Zulugrass: a socially conscious giveaway

I want to introduce you to Zulugrass, one of the lines of natural material jewelry marketed by The Leakey Collection. The company was founded in 2002 by Katy and Philip Leakey when a devastating drought in Kenya (2001) forced the men to leave behind the women and children, so they could take the surviving cattle far up country in search of grazing land. The Leakey’s found themselves helping to support as many as 100 Maasai families by giving them money for food, school fees, medical expenses and housing. This was not sustainable for either party and the Leakeys knew they had to find another way.

The answer came from the fibrous, hollow, drought-resistant grass that is a plentiful natural resource of Kenya. It so tough that even the Maasai’s hungry cattle won’t eat it. In fact it was regarded as such a unusable nuisance. Now that very grass is turned into beautiful jewelry.

Zulugrass is the flagship line in their collection. The work includes the design and manufacture of contemporary jewelry that is hand made by the Maasai women and men of Kenya from environmentally sustainable materials. Zulugrass is sold in individually or in multi-strands, which allows you to get precisely the color, depth and weight of the jewelry that you want. It has an earthy, organic look and feel, yet is completely modern.


I am really pleased to be able to pass on to you two lovely pieces of Zulugrass jewelry that were sent to me for review!  One is a multi-strand twisted green bracelet, and the other is a two-strand brown and tan set that can be worn multiple ways.  Leave me a comment below and you’ll be entered into the drawing.  Tweet the contest or post it on your facebook and you can leave a second comment to be entered twice!  If you are involved with any fund-raising or socially beneficial companies like this one, please leave a link as part of your comment…we all want to know what opportunities are out there for helping others through our work!

Here is a video which shows you the many ways you can wear your Zulugrass jewelry:

Share This Post:
    • Shelly

      What could be better than wearing something from mother earth and helping families survive at the same time!

    • Fernanda

      Beautiful and so versatile!! Thank you for posting this.

    • Tari

      I love this type of jewelry!

    • http://www.wildejewels.com Cassandra Graham

      I was fortunate enough to have spent time in Kenya and while visiting a Maasai village, met Philip Leakey. Jewelry made by the Maasai is extraordinary and they are a wonderful, gracious people. I did pass on the offer of drinking fresh blood drawn from the neck of a village cow…lol.

    • http://henleythegreatdane.blogspot.com/ Bunny Wilson

      Love this in every way!

    • http://Blisstree Avanette

      The zulu grass strands is awesome and you can use them in so many different ways. They are the only jewelry you would have to have, with earrings to complete any wardrobe. The numerous ways to wear these strands are unbelievable and fun, I would love to own some strands to wear and experiment all the ways to complement whatever I choose to wear. I will definitely be looking anxiously to being the lucky one during the drawing to get my strands or I guess I will have to purchase them if I am not that Lucky person to receive them in the drawingreres wishing and hoping I’m that person to receive the zulu grass strands. Thank you for sharing the video of the very versatile, natural zulu grass beading strands. Avanette

    • http://thelonebeader.com/ LB

      Cool! I would love to win!

    • http://DivateArts.com Patti Dengler

      It would be nice to be able to get bunches of the strands, both colored and beaded and maybe plain, to incorporate into my own pieces as well. Is it all jewelry, or is there a part of the operation that sells the grass as it’s own element?

    • Diane Judy

      The colors are absolutely beautiful. I would love to own some of this wonderful jewelry.

    • Laurie Brown

      Wow! That stuff looks really cool! I would love a piece of this jewelry!

    • Carole

      Oh, these are gorgeous. I have worked with another organization that assists Kenyan women to sell their beads. The profits also help send Kenyan girls to school.

    • Carole

      I forgot to say, it is called Beads for Education.

    • CJ Vierow

      How great to take something that is garbage, make something beautiful, and help people at the same time. I’d call that some fabulous recycling!

    • http://www.thelaughingmoonnyc.com joy

      This is so cool! And beautiful. Isn’t it great when beauty can be helpful?

    • http://kattzyze.deviantart.com/ kattz

      wow–these are gorgeous and so versatile! And its fantastic that they’ve learned to make something beautiful like this from something they thought was useless. Good luck to them in this endeavor–I wish them much success. :)

    • Hannah B.

      I love colorful, ethnic jewelry and would be proud to wear these! Thank you very much!

    • Matthew Hallett

      tweet! -http://twitter.com/gutterabbit/status/9270251274

    • Jenni

      I would love to win and see how they make things from weeds. We make stuff from porcupine quills, and other things in nature…when found, not out hunting them.
      Horse tail hair. So I am always interested in seeing other tribes art work.

