July 25, 2016

Be Brave

Inside TenOverSix’s feel-good jewelry line.

Sometimes you just need a little extra encouragement when it comes to facing your fears (even if it’s just Monday or something bigger and badder). The Brave Collection is here to give you just that—thanks to a little inspiration on your wrist. Handcrafted in Cambodia, The Collection combines traditional ancient symbols of strength and spirit with modern design to create not only a wearable, but also inspirational, line.

Even better—10% of profits are donated to empower girls against human trafficking. Uplifting, indeed.

How did the Brave Collection start?

I traveled to Cambodia while teaching English in Thailand the summer after my sophomore year at NYU Tisch. I was fascinated by the idea of Angkor Wat—a city of ancient Buddhist and Hindu Temples. I fell in love with this magical, spiritual, country and was so deeply saddened to learn that in the genocide in the 1970s, 90% of the artisan community was killed. This sparked the idea for Brave, a line of jewelry handmade in Cambodia to support local artisans and celebrate Brave women globally.

Can you tell us a little about your pieces?

Our signature Bracelet spells “Brave” in Khmer, the Cambodian alphabet, and was carved and woven by hand in Cambodia. We also have a charm that says “Limitless” in Khmer, as well as a motif inspired by the lines of the Buddhist Flag, which represents wisdom and compassion. Our necklace charms are in the shape of a water buffalo tooth, silhouette you often see in the architecture of the Buddhist temples in Cambodia. The shape represents a small piece of a greater whole.

Can you tell us about the community that produces the jewelry?

We work with an amazing team of fair trade artisans in Cambodia. Mostly mothers, our team works in a free, fair and dignified work environment and receives far above average wages in addition to benefits like health insurance, stipends for their children’s education and paid maternity leave. The team has an incredible level of skill and craftsmanship, but when I met them, they had little access to a global customer, or design influences outside the sea of souvenirs in their own country. I love working with them because through this partnership we are helping to break the cycle of poverty, working with women who did not receive an education, but making sure their daughters are.

What’s your favorite piece and why?

My favorite place is our first piece, the True Red Brave Bracelet because it feels like an extension of the red strings the monks tie on your wrists to bless you when you are traveling through Cambodia. I love the idea of gaining strength and groundedness by something as simple as cotton on the wrist.