Mar 7, 2021

The Cura Co. partners with Boma Jewelry on 'This Matters' Collection

In the immediate aftermath of George Floyd’s death in May of 2020, long-time friends and business associates Akiko Waters of The Cura Co. and Suzanne Vetillart of Boma Jewelry knew it was time to use their business platforms to dismantle systems of racism and redistribute wealth.

Six months later, the duo has released their first gender-inclusive “This Matters” sustainable jewelry collection designed to recognize and redistribute funding for community organizations in support of Black lives. The collection includes a BLM “Power Pendant” featuring a raised fist, a “Say Their Names” slogan necklace, and a raised fist “Power Signet” ring. All items are available in sterling silver and 14k gold.




"As a company, we are continually looking inward and finding new ways to listen and lend support,” says Suzanne Vetillart, CEO of Boma Jewelry, “Learning about Delanie and Izzy inspired Akiko and I to look at the ways in which our brands could be used as a force for good to help make meaningful change.”

100% of the profits from the capsule collection will support the Black College Matters fund by Save Your VI, a non-profit organization dedicated to advocacy for Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. “This Matters” proceeds will be directly donated to support the college education funds for BIPOC activists Delanie Seals and Izzy Miller. Future collections will benefit a rotating list of grassroots organizations dedicated to supporting and empowering Black communities.

Delanie Seals and Izzy Miller made national headlines last spring when they fought to change a discriminatory school policy barring African head wraps from being worn at school. These courageous young women led a grassroots campaign that got them suspended from school for wanting to express their cultural heritage. Eventually, they won the right for all BIPOC students to wear cultural head wraps at school and attend schools free from discrimination and harassment, as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 guarantees. In addition, Izzy and Delanie organized multiple Black Lives Matter protests in their community and continue to urge the city council in Byng, Oklahoma to designate Juneteenth as a paid holiday. Cura Co. & Boma are honored to support these remarkable young leaders in their pursuit of the higher education they deserve.

The “This Matters” collection is available for purchase exclusively through Cura Co. and Boma Jewelry. Prices start at $50 for pendant necklaces and range up to $130 for signet rings. Shop the collection here.


About The Cura Co.

From fashion to home goods and health, The Cura Co. creates an intentional connection between producer and consumer in pursuit of a more equitable, beautiful world. Female- forward with social impact at its core, The Cura Co. is more than a brand- it’s a conscious lifestyle.


About Boma Jewelry

Boma Jewelry is a leading social purpose corporation that is focused on providing unparalleled quality and transparency for its customers and partners. Through its vertically-integrated supply chain and 40 years of experience creating fine jewelry and cultivating artisanship among its employees, Boma demonstrates that being profitable, respectful of its people, and conscious of its environmental impact is achievable when long-term goals are prioritized over short-term gains.

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Mar 6, 2021

Black-Owned Brands I love


Black History Month may be over, but I still want to take a moment to shine a spotlight on some of my favorite Black-owned businesses. These brands are doing amazing things to make the world a better place and I am proud to support their work. I encourage you to vote with your dollars and make a personal impact this year by taking the 15% Pledge.


Apparel

BELLO|EDU

BROTHER VELLIES

CHELSEA BRAVO

CULTRO CLOTHING

DAILY PAPER

EMRY BOUTIQUE

GUSTAVO APITI COUTURE

HANIFA

HOPE FOR FLOWERS

HOUSE OF AAMA

ISLAND TRIBE

LIKA LOVE

LAQUAN SMITH

LEMLEM

LISOU

MANNISH BOY

OFFWHITE

PLEMUNS

PYER MOSS

RABECCA ONASSIS BOUTIQUE

ROMEO HUNTE

ROSSARIO GEORGE

SATORI BOUTIQUE

THE OULA COMPANY

THE K LABEL

TONGORO

WALES BONNER

ZELIE FOR SHE


Accessories

AAKS

ASHYA

KATE MENSAH

KINTU

LACE & PEARLS JEWELRY

MAC HOUSE FASHION

MRS. ROBINSON’S AFFAIR JEWELRY

NUCIANO

TELFAR

VALERIE MADISON JEWELRY

VAVVOUNE


Beauty/Wellness

ALAFFIA

LAMAIN BEAUTY

PEAK + VALLEY



Creatives

LAEISHA HOWARD

MARABOU DESIGN

MIKE GARRETT

STYLISHLY MADE

THE BRIGHT REPORT


Authors

BRIT BENNET

CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

YAA GYASI


Community

ETHICAL STYLE JOURNAL

FASHION & RACE DATABASE

SUSTAINABLE FASHION FORUM

WOMEN OF COLOR WORLDWIDE


We can all do our part to make a difference. Learn more about Aurora James and the 15% Pledge here
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London's Photoshoot for Boma Jewelry

