In 2012, Chrissie Lam had just left her job in corporate fashion and was on the hunt for something more. It was in Kenya that she discovered what that might be. As a fashion marketer and creative director, Lam knew she could help the woman of Kenya’s Maasai tribe turn their beautiful beadwork into an international sensation. By merging her background and network in design with international development, she did just that.
Lam worked with the Maasai tribe to design a bracelet emblazoned with a single powerful word: LOVE. The ultimate goal being to create jobs for their community. She brought the bracelet with her on her world travels. Chrissie chose the word “love” because it is universal; relatable to everyone in the world. It is the common thread that connects us all.
On a flight to Moscow she struck up a conversation with two women and asked them: What does love mean to you?
It was the question with infinite answers. This brief encounter led to hundreds more. Lam documented love stories everywhere she went, and eventually shared them on social media.
Supporters around the world resonate with the Love Is Project’s message of love, acceptance and empathy in defiance towards negativity. The purpose of the Love Is Project was to create jobs for artisan women in developing countries while connecting the wearer to the maker and remind them to love and be loved.
The success of the project showed an appetite for something different. Technology keeps us connected, yet we are disconnected in real life. This was an experiment in connection.
As a daughter of Chinese immigrants, Chrissie was lucky to have opportunities to pursue her passions growing up in the Bay Area of California. She believes by giving economic opportunities to women around the world, that they will improve their lives and children's.
The original LOVE bracelet that traveled all around the world, worn by hundreds of people.
What started as a personal passion project began to blossom into a global movement of love. With all the growth and media attention, Lam and her team have been able to spread the love even more. In 2018, The Love is Project donated 1,600 bracelets to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the wake of the tragic school shooting.
This year, Love Is Project will be a proud sponsor of the 20th Anniversary Marathon in Lewa, Kenya, focusing on efforts in wildlife, conservation and community.
Above all, they’ve helped thousands of women achieve economic independence, educational opportunities, steady work at fair wages, and so much more.
Our “Pay It Forward” social enterprise model extends this concept to empower artisan communities worldwide in an ethical supply chain of love. Sales from the Kenya line will continue to sustain economic development for the women of the Maasai & Samburu tribes while profits fund new initiatives in Indonesia, Ecuador, Bhutan, India, Vietnam, Guatemala, Colombia and Mexico. We look forward to continue growing the story of love to other countries and communities.
The Love Is Project has since grown into a global brand, providing 1,200 female artisans in 10 countries with jobs, and generating almost $2 million in sales. The company has been featured on Good Morning America, CNN, Refinery29, Glamour, Elle, and Oprah Magazine. Bella Thorne, Jessica Stein and other notables have been spotted wearing LOVE on their wrists. In Glamour magazine’s cover story, Anne Hathaway, proudly wearing her own rainbow love bracelet and confesses, “I’m more loving now, and that includes toward myself.”
The people that Lam has encountered and lives that the Love Is Project has touched since that first flight to Moscow has never stopped growing.
Which leads to The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, a photo book filled with vibrant imagery and inspiring stories documented over the many years of this project. The book is fittingly slated for release on Valentine’s Day 2020.
“This book is a collection of stories from my last five years of travel and work with female artisans around the world,” says Lam, “It encapsulates so much of what makes The Love Is Project meaningful. This book also gives readers a first-hand look at the unique cultures, talented artists and inspiring people who bring The Love Is Project to life every day. As I collected these stories, I realized I had the makings of an exceptional book. A book about romance, humor, family, triumph, and dreaming big. The profiles of the people in this book give voice to positivity and humanize different cultures around the world. The Greatest Love Story Ever Told seeks to inspire the reader to foster deeper, more meaningful connections.”
We hope you will join us on our journey!
LOVE connects us all!