Today is the day we can FINALLY tell you about our absolutely thrilling collaboration with Austin-based lifestyle brand Kendra Scott. An exclusive bracelet collection, designed in the United States by the Kendra Scott team and made with love in Kenya by our Maasai Maker Mums, is now available only on the Kendra Scott website and in all 114 Kendra Scott locations nationwide.
Founded 20 years ago, Kendra Scott has built a billion-dollar business with family at heart. In addition to being a trailblazing entrepreneur, Kendra is a philanthropist who supports women and children's causes.
We have discussed a potential collaboration with the Kendra Scott team for a while now, and last year all the pieces fell in place, and we got to work. Our Creative Director, Amal Wilemon, worked closely with the Kendra Scott team to bring their designs to life. Given the significance of the collection, Amal partnered up with our Kenyan bead supplier to source signature beads from Japan in colors and styles that we have never worked with before. It was such a treat for all of our color-loving Maasai Maker Mums.
Tabitha Gichia, the manager in charge of all Ubuntu Life beading projects, coordinated dozens of beading groups with a total of 132 women in Kenya's Ngong Hills to bead the Kendra Scott x Ubuntu Life collection. Logistically this process can be challenging, with many Maasai Mums traveling from far. Still, for years we have built up a network of heritage beading groups we return to again and again. At the onset of this project, we met with representatives from each beading collective in Ngong under the shade of Acacia Trees. We discussed the pieces in the collection in-depth as we shared the designs and discussed the techniques unique to each bracelet.
The impact of this partnership has been extensive. The multi-step artisan process that went into hand making thousands of bracelets in the collection created 31,836 hours of empowered employment over the eight-week production period. "I can not emphasize enough how much this order benefited our Maasai Maker Mums and their families. As they marked the end of 2021, they could look forward to the new year knowing that they didn't need to worry about kid's school fees because they earned it from this order." Tabitha says.
It is not often that two brands with a similar ethos on two different continents can come together as we have with Kendra Scott, but this connection was fate. Amal says of this groundbreaking partnership:
With Valentine's Day around the corner, the timing could not be better; you can now shop the Kendra Scott x Ubuntu Life collection for yourself and your loved ones!