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 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 12

My Blooming Canvas Inspired This Earth Day Creation

Mothering the Earth Collection

Living in East Africa is an artist’s paradise.  I am surrounded by nature that offers daily inspiration in creating new colors and designs in every piece of our collection. Many of you know that the Peony is one of my favorite flowers, but when you are surrounded by this much beauty, how can you have just one favorite?   I delight in the small plants and their flowers whose delicate structure, intricate patterns, and shocking hues keep me on my knees for hours admiring, studying, and sketching.   One that is a particularly lovely, and we have several varieties is the Saintpaulia, or  African Violet. As you may have guessed, they are native to Tanzania and East Africa. I remember that in the states April is the month of rain, much needed sustenance to feed beautiful plants that provide colorful blooms.

The African Violet inspired me to create an  Earth Day Collection that reminded me of the gifts we are so lucky to enjoy and why we must all do our part in our own little way to preserve such precious resources.  Since everything we do at The Leakey Collection has a purpose, it is with  great pride to unveil “Mothering The Earth”.  Four  Zulugrass strands in beautiful hues of blues and greens that  symbolize our strong belief in caring for our precious, natural resources. For every Earth Day Set sold on this site, we will donate $1 to the Earth Day Network,  as well as plant a tree in Kenya and teach sustainable gardening.  We hope you will join us in your commitment to our planet by proudly wearing this year’s collection, designed exclusively for you. Better yet…snap a photo of it on your wrist and upload it to our facebook page so I can share with the women, who hand bead our designs with so much love.




Apr 11

My Shamba, your Shamba!

Last week I talked about Philips love for plants and growing a variety in our garden(Shamba).

Our neighbors the Maasai are pastoralists  that prefer  herding to farming and therefore their shambas are of a narrower scope then Philip’s; they plant mainly maize (corn), kale, beans, and maybe a few tomatoes if there is enough water.  Most have no shamba at all because of the arid nature of their circumstances but those that have access to gravity irrigation will usually grow a bit of maize if nothing else.  The Maasai diet today has evolved to eating mainly ugali, ground maize meal that is boiled and pressed into a loaf and eaten with warm tea rich with milk and sugar if available.

Every morning the Maasai women wake long before dawn and milk the cattle and goats before they make tea and porridge for their children. Their day is working, beading, tending livestock, and the children not in school while watching over the boma.  I am constantly amazed at their skills and admire the ease with which they go about their daily activities.

"Women at Boma"

Technically, I have actually milked a cow before, however I if you asked the cow she might have a different rendition of the experience.  I think if I were given a choice to be born a pastoralist or a farmer I would take pastoralist.  Although a very difficult existence to me it seems more befitting of my black thumb.  However I did leave a grapefruit in my refrigerator so long that months later when I finally cut it open it had sprouted.  For someone of my sketchy farming skills I put that in the success column, even though in my heart of hearts I know all the credit goes to the grapefruit desperate to grow its way to warmth and light.

It’s nice to live in the bush with friends who don’t notice that I can’t grow things and who like the fact that I enjoy sitting with them under Acacia trees watching cows graze.  There is something so peaceful about watching cows chew cud.  They make it look so good that it’s almost irresistible to not pluck a blade and stick it in your mouth and chew right along with them.

Talent or no for growing things it is lovely to live on this beautiful earth and appreciate all that it provides.  My mother appreciated nature as much as Philip and the Maasai and taught me to love it too.  Whether a grapefruit in your refrigerator, a plant on your sink, that adoring pet at your feet, or the tree out your window, let’s all take this month and honor the earth.  Pluck a blade of grass and notice its sweetness, wear your favorite color of Zulugrass or buy two strands and share one with a friend to celebrate our glorious planet.   Happy Earth Day to all!

Apr 11

A Mothers Sage Advice

I used to scoff at my mother who always wanted to live on a farm, thinking that was not cosmopolitan enough for my liking.  I fancied myself an urban woman from a very young age, preferring museums, restaurants and social interaction as a way of life.  She used to extoll the virtue of a “simple and clean” life, one that was “close to the earth”, while I craved the intellectual stimulation that vibrated in the great cities around the world.  I wish she were alive today; she would laugh at the farmer’s wife I’ve become and delight in my eating “fresh crow” in the form of the best vegetables every day and loving it!

No one loves plants more than my husband, Philip, who for years has identified himself as a farmer before anything else.  On the land we lease from the Maasai Philip has created a prolific Shamba, (vegetable garden), from which we get all our lettuces, beans, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, eggplant, kale, sprouts, melons, fruit, and herbs.


Trees are his absolute favorite in the plant kingdom and he has planted nearly 10,000 seedlings of over 40 species.  Philip starts and ends each day with a walk among his precious plants, inspecting each row, securing leafs, and turning every melon.  We also keep chickens, broilers and layers, ducks and someday we’ll get a cow or two.

My mother never did get to live on a farm but I think she was really just all talk on that one because she told me when I was young; “If you ever do marry a farmer and he asks if you want to learn to milk a cow, I recommend you say, No”.  I think how much my mother would love the fact that I get to eat fresh organic food every day and don’t have to milk one single cow.