Over the next few weeks, I am going to be featuring some of my favorite local (Southern California) companies. I hope you enjoy!
Today I’m giving away one of the prettiest necklaces. The Camellia in Mint by 31 Bits.
I’m sitting here looking at it while typing this post, and ladies, it’s pretty much the greatest pale green-blue color ever.
I hope you will enter the giveaway, but most importantly, I hope you will read about this incredible company and check out the 31 Bits website.
Here are the girls behind 31 Bits.
Gorgeous, right? Well, these ladies are far more than a gaggle of pretty faces.
When Kallie Dovel traveled to Uganda in the summer of 2007, she met a few women that made paper bead jewelry. After spending time in their homes and hearing their stories, Kallie knew there had to be a way to give opportunities these women. She brought a box of jewelry back to the U.S., and spent the next year finishing her degree and dreaming up the concept of a development organization. She brought a few friends on board and her ideas quickly evolved into 31 Bits. The girls traveled back to Uganda in August 2008, and selected six women to begin buying jewelry from on a monthly basis.
Fast forward 4 years, and 31 Bits now works with 108 women in Gulu, Uganda. How it works is that 31 Bits purchases jewelry from each woman on a monthly basis, providing them with an immediate, consistent, and fair income. Each piece of jewelry is handmade using 100% recycled paper and other local materials. By selling these products in the international market, they are able to generate a profit that is used to continue purchasing jewelry, as well as provide the women with numerous development programs (English lessons, finance training, health education, vocational training), equipping them to develop a career and attain social equity on a local level. 31 Bits is committed to working with each woman until she has graduated from their program and can attain a sustainable mean of income within her own community.
Here are some of the women that are part of the program.
Pretty incredible, and let’s not neglect to mention how beautiful the necklaces (ranging between 26 and 54 dollars) are themselves. The beads are made from recycled paper that comes from old posters, magazines, fliers and textbooks, and then are sealed with a non-toxic, water-based varnish. Depending on the size of the necklace, one woman can make between 5 and 15 necklaces in a week.
I want them all, and I’m telling you, it’s much easier to buy a new necklace (or a few) when I know that my purchase is helping these women achieve their dreams. The lovely ladies at 31 Bits sent me the Aurora, and it’s quickly become one of my most worn necklaces.
If you would like to be entered into the giveaway for the Camellia necklace, please visit the 31 Bits website and then leave a comment on this post before Saturday, March 31st at 6pm PST. I will announce the winner on Facebook on Sunday the 1st, so be sure to like my page!
Also, the ladies at 31 Bits are offering 20% off your online order with the code WHOORL20 from now until April 4th. FABULOUS. (The Rockhopper is going to be my next purchase. Wait, no, maybe the Meadowsweet…the Windflower? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO PICK?)
Happy necklace browsing!