Callia’s Classic Collection Puts the Spotlight on Organic Women-Made Beads
Form Follows Function
Callia’s social mission is to create economic opportunities for low-income African women. A key strategy for accomplishing this mission is to source organic materials from rural African women’s associations.
Introducing the Classic Collection
Callia Jewelry’s Classic collection is a minimalist revision of the brand’s best-selling basics. Three monochromatic “micro collections” spotlight Callia’s organic materials. Delicate silhouettes and Callia’s signature multifunction designs make this collection an effortless staple for the socially conscious bohemian.
The Classic Collection spotlights Callia’s three main organic beads, which African women make or collect (pictured above from left to right):
- Women in Mali and Niger dig underground, underneath the large termite mounds that flourish along the delta river beds during the dry season. These women collect Callia’s clay termite beads, which are a natural byproduct of the termites’ channeling system. These beads are notable for their exquisite variegated color and delicate shapes.
- Togolese women hand-carve Callia’s natural seashell sequins. They break the shells into small pieces, then sand each piece into a circle using a block of granite. Finally, they use a fire-heated steel needle to pierce a hole in each beautiful sequin.
- Women in the North of the Ivory Coast collect and process Callia’s organic papyrus seed beads. These women cut the reeds, then remove the seeds and soak them in water to remove the skin. The women then pop the seeds like popcorn using a large mortar and pestle. A large chunk of termite mound serves as charcoal. The women heat the charcoal and place it in the mortar. They then pour in the seeds and pound them with the pestle. The combination of heat and pressure causes the seeds to pop like popcorn. After popping, the women grill the seeds in a frying pan to darken the seeds to the desired color. Finally, they pierce each bead using a recycled bicycle spoke as a needle.
See more about how Callia’s organic papyrus beads are made here.