Tortoise Computer Glasses | c/o Firmoo
Nude Boho Shawl | Urban Outfitters
Nude Ballet Flats | Shoes of Prey
Photo Credit: Pink Creative Studio
Kicking off my new blog with an interview with the amazing new brand, Kurandza. This social good, ethical (slow) fashion women's African jewelry line is GORGEOUS! They sell bracelets and earrings handmade from the traditional Capulana fabric by women in Southern Mozambique. I love this brand because it is a brand which signifies hope and beauty. Each purchase of jewelry provides HIV-positive women fair employment, and a means to stay healthy and provide for their families. These pieces are all so cute too - say hello to statement pieces that state your fashion savviness and belief in women's empowerment, education, and social change! I hope this interview inspires you as it did me.
Without further adieu, please join me as I interview Elisabetta, the Founder of the fashion for good social enterprise, Kurandza.
What is the inspiration behind Kurandza?
While I was volunteering with the Peace Corps at a hospital in Mozambique in southeastern Africa for the past three years, I noticed that many HIV positive women in rural villages were unable to reach the nearest hospital every month to pick-up their anti-retroviral treatment because they didn’t have money to pay for transportation. My community counterpart and I had the idea to start a sewing cooperative for these HIV positive women so that they could earn an income, pay for transport to the hospital, and remain adherent and healthy! We procured funds to start the cooperative, built our small workshop out of mud, trained the first group of women in sewing, and started to produce jewelry. When I got back to the U.S., the reaction from family and friends was overwhelming and because I knew that I wanted to find a way to remain connected and continue working with these women, I was inspired to create Kurandza.
What does Kurandza mean? Is there a certain way to pronounce it?
“Kurandza” means “to love” in Changana, the local language of the women with whom we work in Southern Mozambique. Our organization is a partnership based on mutual love and understanding between people of different cultures. Phonetically it is pronounced “Koo – Rahnd – Zah”.
Your jewelry is all handmade. Tell me more about it!
Yes, all of our pieces are handmade with LOVE by our women artisans in Mozambique. Our women spend time on each piece, making sure that it is carefully handcrafted for our customers. Sometimes it takes our women a whole day to make just one set of earrings because they want to make sure that they are of the best quality!
Would you consider your brand as an ethical fashion company? Why or why not?
I would definitely consider Kurandza to be an ethical fashion company because of our social mission of empowering and educating women in Mozambique through entrepreneurship and creative design. In everything we do, we think of how we are working towards our mission and benefiting our women partners.
Where do you source your materials?
All of our products—jewelry, bags, and accessories— are made with traditional fabric called “Capulana” that we get in Mozambique. Capulana cloth is used daily by women in Mozambique either as a head-wrap, around their waist as a skirt, or as a way to carry babies on their back.
Where do you see Kurandza in 5 years? 10 years?
I hope that in the near future, Kurandza grows to be a prominent brand with great demand for our product so that we can build a larger workshop in our current village and create new partnerships in other communities, working with more artisans and making a difference in the lives of more and more women in Mozambique.
What message do you want people to take away from your line? Aside from it's beautiful jewelry.
By purchasing one of our pieces, you are not only receiving a beautiful and unique item, but most important you are helping Mozambican women to become self-sufficient, enabling them to provide for themselves and their families.
My blog's name is beYOUtiful hope. How do you define beauty? :)
I think that beauty is all about being comfortable and confident with who you are and letting your own personality and style shine through.
Once Again Inspired,
P.S. Don't forget that Kurandza jewelry would make great holiday gifts! Not only are the pieces gorgeous, but through them you give the gift of hope. Also, I love their eco-friendly packaging. :D