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‘Tis the season for gift-giving, my friends.  But when it comes to socially-conscious giving, I believe that’s something that should always be in season.

It’s no secret that I’m a jewelry fanatic and it's my favorite gift for special occasions.  Who doesn’t love a good piece of sparkle?  But lately my gift-giving spirit has been intrigued by brands that are driven by more than their sales.  Aayenda Jewelry is one of those brands.


View the full collection of Aayenda Jewelry here!

Aayenda (which means 'future' in Dari) was launched by the non-profit organization Future Brilliance as a new jewelry brand handcrafted by Afghan artisans in collaboration with international jewelry designers.  In a country that’s been significantly affected by war, creating a new fashion brand is no small feat.  But the biggest challenge is in empowering the women of Afghanistan through the deveopment of skills and employment - and this is exactly what Aayenda Jewelry aims to achieve.  


Socially-conscious giving should always be in season.


Sophia Swire, Founder and Chairman of Future Brilliance,  states their mission as 'enterprise and workforce development for stability, particularly to get Afghan women into the workforce.'  The NGO formed a lapidary training project for Afghan artisans to develop jewelry created by local craftspersons using stones that are native to the country.  Through the training program, a select group of 36 Afghan jewelry students have been trained in gemology, gemstone cutting, jewelry design and goldsmith skills at a leading Institute in Jaipur, India.  Aayenda donates 100% of its profits to support the ongoing development of the artisans and the establishment of a large, safe and profitable jewelry brand from Afghanistan.

Aayenda’s unique collection uses gold plated sterling silver and base metals and features the bright blue lapis lazuli stones from the world’s oldest mines in Afghanistan.  The fine lapis beads featured in many of the pieces are handmade by artisans in rural Afghanistan.

I absolutely LOVE the blue and green earth tones used in the jewelry, which complements the gilded exterior beautifully.  Two of my favorite pieces from the collection are the Turquoise and Lapis Octagon Pendant Necklace and Large Turquoise Star Bangle.  

Beautiful gifts backed by a beautiful mission?  That's something that gets me into the holiday spirit!


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