 

Last fall my daughter London had the chance to model in Boma Jewelry's holiday campaign. This local brand has quickly become one of her favorites because the earrings are fun and they don't irritate her sensitive ears.  Boma is sustainably-minded and uses recycled silver to make its products. In addition, all Boma Jewelry is non-toxic and nickel-free making it a great pick for sensitive ears. My daughter absolutely adores her collection of Boma Jewelry and really enjoyed working with the brand. 






Here are 5 things to know about Seattle brand Boma Jewelry:


1 - CEO Suzanne Vetillart is a 2nd generation owner and mom of 4. 

2 - The kids collection of earrings includes cats, dogs, unicorns, and rainbows. 

3 - Boma Jewelry customers can offset the carbon from their purchase by using CarbonClick at check-out.

4 - London's favorite pair of earrings from Boma Jewelry are these fox earrings

5 -  Boma has developed a process to recycle stones and set them into new pieces of jewelry as a way of keeping unused materials out of landfills. They plan to launch a new zero-waste collection in May, just in time for Mother's Day. 


View Boma Jewelry's collections for kids here:



Boma Jewelry Animal Earrings 



Photos by Demri Rayanne Photography

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Jan 7, 2021

The Blow Dryer That Changed My Life

Haircare is not something I take lightly. In fact, as someone with a lot of hair, the process of washing, drying, and styling my hair, is something that often takes up to two hours. I wish that I had the type of hair that would allow me to shower at night and wake up the next morning with dry hair. But sadly, I'm not. I've tried and my experiments always end with a sad, soggy pillow and soaking wet hair. Over the years I've come to terms with this reality and scheduled "wash days" accordingly but always found the entire operation quite frustrating. And then one day, everything changed. 

For Christmas this year, my husband surprised me with the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer. I had seen ads for it and watched as other influencers posted about it, but honestly, I didn't understand what the buzz was about. For starters, the blow dryer is nearly $400, which is a far cry from the $40 dryer I had been using from Revlon for years. And secondly, I had never used a dryer with a hole in the middle and had no idea how it worked. 

Turns out, this blow dryer can dry my hair in 8 minutes flat and I'm telling you, it's worth every dollar. It used to take me 25-35 minutes to thoroughly dry my hair and I would have to dry it in layers because my hair is so thick. With the Dyson, I can dry my hair quickly and move on to styling in a record amount of time. My entire "get ready routine" has become much more efficient and I feel like I've been given my valuable time back. The best part is, that in addition to rapid dry time, the Dyson protects hair from heat damage and visibly deceases frizz and flyaways, which is MAJOR for my naturally wavy hair. 



So how does it work? Well, for starters, the dryer is powered by a motor that propels 13 liters of air up to the amplifier every second. The airflow then produces a controlled, high-velocity jet of air designed to dry hair quickly. The airflow is temperature measured over 40 times to prevent heat damage, which helps make hair shiny. 

This blowdryer has honestly changed my life and streamlined my morning routine. I feel more efficient when I use it and love that it no longer takes me nearly 90 minutes to get ready when I need to wash my hair. Thank you, Dyson. 


ps. This post is not sponsored. We purchased the dryer with our own money and I'm telling you, it was worth every penny. 


Lead photo credit: Demri Rayanne Photography 


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Jan 6, 2021

Travel Inspiration from Pacific Northwest Bloggers

The Port of Seattle recently published a round-up of BIPOC travel influencers to follow for travel inspiration and they kindly included me in their list. I'm in great company, alongside Andrew Hoge, Antonio Smith, Carolyn Yuen Marino, Jennifer George, Mariame Sanoh, Sahily Perez, and more. If you're experiencing cabin fever and need some safe staycation ideas, go through the list and follow these amazing content creators. 

