09
Nov 16

2016 Holiday Gift Guide

2016-Holiday-Gift-GuideNeed help with your gift list?  Check out some of our suggestions for the personalities in your life. Also to help you, we will include special TLC gift packaging for each jewelry item you purchase during this busy holiday season.

sbz02For the Romantics, we suggest our new Stocking Stuffer on unique Gift Rounds packaging. We also have them in colors for the Wine LoversNature GirlsBeachcombers, and Free Spirits.  

 

bfcwFor the Socially Conscious, give one of our Do Good Cause Bracelets which help support special projects – Beads for Learning, Beads for Clean Water, Beads for Healthy Gardens, or Beads for Girls Graduation.

 

MarulaThe natural Beauties in your life will love our wild-harvested, cold-pressed Marula Facial Oil with high concentration of antioxidants and fatty acids, Omega 6 and 9.

 

zgcefallEven Super Heroes sometimes need positive encouragement and inspiration to Dream Big,  Live Free, Create Harmony, Go With the Flow, or Follow Your Heart.  Limited Edition Super Power Bracelets are a fun reminder.

 

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What do you give those gracious Hosts who love to entertain? Any of our gorgeous, handcrafted Tableware items, such as the Bread & Cheese platters or Salad Tongs, would be a treasured gift.

 

This holiday season, think Fair Trade 1st for your gift list. Buying Fair Trade provides work, allowing individuals to provide the rest for themselves! You can LIKE Fair Trade but nothing happens for thousands of people around the world if you don’t BUY Fair Trade!


11
Oct 16

Fair Trade Myths and Realities

Your Purchase_creates work_builds communitiesOctober is Fair Trade Month! As members of the Fair Trade Federation, we are dedicated to 360° fair trade.  360° means we work with artisans in partnerships built on trust.  It means good wages, safe working conditions, environmental responsibility, and more.  It means our partners are empowered to build strong businesses for their families today – and for generations to come. Do you have any misconceptions about Fair Trade?

Myth: Fair trade is about paying developed world wages in the developing world.

Reality: Wages are designed to provide fair compensation based on the true cost of production, and are not based on North American wage standards. Fair wages are determined by a number of factors, including:

  • The amount of time, skill, and effort involved in production
  • Minimum and living wages where products are made
  • The purchasing power in a community or area
  • Other costs of living in the local context

Myth: Fair trade siphons off American jobs to other countries.

Reality: Fair trade seeks to improve the lives of the poorest of the poor who frequently lack alternative sources of income. Most fair trade craft products stem from cultures and traditions which are not represented in North American production.

Myth: Fair trade is anti-globalization.

Reality: International exchange lies at the heart of fair trade.  360° Fair Trade Organizations seek to maximize the positive elements of globalization that connect people, communities, and cultures through products and ideas. At the same time, they seek to minimize the negative elements that result in lower labor, social, and environmental standards which hide the true costs of production.

Myth: Fair trade is a form of charity.

Reality:  360° fair trade promotes positive and long-term change through trade-based relationships which build self-sufficiency. Its success depends on independent, successfully-run organizations and businesses–not on handouts. While many fair trade organizations support charitable projects in addition to their work in trade, the exchange of goods remains the key element of their work.

Credit: Fair Trade Federation


06
Sep 16

Fair Trade Fairy (Purchasing Activism)

Everyday when I wake up and meet with my Maasai sisters, they all have the same one question – “have you told the people back home about the bracelets so we can get more orders?”28796496822_6114bcf906_k Beadwork here is like hitting the gold mine, but it isn’t possible without orders coming in.  The women, if not beading, usually work extracting the centers of the Marula seeds for oil or work in the shamba (garden/farm), but I haven’t seen the same sense of community and joy than when these women are beading together. The Maasai are known for wearing beautifully ornate beads all over their bodies, and they grew up beading, so for them it’s just second nature.  Like when you and your friends get together and make friendship bracelets or go to camp and make lanyards.  Sitting amongst them when they get an order is wonderful.  On the haziest of days, they can lighten the sky by singing and gossiping and being together, doing what they love.  Many women have told me that they didn’t really have much of a social life before work because they would stay home all day sitting around waiting to milk their cows.  These women so enjoy being able to come together and work with their friends while making money to sustain their new and improved lifestyles. Women are women all over the world, and we need to help our sisters out.  What better way than to do a little shopping?  I order my beads to give as gifts, to flaunt on my wrists, ankles and neck, and even to decorate my room.

So many people want to change the world, and this is one way we can start a ripple effect of change.  Fair Trade has saved these women, and with a simple order, you can be a part of all this amazingness!

