As the woman sits in the dirt, cradling a baby in the crook of her arm, she chatters away in Kimaa, her fingers moving rapidly, knotting wires between rows of beads so flawlessly that the breaks can barely be seen by the naked eye. The Maasai women have been beading for centuries using wire and dyed, multicolored beads to adorn themselves, to attract potential mates and to communicate their status within their communities. Today, these women – at work for the nonprofit organization Tanzanian Maasai Women’s Art (TMWA), are using the same ancient art form to change their lives. The jewelry collection is stunning, with rich, vibrant colored necklaces and sophisticated drop earrings. The Ashé Collection also includes very cool beaded belts and sandals and amazing weekend bags.
On the other side of the world, Anne Wells is managing orders for the Ashé Collection (ashé is “thank you” in Kimaa), featuring TMWA jewelry. “Our buyers here in the West have the opportunity to connect – even in the tiniest of ways – with people living and working in some of the most remote and impoverished places on our planet. And hopefully that will inspire a deeper sense of respect, curiosity and appreciation.” 100% of the Ashé Collection profit supports women’s health, education and micro-finance programs throughout Tanzania.
Anne Wells is also the founder and director of the social organization UNITE The World With Africa.
UNITE The World With Africa, LLC, is an independent, social organization founded in January 2010 by Anne Wells to provide impactful connections, resources and expertise to advance and grow women’s health, education and microfinance programs in select communities throughout Tanzania, East Africa.