Several years ago while visiting OU with Kristen before she was a student there; I noticed my friend Ann was wearing the prettiest bracelets. She told me they could be found at a small boutique in Norman and that they were made by women in Nepal. I fell in love with them and have been collecting them ever since.
Fast forward four years and the bracelets are everywhere! They have taken the fashion industry by storm and match easily with any outfit or any style. It’s not every day Oklahoma sets a fashion trend, but in this case I’m giving credit where credit is due. (In a reversal of fortunes however, I have to say Kristen was wearing Kendra Scott jewelry at OU years ago and today a pair of Scott’s signature “Danielle” earrings is a virtual unofficial emblem of an OU girl and are everywhere in the Sooner state!) Back to the bracelets. Every time I wear them, people ask me about them so I figured it was time to blog about them.
They are called “Lily and Laura” bracelets and the story behind them is as beautiful as the bracelets themselves.
Laura has always loved to travel, and after earning an art history degree she moved to Nepal. While living there, she discovered the Nepali crocheted bracelets and decided to devote her energy to helping her new friends make them and sell them to support themselves.
“Each bracelet is a little piece of artwork,” says Laura. “Our women artists are passionate about making the bracelets they crochet very special.”
The bracelets aren’t cheap (most boutiques charge around $30 for three) but only the finest glass beads are used in them and each and every bracelet is hand crocheted by Nepali women, bead by bead and in the comfort of their own homes. No two bracelets are alike and they comfortably roll on over any size hand. Best of all, they are produced using a “fair trade” wage structure, allowing the artisans to improve the quality of their lives while providing a Nepal custom the world over. The women are seen as artisans in their communities and are able to help support their families and break the cycle of poverty, abuse, and human trafficking in the region.
Most people wear them in “stacks” and blend a color scheme in doing so. You can wear several of them together, combine them with other bracelets, or perhaps even with a stylish watch. Here are a few samples of some of mine:
The next time you see a bowl full of beaded bracelets in a store, which is usually how they’re displayed, consider buying a few. I promise you’ll grow to love them and the women who made them for you will love the life you are helping provide them.