**Fair Trade Fairy

We thank you for following along with us on Piper’s (aka Fair Trade Fairy) experience in East Africa. It’s been so enjoyable reading her fresh perspective as she learned more about the reality of Fair Trade and got to personally know some of the women whose lives have improved well beyond what most of us can even imagine! Although you may not be able to meet these women and their families in person, you have the chance to get to know them a little as we continue with our ongoing updates on our Your Purchase Power page! If you haven’t met Naesupat yet, make sure you click here. Stop by often as we will be changing information frequently! 

 

 


29
Aug 16

Fair Trade Fairy (Ripple Effect)

28286328373_49cae5386b_kNow that I have been here for some time, getting to know the ladies and understanding not only their work lives, but also their personal lives, by going to visit their homes and having casual conversation over tea and biscuits, I have truly experienced how much development has come from Fair Trade.  Since I never saw what life was like before, I obviously can’t paint a picture for you reader, but what I can say is that I’ve felt the emotion behind the stories these women so graciously were willing to share with me.  I’ve felt their defeat but was lifted once more by their tales of independence and success.  I’ve bit back tears when they are speaking of life before they had the opportunity of work.  I’ve beamed with them as they proudly display their success and their hope for the future.

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The success here isn’t like the success back home.  When we think of success, we think of having a good office job with a nice house, nice car, latest fashion, and happy family.  When the women here think of success, they think of having their kids, especially their girls, finishing school.  They think of being able to purchase the kind of food they like and the clothes they think are pretty.  They think of eating a balanced meal and a healthy lifestyle.  They think of having confidence in knowing they have control over their lives.  These women know they are successful when more people start working because they are jealous of the working women’s lives improving.  Their meaning of success is so much more than money – it’s a way of life that wouldn’t be possible if not for the work that developed in their community.

**Fair Trade Fairy**

New strand-naming contest on Facebook and Instagram. Winner will be chosen by random so check our feed to find out what you need to do!  Don’t forget to check out Fair Trade Fairy’s designs – the Pied Piper Collection and the rest of The Leakey Collection’s jewelry – and be involved in the success for these women! Your purchase matters.


23
Nov 15

Full of Thanks and Wishes for You and Yours

may the love of family

The pastoral Maasai are some of the happiest people on earth, joyously celebrating life’s special occasions. They have very close community and family ties so our wish for you this holiday season is the same – that you would have the opportunity to make your celebrations full of that joy and peace with plenty of time to spend with the people you love.

We here at The Leakey Collection are so thankful for all of you who partner with us to Make a Better World.

 


28
Oct 15

October Is National Domestic Violence Month

Domestic-Violence-monthDesigned to raise global awareness and fundraising support, cause-awareness days and months mark time periods on the calendar when a particular social issue is highlighted for special attention.  Each person and organization has a heart for different causes that are important to them. Obviously, The Leakey Collection is passionate about women and empowerment issues across the globe.  Over the past fifteen years of running our fair-trade business in rural Africa, we have witnessed some wonderful changes in areas that we never expected.  One such area is a dramatic decrease in domestic violence.  Although that wasn’t one of our initial goals, it was a direct result of our efforts.

“Fair Trade companies around the world concur that domestic violence abates in households when women can become financially independent contributors.” Katy Leakey

Last month, we were honored to have played a small part in the Accelerate 4 Change event, benefiting the National Coalition for Domestic Violence that we wrote about here.  

Most definitions of domestic abuse include “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.”  Of course, the issue of domestic violence is NOT ever simple nor do we want to suggest that. But we do want you to know that providing work opportunity for the Maasai women in Kenya and other communities around the world can help.  And we thank you.



22
Oct 15

Empowering Women & Girls Makes Economic Sense

The recent International Day of the Girl really made us think about how empowering & educating women & girls can change the world! This year’s theme of “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030″ addresses the fact that adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, but also that “If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to CHANGE THE WORLD – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders.”  Powerful words!

young girls

Studies show that when an educated girl or woman earns income, she reinvests 90% of it into her family. She prioritizes food, medicine, and education for her children. In one of our recent videos about The Leakey Collection’s early days, our founder Katy Leakey shared that even the Maasai men eventually acknowledged: “The women spend the money on the RIGHT THINGS. They put the kids in school. They buy the food.”

Mandy Moore wrote in ONE.org: “Each additional year of secondary school can increase a woman’s earnings by 10 to 20 percent, and that increase yields real profits for the countries they live in. When 10 percent more women in a country complete secondary education, the country’s annual per capita income grows by 3 percent. Investing in women and girls makes economic sense.”

