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It's no secret that the jewelry industry can be a complicated business. But one brand is creating a new narrative, sharing globally-inspired styles handcrafted by at-risk women artisans in a transparent environment.
Akola was founded in 2007 by Brittany Underwood with a goal of offering beautiful designs handcrafted by women in Uganda using locally-sourced sustainable materials. Akola employs nearly 200 at-risk women from rural villages in Uganda, supporting each woman in unlocking her skills to spark confidence, capital, community and power.
"We have also had a strong message behind the product, and we're telling an authentic story about how the jewelry creates an impact on some of the most at-risk women from the rural villages in Uganda," Underwood explains. "Responsible and sustainable fashion is the main talking point of the decade in fashion. Our brand is transparent, sustainable, and transformational."
And now you can recreate the magic of making your own jewelry at home with Akola's Bead Kit! "It's a great family activity and opportunity to talk about giving back," Underwood shares. "Each of our Akola beads is made by a woman in Uganda who cares for an average of 10 kids. You can feel great as you make your bracelets because our beads literally put food on the table for a family!"
If you're not sure where to get started, Underwood has some suggestions. "For adults, I pair our Akola karatasi beads with other loose gemstones to create fun stretch brackets. With kids, I sit back and watch as they create their own designs, which always include a lot of tassels." She also offers this step by step guide:
Step 1: "Decide who you want to build the kit with," she recommends. "If you have a daughter, it is a great time to connect with her. If not, this is also a really fun activity to do with friends right now over Zoom! Order one for yourself and one for a gal pal. My daughter is three months old, so I like to have her sit with me while I do it just for a fun experience so she can watch! It's also a fun activity to do to relax at the end of the day with a glass of wine."
Step 2: "When the kit arrives, start on a clean space (I use my kitchen table) and pour the beads into a pretty bowl).
Step 3: And last but not least? "I take out the stretch wire and start beading and a knot where the bracelet is finished," Underwood says. "It's so simple! If you want to get fancy you can add some gemstones or cut your tassel to make it shorter."
Ready to give it a try? Then shop Akola's Bead Kit below!
Featuring multiple shades of hand-rolled Karatasi beads, raffia tassels and stretch cord, you and yours can make five to seven bracelets while supporting a community of women in need.
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