When Australian Tess Freund became a mother, she missed her beloved jewelry a great deal. The reason she couldn't wear them was "due to small parts and unknown material; those that did pass the test were victim to ten surprisingly strong baby fingers". So rather than give up wearing jewelry altogether she came up with Monkey and Mum (also on Etsy), a handmade line of slip on baby friendly jewelry.
Her fabric necklaces and yarn adorned wood bangles are made from natural materials so that they will be safe for baby to enjoy especially during breast feeding and to chomp on while in the teething stage. I particularly liked the way she incorporated tactile elements into her designs. The slip on jewelry pieces are light weight, comfortable and fashionable for mothers to wear They are easily handwashable.
There are three collections - custom, designer and fair trade. Tess creates the custom and designer pieces in her lovely Brisbane studio shown below :
She outsources the fair trade collection to help a group of disadvantaged and impoverished women in India. In her blog post, she explained how she spent months looking for an ethical way of growing her business and meeting increasing demand for her designs.
She eventually partnered with Shari from the Mehera Shaw Foundation. The two women then worked with a development group in Jaipur, India to provide these women with a long term source of income for them. The program also funds the training needed to improve the lives of other struggling women. The necklaces in this line utilize the organic cotton and silk off cuts from the Mehera Shaw manufacturing line.
Who knew there would be a wonderful story to the jewelry "Worn by Mums, Enjoyed by Monkeys"!
Before You Go:
- Batik Fabric Necklace and Jewelry Box Tutorials
- How to Make Fabric Jewelry Tutorials (mega collection)
- More Recycled T-Shirt Jewelry Tutorials
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips