The Brave Collection: Jewelry With a Heart

I was at a poolside party in Las Vegas when a beautiful girl walked up to me.

“Is that dress by Figue?”

“Why yes it is — how do you even know it?” (Figue is a tremendous line, but it’s sold only online, at its boutique in NYC, and at two seasonal pop-up shops.)

“Well that’s the dress I used on my cover model for my latest jewelry campaign!”

Go figure…

Wearing my dress from Figue
Wearing my dress from Figue
Cover shot!
Cover shot!

Clearly we have similar tastes, and I was so excited to find out that she, Jessica Hendricks, also founded a jewelry line that is really making a difference in our world. After spending time in South East Asia, she was just devastated by the way so many Cambodian women are being victimized by human trafficking. In addition, the Cambodian culture is still recovering from the country’s genocide in the 1970’s. So in 2012 she decided to take action, and created The Brave Collection, where all the jewelry is 100% hand-crafted by Cambodian women who come from underprivileged backgrounds. Jessica has used, ” ..her passion to use fashion as an avenue for activism, empowering women with job opportunities, spreading awareness, and donating 10% of profits to the fight.” Bravo!!

These hand-woven bracelets and necklaces are lovely on their own, or easy to layer with other pieces.

the brave collection necklaces
Here’s a shot of one of the artisans carving the metal piece for a bracelet.

the brave collection
And the finished product.

the brave collection chestnut bracelet

The latest collection, called the Limitless Collection “..reminds us to draw strength from the bravery within to explore our dreams, without limits. The motif on this bracelet is inspired by the Buddhist flag, representing wisdom and compassion.”

the brave collection sky bracelet
Worn and supported by celebrities such as Olivia Wilde and Sara Bareillis, and featured in press from Lucky Magazine to Vogue to The Huffington Post, I’m really excited to discover this line. For more information on this amazing endeavor, please take 3 minutes to watch the video below. (If it’s just a black box, then click here to watch it online.)

And to just think, that if I hadn’t been wearing that particular dress at that particular party, I would have missed the opportunity to meet Jessica and learn about how she’s making a difference in the world through jewelry… In addition to having an online shop, you can also click here to find other retail locations.

the brave collection

Jewelry that gives back

While I certainly never need a reason to go jewelry shopping, I must admit that when I find out that part of the proceeds from my purchase will go to charity, then I’m doubly happy! I’m encountering more and more designers who do give back, and I’d like to tell you about three that I’ve found right here in the Bay Area.

First is Joan Hornig. I first saw a stunning necklace of hers at Philanthropist on Sacramento Street, but now even Neiman Marcus has picked up her line. And get ready for the shocker…100% of the profits from each purchase are donated to the charity of your choice–it’s almost too good to be true!

I would describe her line as modern chic, with pieces ranging from chunky to more streamlined. You’ll find both silver and gold, either on their own or combined with color and neutrals. Her larger scale necklaces are sure to be conversation starters!

Joan Hornig butterfly necklace

I think this pair of earrings would be just as beautiful with a cocktail dress as they would be with jeans and a sweater.

Joan Hornig earrings

While in Manika Jewelry recently, I was excited to see and learn about Jeanne Johngren’s line. She donates a portion of her proceeds to various charities, some of which focus on children, education, and health literacy. Jeanne combines her background in art and cinematography to create stunning pieces in silver, gold, and gemstones. Two circular pendant necklaces specifically jumped out at me while in the store.

Gold medallion with diamond starburst

Mandala inspired necklace by Jeanne Johngren

Finally, I have to tell you about a jewelry line that I’ve had a long-time love affair with…Love Heals. This family company (mom, son and daughter) is based right here in California and they have 10 trees planted for every piece they sell. How amazing is that?! This organic, bohemian-flavored line is just divine. I find their simpler, long necklaces are ideal layering pieces, and their more ornate pieces are stunning on their own. Here are a couple examples of their design:

Love Heals necklace

Double layer necklace

Love Heals sells at a wide range of stores and boutiques. I often find a nice selection at the various Margaret O’Leary boutiques in the Bay Area.

So with these designers in mind, go hit the stores with a happy heart, knowing that your new treasure will be helping others as well. 🙂