BUY HANDMADE JEWELLERY WHEN TRAVELLING
While hand made jewellery adds that bit of uniqueness to your wardrobe it also supports independent craftsmen make a living and support their local economies
Words: Aleksandra Georgieva
Photography: Kyle Cut Media, Tessa Wilson, Seashell In Love
03 May 2020
When I was little, I had this treasure box full of jewellery. Going through its contents never got old. Sometimes the chains of necklaces would get tangled and some rings would become a bit rusty, but I loved that treasure box. While it might not have kept silver or gold jewellery, nor did it protect precious stones, it was one of my most valued possessions.
The secret of the treasure box was how unique each piece in it was. There were handcrafted bracelets and necklaces made of driftwood. Earnings of all shapes and materials would glow when exposed at sunlight. Seashells made up entire anklets and bracelets. Every piece of jewellery in that box was unique. I had gathered them over the years and they could not be found in just any mall shop, accessories stand or even boutique stores.
My secret to collecting my most valued possessions was investing in independent brands. Whenever my family would head for a summer trip at the seaside, I shopped locally. The little stands with handcrafted items would catch my eye and I would buy accessories inspired by the culture and customs of the people of that destination. Often my jewellery was inspired by the sea. I liked stones with turquoise ocean-like colours, necklaces with seashells and driftwood bracelets.
Back in the days of my childhood I even attempted my own handcrafting of unique pieces. I got inspired by the locals at market places and tourist destinations. When travelling I began collecting materials from the shores or local markets selling ribbons and threads. I taught myself how to braid bracelets and began putting little stones or shells among them.
My inspiration introduced me to an entire craft. Most importantly, however, it taught me appreciation for the ways of hand making anything - from accessories to clothes and even pieces of furniture. When I was little I would look at the little stands along tourist towns and pay attention to what they were selling. Today I focus on their craft, their skill and their effort.
With time my taste evolved, yet I preserved my appreciation for the art of handcrafting jewellery. I try to stay away from chain stores and big shops. Instead I pay attention to the local ateliers or street stands that fund the livelihood of local people. Buying hand made jewellery doesn't just benefit your own treasure boxes. It helps families of creative people support themselves, while adding that bit of uniqueness to your style.
NOMADSofORIGIN is an independent annual publication with a focus on sustainable travelling and global cultural values. Each issue features interviews, engaging articles and photo guides, which take our nomadic readers through different destinations and introduce them to local people's perspectives.
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