We believe in this so firmly that not only is our mission to empower our female Maasai artisans through entrepreneurial ventures, but we are working to keep young adolescent rural girls, who tend to drop out of school before completing their primary education, on track toward graduation. A portion of the proceeds from each Beads for Girls Graduation bracelet is donated by The Leakey Collection to our Girls Graduation counseling program, as well as toward a girls’ scholarship fund.

Beads for Girls' Graduation

 


06
Oct 15

We Practice 360° Fair Trade

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The words “Fair Trade” mean so much more than just “feel-good words.”

As a member of the Fair Trade Federation, The Leakey Collection is fully committed to the principles listed above in all of our transactions.  These principles were created by using the global principles of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) as their foundation.

360 logo

Our Fair Trade Federation membership means we go beyond the fair trade basics. It’s a 360° approach that’s about building true partnerships with artisans and working to create positive change through all of our work. 360° fair trade means not only fair wages, but also long-term, holistic partnerships that empower artisans to grow their businesses. As an FTF member, we go through a rigorous screening that looks at our whole business. We call it 360° fair trade, meaning that we’re committed to being fair and responsible in everything we do — socially, economically, and environmentally. We practice 360° fair trade, which means we take a more holistic approach than only looking at wages and work conditions. We partner with artisans and make a long-term commitment to helping grow businesses and strengthen communities. We’re proud to practice 360° fair trade. We build true partnerships with producers and act responsibly in all of our work: socially, economically, and environmentally.

The month of October is Fair Trade Month. There are many options to buy fair trade products wherever you shop so make your purchases mindfully. “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live in.” Anna Lappe

Every purchase matters.


13
May 15

10 Tips for Healthy Gardening During Drought Times

10 Tips-3

This photo of the drought in Kenya a few years ago makes our team members in California a little wary of the drought situation here, as well as other parts of the US.  We’ve been researching some ways to grow a vegetable garden during a drought situation and thought we’d pass on some ideas for your personal use.

Here are 10 tips to grow a healthy garden during drought times:

  1. Well-amended soil is the foundation of a vegetable garden that will tolerate drought. Prepare your garden’s soil by adding lots of rich, organic compost that will help trap moisture and encourage deep root formation in plants.
  2. Practice efficient irrigation – Apply water slowly to the base of plants, which will reduce water usage by about 50%. Drip systems use much less water than any other form of irrigation, and the plants like it better, too.
  3. Irrigate in the morning when temperatures are still cool.
  4. Mulching minimizes evaporation of water from the soil surface, reducing irrigation need by around 50%. Use an organic mulch to a depth of 3 to 4 inches, depending upon the particle size of the mulching material. The larger the particle, the deeper the mulch should be applied.
  5. Black plastic or black landscape cloth conserves moisture. This can be used with tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and the vine crops in cooler areas. Place plastic or landscape cloth down on top of well-amended soil with pins, tear or cut holes big enough for the plant root ball, and insert plants.
  6. Plant in off-set blocks, rather than rows. This creates shade for roots and reduces evaporation. Control weeds, as they are competing with the vegetables for water. Group plants with similar water needs on the same section of irrigation. Cucumber and zucchinis and squash, for example, require similar water applications.
  7. Grow vegetables that do well with little water. Beans have built-in drought resistance. Tomatoes, melons and squash grow deep roots that seek out water and do not need to be watered as often. Vegetable plants with smaller leaves tend to lose less moisture due to transpiration so choose varieties carefully.
  8. Focus on high-yield vegetables that produce abundant crops like tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplants.
  9. Try dry farming your tomatoes – Plant your tomatoes and water them as usual for the first few days to get them established, then water only once a week. Once the tomatoes flower and set fruit, cut off all water. The plants may not look great, but they will produce, and some say the fruit will taste better.
  10. Rethink ways to capture water rather than letting it run down the drain. Use buckets in your shower and sink to catch the water as it heats up. Water from cooking pasta and vegetables also provides nutrients to your soil.

Gardening concerns are also abundant in the Rift Valley, which suffers from droughts frequently.   With proceeds from our Beads for Healthy Gardens Bracelets,  we are educating and encouraging Maasai women to plant healthy gardens.  Most rural pregnancy and birth issues, as well as child development problems, can be eradicated by eating a healthy diet. We’ve also created a school program to teach children the importance of a balanced diet.

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Happy Gardening to you and to the Maasai women in Kenya!

 


24
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.

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