Asking me to pick a favorite piece of Love Is Project jewelry is like asking a mother to pick a favorite kid—it’s impossible! However, there are a few pieces, with untold stories behind them—stories that inspire and light me up every time I wear them.
Let’s talk about some of my favorite babies (I mean pieces) and why they’re so special to me!
1. CARTAGENA WOVEN REED CUFFS | Each cuff is made with cana fleche, a tall grass that is sliced into thin strips, dried, colored, and then woven into LOVE bracelets. This collection helps support an artisan family in Tuchin, Colombia who transitioned from making traditional sombreros to making bracelets! Sombrero-making artisans now making bracelets—how cool is that?
I LOVE these cuffs because they're all-natural, made in fun colors and patterns, easy to get on and off, and bonus—they’re vegan!
This hat sombrero village evolved its offerings to create bracelets with the same techniques. Making sombrero-inspired bracelets is a family affair! Liberato and Amparo have been together for 40 years (see their sweet photo below). They met making sombreros in Tuchin. She wove the straps and he bought them from her. All generations contribute to the process. LOVE to me is interwoven, and the weaving symbolizes that. We’re all interconnected.
Here are some melt-worthy photos of our Tuchin artisan and their family members. :)
Pssst: If you want to dive deeper into the beauty of Colombia (with a dash of Guatemala!), check out this post from our photographer partner, Ana Watts, as she captures the artistry and culture of our artisan partners.
2. GLASS BEAD BRACELETS | Crafted from mini-seed beads in Indonesia, these glass bead bracelets are available in alotta colors and make stack-worthy art on anybody’s wrist.
I LOVE these bracelets because they’re simple, versatile, and easy to layer. These bad boys are vegan too. : )
After we launched the Original LOVE bracelet made in Kenya, we wanted to see how other countries could design the same bracelet, but with their own local twist—made by local hands using local techniques. I’ve lived in Indonesia on and off over the years and it feels like a second home to me—the natural beauty, people, culture, and craftsmanship inspire me every time I return. You can learn more about our Indonesian partners in this fun little video.
Just a continent away, it was so amazing to see the LOVE bracelet take on a life of its own in Southeast Asia! While it is a different style bracelet, the message is always the same, LOVE.
This is me and Ita. Ita is one of our main Indonesian artisan partners. We’ve worked with her and her mom, Made, for over three years now making glass beaded bracelets in Indonesia. Ita got married, went on a honeymoon, and had a baby during this time. I’m so happy that our orders have been able to have a positive impact on their lives and the villagers they work with. Ita’s positive, bubbly, and can-do attitude is always a pleasure to be around.
3. CORAZON BANGLES | These bangles come from the workshop of Edgar Fabian Ortega and his family in Oaxaca, Mexico. Each meticulously hand-carved, hand-painted wooden bracelet fuses Zapateco and Oaxacan design traditions for something totally unique and full of LOVE.
I LOVE these bangles because the patterns are hand-painted. I repeat—the patterns ARE HAND-PAINTED. They make for a stackable arm party, if I do say so myself. The bangles give any outfit a pop of color! Annnnnd you guessed it, these bangles are vegan too. Sensing a trend? : )
The wood bracelet patterns are inspired by the painted animals from the animated movie, Coco (one of my faves!). I LOVE how the culture and traditions come to life in each piece through the intricate details.
Every Corazon bracelet also includes a special surprise: a handmade milagros enclosed in a gift pouch. The milagros or sagrado corazon (sacred heart) is amongst the most representative motifs of Mexico that extends well beyond its Catholic roots and has become a cherished part of folk art. Handmade by a husband and wife team, Aida Aquino Boyo and Cristino Lavariega.
So many of our artisans work not just with their community members, but with their families. I believe LOVE is family, and I’m grateful our project helps create livelihoods for their families.
Here are a few smile-worthy photos of our artisan partners at work:
It’s a gift to discover the uniqueness of a place and the people—delving in the culture and finding a way to represent that in our Love Is Project country collections. Meeting the artisans and having them welcome us into their homes and workshops and hearing their origin stories is always an honor I’ll never take for granted.
Hope you enjoyed learning more about which Love Is Project pieces inspire me and the stories behind each bracelet.
Founder, Love is Project