    • http://www.theartfulcrafter.com/ Eileen

      The beads are lovely and colors gorgeous … and to think they-re made form grass. Thanks for the chance to win.

    • http://kattzyze.deviantart.com/ kattz

      Just a second comment to let you know I have tweeted this, as well as put it on my facebook! Good luck to everyone who has entered the contest! I am keeping my fingers crossed~ :D

    • http://RockStoneTreasures.etsy.com Lee

      I’ve seen Zulugrass that was being sold in my local library and the colors are gorgeous. Really pretty stuff for a wonderful cause.

    • Suzie Jaisle

      Such gorgeous beads! And a heartfelt cause!

    • Sherry Robinson

      Thanks for passing along your samples through a giveaway, and what a unique idea… to recycle an other-wise useless natural fiber in a very cool way. I’ve bought Kazuri beads for the very purpose of supporting African women who had no other skills or trade until this bead making opportunity came along for them. Check out Kazuri.com sometime or go through turtleneckbeads.com.
      Thanks again!

    • Debefree

      Thank you for finding a real opportunity for that area to try to support itself.

      I think that looks like a fantastic fiber

    • Cheryl Sue

      I love everything about this collection. I’m going to post on my Facebook now too!

    • daisyee12

      I love the natural look.

    • B. Lerner

      These look wonderful! I’ve been to Kenya & have seen Maasai women make this type of jewelry. Having some would be a wonderful reminder of the most fantastic trip I’ve ever taken. Also, I’d tell everyone about it, so encourage more socially responsible buying. Thanks for offering them.

    • B. Lerner

      On my Facebook!!

    • http://ginalouthian-stanley.blogspot.com/ gina louthian-stanley

      What great information! I will pass this along to my middle school students! I would love to win on of the pieces just to show it to them and try to inspire them when we do persuasive papers. Perhaps it would encourage someone to create something new and different from our environment! Thanks so much!

    • http://www.tinkstreasure.etsy.com Debi/TinksTreasure

      Wow .. I am in awe of this! I would be proud to wear & support this effort.

    • http://www.christineritcheyjewelry.com Christine Ritchey

      There’s just something about this Zulugrass that I can’t get out of my head. I adored the video and love the concept of using a “nuisance” grass to create jewelry and give people in need an opportunity to feel useful and make money. Plus, the jewelry itself it gorgeous and fun and versitile and lends itself to creativity. I’m thinking about buying some to wear and some to give away with my jewelry sales and perhaps even to become a retailer. What an incredible concept the Leakys came up with! Thanks so much for posting this wonderful product! I’m hooked!

    • Laura Strack

      What a beautiful product and I love the story behind the line. Thanks for bringing awareness of this jewelry.

    • Debra B

      Beautiful and natural! Would love to wear this!

    • Laura

      I’d love to see this up close, it looks wonderful on the video. Thanks!

    • Maria

      That is so cool! Thanks for letting us know about it!

    • http://kiwiken.wordpress.com/ Kiwiken

      Ooooh, such beautiful colours!! I’d have liked to hear more about the women that produce it, though. Wonder how much of the profit they get?

    • http://www.jkdjewelry.com Jeannie

      I would love to win. This is the kind of grass I like…the stuff you don’t have to mow, weed or fertilize.

    • http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com/ Shay Williams

      This is gorgeous stuff. Please enter me!

    • http://heatherp22.etsy.com Heather P

      I love the combinations of colors in the multi strands! Very nice options for changing the look of the beads. What a wonderful way to support the Maasai women too. I would love to know more about where to purchase the beads.

    • Cathy G

      How fabulous! This is amazing! Using a natural fiber for jewelry is wonderful! Helping people by using it is even more wonderful! Where can I buy this?

    • http://www.annsjewelryboutique.com/ Ann R,

      How cool! I love this collection! I can’t wait to purchase some. So many beautiful. Where can I purchase? Love all of the colors.

    • Cindy

      Very pretty – thanks for the chance to win

    • Sarahbeth39


    • http://facebook.com Debra Davidson Vachon

      this stuff is amazing get the word out these women are so talented and their work devine

    • Lisa Mauro

      These beads are amazing and I can’t get enough!!

    • Cathy R.

      How fabulous. My students would love to see these up close. What a lesson this would be for them to learn about other cultures.

    • Mona

      What a great idea! Love it! Love it Want all of them! Sign me up !!!

    • http://www.mazeltovjewelry.com Cyndi Lavin

      Oh you lucky ducky you! What a wonderful experience to be able to travel to a place like that. Thanks for the thumbs up on the Leakey Collection :-)

    • http://www.mazeltovjewelry.com Cyndi Lavin

      I believe that it’s all finished jewelry, although they do offer wholesale accounts too.