It started with a necklace made by a local brass lamp designer spotted at West Coast Craft. It’s long and it’s perfect when I’m wearing anything long and flowy. Next it was a set of three rings found online, very much on sale, that I haven’t taken off since they came in the mail six months ago. Because they only fit on my left middle fingers, I even switched my engagement ring and wedding band to my right hand because I like the way they look on their own.
What really solidified my brass jewelry obsession was Soko, a brand that specializes in pieces made ethically using environmentally friendly methods in Kenya. Soko’s three founders have created a network of more than 1,300 artisans who use their cell phones to contract work and get paid. The setup is so efficient that artisans retain 25 to 30 percent of jewelry revenue—meanwhile the industry standard is 2-3 percent. Read more of their story here.
Soko recently opened up a storefront in San Francisco, and at the opening party I had a chance to touch and try on their beautiful bangles, rings, necklaces, earrings and more. Soko employees were, of course, wearing many of their own pieces, and I was struck by how the brass changes to a gorgeous deep gold color as time goes on. It doesn’t tarnish, it just gets more beautiful. Plus, it matches my glasses.
[Photos by Fujio Mura]