31 Bits: Turning Paper Beads Into an Empowering Art Form

November 11, 2013

31 Bits has elevated a classic craft — the paper bead — into art, empowering the women who create these lux beaded pieces in the process.

From the beginning the founders, Kallie, Alli, Anna, Brooke, and Jessie, knew that Ugandan women need more than a job. That’s why 31 Bits has a unique approach of holistic development — think jobs, loans, training, education, health, counseling, staff relations, prayer, and opportunities for staff to volunteer in the community.

When Kallie Dovel visited Uganda her life was powerfully changed – as were the lives of the many women 31 Bits would one day impact. When Kallie returned to America, she brought jewelry from Ugandan artisans with her.

Four of her friends, still juniors in college, eagerly joined her in selling jewelry and learning more about fashion and business. The summer after Kallie’s initial visit, some of the girls travelled to Africa and worked with six Ugandan women — today, they work with over a hundred! Together, the 31 Bits team has created a five-month holistic development program, empowering each woman with the skills to run her own sustainable business. 

When asked about the 31 Bits model, Alli shared: “The creators of our jewelry are paid fairly and given the education and resources needed to rise above poverty. Our development model not only provides women in Northern Uganda with a sustainable income, it provides an opportunity for people all over the world to make a difference through their purchases.”

Not to mention, creating beautiful jewelry and accessories in the process.

 

 

1. Lolly Bracelet, $12
This cute bracelet comes in Blue  or Coral and will add a splash of color to any outfit. Kids and adults will both love this fun and unique style!

2. Think Pink Necklace, $30
Wear this simple and beautiful necklace with jeans and a white tee, or with a cute cocktail dress. And let your dollar do even more good, knowing that 15% of sales from the Think Pink Necklace and Think Pink Bracelet will be donated to the Breast Cancer Society.

3. The Gatsby, $29
My personal favorite, this piece has just enough sparkle to express your holiday cheer or to dress up your wardrobe all year! It comes in a color to match any girl’s style: fuchsia, emerald, crème or grey! Try pairing it with The Starry Night bracelet for even more sparkle!

Do you love what you see? Head over to 31 Bits’  online store to browse their complete collection!

Be sure to check out all the great ways to get involved (including hosting a party or being a campus rep)!


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