Katy & Philip Leakey, founders of The Leakey Collection, took a minute to share their compelling story and answer a few questions about The Leakey Collection and their work in Kenya.

Founded in 2002, The Leakey Collection is eco-chic jewelry that is designed and handmade by the Maasai in Kenya, specifically designed for an active lifestyle. Their work includes the design and manufacture of contemporary jewelry that is handmade by the Maasai women and men of Kenya from environmentally-friendly and sustainable materials. Katy and Philip literally live and breathe their work – choosing to live among the Maasai tribe.

An Interview with the Founders of The Leakey Collection

Tell us about your eco-inspired company!

There is nothing like “making something from nothing”, as Philip says. Not only is it gratifying to take a stalk of dried grass and turn it into the colorful, elegant jewelry Zulugrass™ that all women love to wear but to know that in designing such a piece you are also ensuring the survival of the wetlands is exciting! In every product we design we start with what is available in nature around us and wonder what we can create that will help ensure its preservation.

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

Philip and I live in tents in the Kenyan bush among the Maasai. We grow our own food, keep chickens and bring water from the river for bathing. We recycle all plastics and save everything, even empty toilet rolls, which become very handy candle makers. We have even used old newspapers to make a boat!

Guilty green pleasure?
Green tea! But I don’t feel too guilty. Somewhere out there are tea farmers who need to make a living and although we can get caught up in worrying about all the habit lost to farming we must balance as best we can.

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?
SLEEP WELL! You are doing the right thing!

*Image provided by The Leakey Collection.*