourself or giveaway. You can choose from one of these 5 colors below (blue, pink, orange, turquoise or lime) – just type in your preference in the “gift message” box at checkout.


Apr 15

Is It Your Turn to Lead?

Colors of the Earth

Earth Day is April 22nd.  This year marks the 45th anniversary of a movement that started in America and has grown to include 192 countries! According to Earthday.org, “More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.”

This year’s theme is “It’s our turn to lead.”  To symbolize this theme, our Earth Day 2015 bracelet  features 4 Zulugrass strands, one for the earth, one for the sky, one for the waterways, and the last strand represents the individual that is wearing it, one who is “taking the lead”.!  You can purchase yours this week for $31.95, a savings of $20, to show your commitment to our planet.

Check out earthday.org to find out more ways YOU can get involved. Wearing Zulugrass is just the start!

Apr 15

Discover Manos Zapotecas

prize for FB

This week, we are teaming up with fellow Fair Trade Federation member Manos Zapotecas in our “Celebrate Fair Trade Giveaway,” and we couldn’t be more thrilled.  Manos Zapotecas produces gorgeous hand woven bags, rugs and pillows.

Besides our obvious connection in fair trade principles, there are many similarities between the two companies. Like The Leakey Collection, the designs of Manos Zapotecas are modern, yet utilize an age old skill of the region. Manos Zapotecas employs men and women in Oaxaca, Mexico to weave, an art that has been a part of their culture since 500 BC.  Expert weaver Malena says that part of her motivation is “to make sure that the old designs never die”.  She was taught to weave by her mother when she was just 10 years old, and you can see her gorgeous designs here.

Malena_Manos Zapotecas

Additionally, the designs from both companies are very colorful and full of life. The Spring 2015 Collection of Manos Zapotecas was inspired by the vibrant colors and energy of springtime in Oaxaca, Mexico. Their products hold an element of discovery, from the significance of each Zapotec design, to the bold color combinations, and most importantly, of the hands from which they come. Each beautiful handbag provokes images of the charming, tree lined, colonial streets of one of Mexico’s most captivating cities. and

Finally, both companies also have close ties to San Diego.  The founder and CEO of Manos Zapotecas, Shelley Tennyson, lives there as do most of the US based employees from The Leakey Collection.

We are kicking off our Fabulous Fair Trade Celebration Giveaway today with a prize package that includes a stylish handbag from Manos Zapotecas with arm candy from The Leakey Collection to match!  Check for announcements this week on Instagram and Facebook!

Apr 15

Be an Agent for Change and Everyone Wins!

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Created by the World Fair Trade Organization, World Fair Trade Day is May 9th this year. Held annually on the second Saturday of May, it’s a worldwide celebration of the benefits of fair-trade “as a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty and exploitation…that has the greatest impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations.”

The theme for 2015 is “Be an Agent for Change!”  From head to toe, it is a lot easier than you think to support fair trade.  Fair trade options are growing and more accessible, making it easier to impact a broader range of individuals on a regular basis. Here are 4 suggestions to live fair trade values:

1) Start each day by enjoying a delicious cup of coffee or tea, one of the most popular fair trade items, with the knowledge that your support directly impacts small scale farmers in developing countries.

2) Wear stylish clothing and accessories, such as jewelry, scarves, and handbags, appreciating that there is an individual behind each product that has been given an opportunity to improve his or her family’s well being.

3) Your house can also reflect the Fair Trade Federation’s principles with baskets, blankets, salad tongs, toys, soap, keychains, and other home décor items. There is even a children’s book entitled Think Fair Trade First, teaching our future world-caretakers that a fair trade store is one “where good things happen when you make a purchase.”

4) Participate and promote the most EXCITING fair trade giveaway of the year! Every week from now until May 9th, the following 6 AMAZING companies (all Fair Trade Federation members!) will host a giveaway on Facebook and another on Instagram. The giveaways (totaling over $700!) begin each Monday, with multiple ways to enter, and the winners will be announced every “Fair Trade Friday!” Simply like each company on both social media sites and look for the weekly announcements on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Faire Collection
Global Goods
Greenola Style
Manos Zapotecas
Mata Traders
The Leakey Collection  

Thanks for being an agent for change!  #celebratefairtrade


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