Teardrop Necklace - LongDesigner: Kipato Unbranded
This versatile necklace represents our infinite love for Africa and the beautiful people in it. You will easily mix and match this piece with so many looks and each time feel the spirit of Africa and the artisan that lovingly created it.
- 28" L with 4" drop pendant
- Recycled Brass
- Hand-made in Dagoretti Market (Nairobi, Kenya) by Elijah.
- Design by Kipato Unbranded
More about Kipato Unbranded and the artisan, Elijah:
Marta, an entrepreneur and founder of the Kenyan social enterprise Kipato Unbranded, was one of the first people I met in Nairobi. The purpose of her business is to collaborate with local artists, promoting their talents and skills and giving them access to markets to which they wouldn't otherwise have exposure. Her mission is to empower her artists by paying them fair wages for the jewelry they create.
Kipato Unbranded is about beauty and unique designs. They create jewelry that is inspired by everyday people and for everyday people. Their pieces are made from local Kenyan materials including brass, recycled bone, and beads.
The creator of this piece is 27 year old Elijah. He lives in Dagoretti Market, a small but densely populated slum in Nairobi. To him, the best part of this work is designing the jewelry and creating beauty with his hands: "The most beautiful part of my work [is that] I enjoy everything that I make… especially the earrings and bangles."
And as for the most difficult part of his work? The challenge of translating designs from how he envisions them in his mind to a physical creation which can sometimes be time-consuming. A perfectionist of sorts, Elijah will often re-make a design several times if it does not match the vision he had for it at the beginning.
With the income from his jewelry, Elijah supports his family, ensuring that his young brothers and sisters have the chance to go to school. Above is a picture of Elijah. The additional picture is a glimpse into slum life in Nairobi (the specific slum pictured is Kibera, the largest in Nairobi and East Africa).