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Monday, August 24, 2009

The Leaky Collection - Zulu Grass Review

The Leaky Collection is based in the Rift Valley, Kenya, East Africa. The Leakey Collection founders Katy and Philip Leakey combine their talents in interior design and the arts with their love of nature to develop stunning handcrafted products for an international market.
The Zulugrass concept was born out of need. A devastating drought in Kenya, in 2001 forced the men of the nomadic Maasia tribe in Kenya to leave behind the women and children so they could take the surviving cattle far up country in search of grazing land, leaving the women and children with no source of income to buy food, medicine and clothing. The Leakeys came up with the idea of drawing on the woman's traditional skill at beading to create jewelery that would appeal to a world wide market. Using natural element such as fallen wood, grass and porcelain , these renowned designers created unique products while protecting the environment and providing economic opportunity to the local communities.
Zulugrass , their flagship item of the collection and Zuluwood beads, bracelets and necklaces are sold in stores worldwide.
Zulugrass strands are made from natural grasses , dyed with low-impact , color fast dyes, interspersed with Czech hand blown glass beads. The environmentally sustainable harvest of the grass also works to preserve a wetland , since the communities no longer burn the grass , which the cattle do not eat to make plentiful grass that cattle do eat.

The beads are color checked , dyed, and stored by color. They are then combined into kits with lengths of elastic and Czech beads. These kits are transported by bike to various work stations around Kenya. The Maasia women assemble the necklaces , sitting on the ground under acaia trees. This allows them to work closeto home, to bring their children to work and to lead their traditional lifestyles. This amazing jewelry made by the Maasia women of Kenya is helping them to preserve a tradition craft and provide economic support .

Zuluwood is handcrafted from fallen acacia wood that varies in color from marbled browns to saturated honey tones. Each piece is meticulously worked by hand to bring out the depth of the grain added sterling silver complements the natural beauty of the wood.

Zulugrass comes in in many colors to accent your summer wardrobe. Up to 80 stunning color combinations including jewel tones, brights, pastels, and summer sherbet. Each strand is strung on elastic so it can be worn a variety of ways depending on how you twist it. It is light weight, durable and the most important versatile. Zulugrass allows you to get several looks. Bracelets , necklaces, hair ties, anklet's. See the Leaky Collection video for more ideas on wearing this amazing jewelry. Ways To Wear by the Leaky Collection.

I was lucky enough to receive three strands of the pastel ZuluGrass and I love them. Love them. I don't wear a lot of jewelery but Zulugrass is one the hubby will have to buy from now on to stay in my good books. You can add to it endlessly and use alot or just a little and it is very comfortable to wear. I have tried mine as necklaces, bracelets, hair scrunchy and anklets. I will have to buy alot more so I can wear the belts shown in the video. The Leakey Collection is now available in Canada at The Art Garden

The Leaky Collection employs as many as 1,400 Kenyans and ships to over 1000 retail locations in more than 20 countries including US and Canada, Japan and Europe.

A Canadian Retail Outlet for those in the Vancouver area visit
The Art Garden
2567 e. Hastings st. Vancouver British Columbia.
www.theartgarden.ca

Find the Leaky Collection at
http://www.leakeycollection.com/index.php
Check out their Blog for more amazing articles on Zulugrass, the Leaky's and the Maasia women and their great workmanship.
http://www.leakeycollection.com/blog/
Leakey Collection on Twitter

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