Start Date: 12/2/2020 10:00 AM PST
End Date: 12/2/2020 11:00 AM PST
Venue Name: Zoom, $15 for Members, $25 for Non Members, Free for BIPOC Members and Non-Members
Women's Jewelry Association
There has historically been a colonial approach to sourcing materials in the jewelry industry, with Western companies sourcing from Black and Brown communities around the globe that are often not acknowledged or compensated for their materials.
Join us for an important conversation focusing on new connections between artisanal mining communities, where jewelry materials come from, and designers in the US market. Hear about the challenges and opportunities directly from women-led companies based in Africa, as well as designers working from an ethical perspective and their experiences in connecting to responsible sources.
The impressive group of panelists includes:
- Zulaikha Aziz, Mazahri
- Lotanna Amina Egwuatu, Mina Stones
- Miriam Wairimu Kamau, Mimo Gem Traders
The panel will be moderated by Jared Holstein, owner of D'Amadeo.
WJA Members - $15
Non-Members - $25
Proceeds from this event series will go toward funding BIPOC WJA member grants.
This event is free for BIPOC jewelry professionals (including non-WJA members). Use Promo Code: WJA2020
WJA NorCal is co-hosting this event in partnership with Ethical Metalsmiths
Zulaikha Aziz is a human rights attorney and the founder of Mazahri, a purpose driven conscious fine jewelry company founded on the principle that business can and should be an important force for good in the world. Mazahri believes that jewelry should not only adorn, empower and celebrate the wearer but also the people involved in each step of its creation, and the planet as a whole.
Zulaikha’s love of jewelry is grounded in her personal story and her Afghan heritage. After fleeing war as refugees, she and her family settled in the US leaving everything behind save for some ancestral jewelry her grandmother was able to rescue. These deeply meaningful pieces helped connect her to their stories and, in turn, forge her own unique path. Her work in Afghanistan and diverse communities around the world inspired her to merge her passion for human rights and women's empowerment with her love of ancient Afghan jewelry in creating Mazahri, named in honor of her grandmother. In addition to leading Mazahri, Zulaikha continues her legal advocacy, research and scholarship.
Amina was born in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. She attended Covenant University where she graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Engineering and went to further her studies at Lancaster University, the UK where she obtained an MSc. in Business and Innovation. During and after her master's program, she proceeded to pursue her passion for gemstones with GIA obtaining her Gemologist Certification.
Amina loves to empower people around her, travel, and explore new places. She is the creative director of the gemstone & jewelry brand, MINA STONES and is also actively involved in projects that aim to develop the gemstone and jewelry industry as well as improve the livelihood of people along the gemstones value chain. She is also the co-founder of the African Gemstone & Jewelry Exhibition and Seminar (AGJES). A member of the Society of Women Engineers, Technologists, and Scientists (SWETS) Africa where she is actively involved in mentorship and community service. She is also a member of Women in Mining in Nigeria (WIMIN) and the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) USA where she serves as a mentor.
Miriam Wairimu Kamau
Miriam is a gemologist from an economically disadvantaged background in rural Kenya. After graduating from high school in 1994, her father passed, ending Miriam's desire for higher education. Being the firstborn child, circumstances forced her to seek employment to help her mother take care of her siblings.
Opportunity knocked when she was hired by an American gem dealer as a tea maker and receptionist in Nairobi. Fascinated by gemstones and the gem trade, Miriam learned all she could and saved her salary to pay for training on gemstones. She holds certificates from Nairobi, and Johannesburg in diamond and colored gemstone identification, including processing from rough to full cut polished minerals, cutting, sorting and marketing. Miriam then took her passion for gems one step further by delving into mining. She quickly earned the respect of veteran gem miners - all male- for her courage, tenacity, and results. Miriam now has 17 years of experience as a successful gemstone dealer, miner and creative artisan.
Miriam is a member of the International Colored Gemstone Association, the Kenya Chamber of Mines, and is on the board of the Association for Women in Extractives and Energy in Kenya (AWEIK). And she was recently recognized by Women in Mining as one of the 100 most inspirational women in mining.
Jared Holstein is the owner of D’Amadeo, a San Francisco-based diamond, colored stone and estate jewelry wholesale business focused on post-consumer recycled diamonds and colored stones, historical cuts, and known-source gemstones.
Jared serves on the advisory board for Ethical Metalsmiths and as co-chair of its Responsible Sourcing Committee, on the board of the Jewelry Industry Summit, as a member of the Jewelry Glossary Project, and co-founded Perpetuum Jewels.
Jared enjoys collaborating to create a more transparent, sustainable and equitable future for the jewelry industry and those people, communities and places it impacts.