Jewelry brand Omi Woods was founded by jewelry designer Ashley Alexis McFarlane. In an interview on Yahoo!Life, explaining how the ethical, fair-trade jewelry brand celebrates her connection to Africa and more.
A description of the brand on the website reads:
"My grandmother is the reason I started making jewelry and why Omi Woods is centered around heirloom heritage pieces. Her name means shalom in Hebrew and sälam in Ethiopian-Semitic languages. It translates to peace primarily, but also harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare, and tranquility. I reflect on these things as I learn about the cultures and histories Omi Woods pieces are inspired by."
When asked to describe herself and her business, McFarlane said "Omi Woods jewelry are contemporary heirlooms that celebrate our connections to Africa and her diaspora. Our jewelry is individually and ethically handmade with fair-trade African gold and globally sourced, conflict-free fine metals. Omi Woods jewelry is intended to be worn every day, gifted for special occasions, and passed down to future generations so its meaning can live on for generations to come. We believe in paying people fairly for their resources, time, and labor. Our solid-gold jewelry is now made with fair-trade African gold. The gold is sourced from small-scale artisanal mines that support the well-being of miners and their communities by paying miners a fair wage and contributing to improved healthcare, education, safety, and living conditions on the continent."
When asked about what inspired her to start her own jewelry business, she responded, "Omi Woods is the first Black-owned company founded by a descendent of runaway Ashanti slaves to create jewelry with fair-trade African gold. Why is this important? Ninety percent of the world's gold comes from Africa, and like diamonds, the gold-mining industry is rife with human and environmental rights abuses. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The shift is up to you and the choices you make. Now that we all have more time to reflect on our lives, society, and choices, I really hope we choose ethical in everything we do as much as humanly possible."
Information originally sourced from Yahoo!Life.