The Leakey Collection features the beautiful and sustainable jewelry handcrafted by the Maasai women of Kenya

July 18, 2008 at 8:19 pm Leave a comment


Few have experienced the exotic lifestyle led by Philip and Katy Leakey in the rural bush of the Rift Valley in Kenya; and in 2002 they had an idea:  bring a piece of their world to the rest of the globe. The Leakey’s vision was to utilize their artistic talent and passion for African culture and create beautiful, stylish and sustainable accessories while providing income for the Maasai in Kenya.  The Leakey Collection was born.

The Maasai women work under acacia trees at mobile work sites in the Rift Valley, spanning 150 miles.  The Leakey Collection provides work opportunities where work is needed, and is currently offering employment to over 1200 Kenyans.   Katy Leakey is hopeful this statistic will grow by reaching a wider audience through their new retail site, “We developed this company with the goal of enhancing understanding between developed nations and Africa using products and commerce as a vehicle.” says Ms. Leakey.  “Consumers want quality products made from sustainable and natural resources; and that is exactly what they will find from The Leakey Collection.”

Philip Leakey is the third and youngest son of paleo-anthropologists Drs. Louis and Mary Leakey. He was a Member of Parliament in Kenya for 15 years, a Deputy Member of the Cabinet for 14 years and a Member of Cabinet for 1 year. Philip is known in Kenya for his dedication towards improving conditions for all Kenyan’s with particular attention to the areas of business opportunity and the environment.  Katy Leakey’s talent as an artist and designer has allowed her to connect diverse cultures through art and lecturing in university systems in the United States. She spent time studying ancient cultures in the unexplored areas of the Amazon of Peru and Ecuador before moving to Africa in 2001. In 1964 Allen and Helen O’Brien along with Katy Leakey’s parents, Robert and Evelyn Moodey along with three others, co-founded the L.S.B. Leakey foundation, lending a cultural anthropological bent towards Katy’s life long work in art.

The Zulugrass and Zuluwood lines feature the most popular products of The Leakey Collection; and have found their way into the global market.

Zulugrass is the cornerstone of The Leakey Collection and contains vibrant and exotic necklaces, bracelets and earrings.  Each piece of Zulugrass is assembled by the Maasai women from grass beads colored with low impact textile dyes.  The grass is harvested and cut into beads by hand.   The pieces are then mixed with hand blown Czech and Japanese glass beads and strung on a special blend of elastic that was used in the movie, Spiderman.

ZuluWood necklaces and earrings are made from the native woods of East Africa and is the natural compliment to Zulugrass jewelry. All wood used to make the Zuluwood products are collected from fallen and sustainable pieces of acacia.  Sustainable methods of planning and collection are utilized in this process.  In addition, wood is hand tooled and burnished for a gem like finish; there is no wax, lacquer or varnish used on any of the beads or wooden products.  

From high fashion jewelry to home interior design accessories, The Leakey Collection’s natural elegance distinguishes this high end product line as one of the world’s premier offerings.  These extraordinary pieces are now available .



Entry filed under: Eco Fashion, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , .

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