There is nothing new about Austin’s creative vibe so when I found out about a new jewelry joint venture between two talented fashion names, I was honestly a little bit surprised because each business is so uniquely different. But of course, you can always find a common thread when it comes to fashion.
The collaboration began when jewelry designer Kendra Scott and fair trade boutique owner/founder of Raven + Lily Kirsten Dickerson met at Austin’s Incubation Station. Kendra serves as a mentor for the accelerator program for companies who have a consumer product to sell and where mentors from various industries help brands grow, educate and connect with funding to maximize success.
For Kirsten working with Kendra was a perfect match, “I thought it was really important to have someone who really knew fashion that was based here in Austin and who knew how to grow a company as well as breathe life into my company”, said Dickerson.
The two business owners have worked together for approximately a year. Kendra was excited to help the Raven + Lily brand for several reasons, ” I fell in love with her [Kirsten’s] mission, what she was doing to help women all over the world. It’s just a perfect partnership and I couldn’t wait to do a collaboration with her,” said Scott.
The partnership did come with one request from Kendra in order to work together. “One of the jewelry groups that Kendra really loved was the story about was this Maasai Group (pronounced Moss Eye) from Kenya because these women have transformed their whole society within the Maasai culture. Traditionally girls are never sent to school, they never really have any rights or opportunities. Because of the sale of their jewelry it has given them power to be able to say we want to provide education for the girls. They’re the first generation of girls to attend school, and that story resonated with Kendra,” Dickerson added.
The jewelry made by the women and girls of the Maasai group are all made from upcycled materials. The jewelry (pictured) are made from watering cans that are no longer in use, the strands from rice bags and recycled buttons so this tribe is very resourceful within their communities.
The Maasai women live in mud and manure huts and live in mostly cattle hearding communities. These women also never take their jewelry off, they sleep head to toe in their jewelry, a custom of the tribe. Kirsten worked with the Kendra Scott design team and took the traditional tribal jewelry look and added some Kendra fashion spash using the KS yellow, tourquoise and white logo colors to create beautiful pieces.
Kirsten currently partners with thirteen artisan groups from six different countries with plans to launch a full Fall 2014 collection from many of her dedicated artisans. While the Maasai group is the most remote artisan group Raven + Lily partners with, you can just head down to the Kendra Scott boutique on South Congress to pick up your treasure to support the fashionable women from around the world.
Raven + Lily April 2014 store opening Gallery
Click here to see Raven + Lily Collection Photos from the Austin Fashion Awards 2014
Click here to see Raven + Lily Collection Video from the Austin Fashion Awards 2014
Article Photos: Cheryl Bemis