Salamu Designs, Kenya

Creatives+ Creative Entrepreneurs, Jewelry / Friday, May 6th, 2016

Salam Designs/ Once Upon A Tea Time

The creative process is different for each one of us. You never know when, where, and in what form inspiration will strike and guide us along a creative journey that enriches us in so many ways- where you see beauty in unexpected places and where you learn what you are capable of. Creativity is not restricted to arts or design processes, but encompasses life itself. It’s where you find out who you are and what you want to do. Today, I want to share with you the story of Salamu Designs. They are a jewelry company based in Kenya, in the port city of Lamu and co-founders Kasmira and Aimee share their beautiful story (and gorgeous jewelry!) with us today.

Salam Designs/ Once Upon A Tea Time

“We started this company because beautiful things need to be shared with the world and we hope you love our little bits of treasure as much as we do! Salamu Designs is a jewelry project which features antique ceramic rings, pendants and earrings made on the island archipelago of Lamu, northern Kenya. Lamu is an ancient Swahili port city in northern Kenya. For centuries, traders have bought and sold goods here, including quality Chinese porcelain to be used as crockery in local homes or to be inlaid into walls as decoration. Lore has it that over the centuries, ships carrying this precious china were shipwrecked on the reefs, causing the broken pieces to wash up on the island sands over time. It is from these antique relics that Salamu’s jewelry is forged.Salamu Designs/ Once Upon A Tea Time

Today, the porcelain continues to wash up on the local sands. Lamu artisan Mohamad Omar, a self-trained silversmith, saw the beauty in these broken fragments of the past. He began to collect them, and now transforms them into beautiful, unique pieces of jewelry. Salamu Designs works with Mohamad to design the pieces featured in our collection and bring Mohamad’s art to you. We take inspiration from the stories told by the delicate fragments of past beauty and the genuine culture of Lamu Town.

Salamu Designs/ Once Upon A Tea Time

Each piece of porcelain is hand selected by us, and hand crafted by Mohamad’s small team of silversmiths in his studio in Lamu. Every part of the process is hand-forged – from slowly grinding the porcelain into smooth shapes, to setting the pieces in sterling silver. Mohamad uses only nickel-free 925 silver sourced through Mombasa, ensuring that our products are allergy-free and support local supply chains.

Salamu Designs/ Once Upon A Tea Time

Every piece is completely one-of-a-kind. The tiny cracks and chips tell a history and a story long before the fragment of ceramic became a piece of jewelry. We hope by repurposing this lost art we are offering it a new home, a new story and our customers a beautiful fashion accessory.”
Salamu Designs/ Once Upon A Tea Time

How utterly beautiful and romantic to wear a piece of jewelry that carries with it a story of having traveled across the seas and shaped by so many hands to reach you! Please visit Salamu Designs here to learn more about their work and to see the gorgeous jewelry. Thank you for sharing, ladies!

Images credit/copyright and used with permission: Salamu Designs

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