View the entire post here

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Jan 5, 2021

5 Of My Favorite Book Club Picks


Last spring, my friend Amanda invited me to join her book club. Looking back, saying "yes" seemed like a small moment in time, but fast forward nearly nine months later and I now realize how big of an impact that decision has had on my life, in the best way possible. The goal of the group was simple: read books by women of color, celebrate their work, and see the world from their perspective. Little did we know at the time that COVID would cause chaos around the world, halt travel, and fuel a social justice movement that was long overdue. Many of the topics we were reading about in our monthly book club would carry over to what was happening in real life and facing those hard truths became unavoidable. 

I've always loved to read. My grandma taught me to read when I was very young and my family has old photos of me sitting on my grandma's couch, surrounded by piles of books. As I got older, I stopped reading for fun and only consumed trade journals and business books. Every once in a while if I was about to board a long flight, I would pick up a book to read on the plane, but only then could I justify the time spent reading. Saying yes to book club meant that I suddenly had an excuse to carve out time to read and our monthly (virtual) meet-ups held me accountable so that I would actually finish the books lingering on my nightstand. I've read more books in the past 9 months than I have in the past 9 years and I've fallen in love with reading again, which I know would make my grandma very proud. 

Here are my 5 favorite book picks from 2020 written by a wide range of authors. I hope you love them as much as I did!

Half Of A Yellow Sun - This book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is essential reading as far as I'm concerned. In fact, this book was so incredibly well-written that once I finished it, I ordered every other title by the author that I could get my hands on. The book centers around two sisters who experience the Biafran conflict, sometimes known as the Nigerian Civil War. The story is well developed and shines a light on the situation and the tragic consequences that ultimately unfolded. If you like this book, I also encourage you to check out Americanah


Vanishing Half - Brit Bennet is an incredible author and her epic storytelling abilities come to life in this beautiful book. Vanishing Half is about twin sisters who grow up in a small town and construct a plan to escape the monotony of their lives. The book explores topics of sisterhood, personal identity, and the implications of being Black in America. 



Homegoing - This book by Yaa Gyasi was my personal pick for the group and one that I find myself recommending to people again and again. It made me realize that while we talk about slavery in this country, we fail to come to terms with the origins of slavery and its generational impact. Homegoing is the story of two half-sisters who are both born in Ghana but in separate villages. One goes on to marry an Englishman and the other is sold into the Transatlantic slave trade. The story is devastating and illuminating, making you deeply appreciate how the past ultimately shapes us all. 
Photo credit: Knopf/Cody Pickens 


Born a Crime - I stumbled upon this book over the holidays and what I thought might be a fun, easy book to read when I had pockets of time quickly became a book that I couldn't put down. I read the entire thing in two days and found myself completely captivated by the story. Trevor Noah's path from South Africa to present-day at The Daily Show is remarkable. Prior to reading this book, I didn't know about apartheid, which meant I couldn't appreciate how deeply it impacted communities of color. I found myself laughing, crying, and loving Trevor Noah even more by reading this book. 



Everything Is Beautiful In Its Time - 2020 has been a year of loss for so many of us and this book couldn't have come at a more perfect time. Over the summer one of my best friends lost her father after a long battle with cancer and several months later, my husband lost his grandmother, his last living grandparent. This book truly helped heal my heart and deepen the appreciation I have for my family. Author Jenna Bush Hager lost 3 of her 4 grandparents in the span of just one year and shares personal family stories and photos, allowing readers an intimate look at what it's like to grow up in not one, but two presidential families. This book was like therapy for me and I've since purchased it for friends who are going through heartbreak. I highly recommend it!




Reading is a love that I hope to pass along to my children. Several years ago while spending time in London I took my daughter to high tea sponsored by Daunt Books at the Langham Hotel and each child got to pick out a book to read and take home. My daughter (also named London), picked out Oi Frog!, a book she now knows by heart and reads out loud with joy. What are your favorite books for kids? Leave a comment down below. Oh, and if you love Oi Frog, you might also want to check out London's new favorite, Oi Dog




Shop Local

For convenience, I've linked the above titles to Amazon, but if you can, please consider shopping locally at your neighborhood book store. Here are a few of my favorites:

Elliot Bay Books

Queen Anne Book Company

Phinney Books

Three Trees Books



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