I had the fortunate opportunity to stop by the popular development organization, 31 Bits’s headquarters in Costa Mesa to learn more about the brand. It was co-founded in 2008 by Kallie Dovel, who had traveled to Uganda back in 2007 to visit friends and get a glimpse of life in Northern Uganda. While there, she met women that had been displaced, who were crafting beautiful beads made from old posters, magazines, fliers and textbooks; but unfortunately, there was no market for selling them there. She brought back a box of jewelry to share with her friends and family-thus, bringing awareness and more demand for the jewelry. This series of events conjured up the idea for 31 Bits. The name, “31 Bits” was named after the Bible verse- Proverbs 31, which describes a diligent woman providing and caring for her family. “Bits” was named after the phrase- ‘bits of paper’, which is what the beads are made out of. Since 2008, 31 Bits has grown from having six women designers to one hundred fifteen. I think this is so amazing because these women are so talented and 31 Bits is helping to bring awareness to their craft, as well as helping them through development programs and giving them a decent wage so that they can provide food, shelter, health care to themselves and their families. I really enjoyed taking a peek inside their warehouse, chock full of boxes of different styles of necklaces and bracelets. As a visual person, it was a joy to see all the many colors and the variety of color-ways in the jewelry. If you want more information on the brand and want to hear more about how 31 Bits helps the women of Gulu, Uganda, go to their website. Note: I want to extend a huge thanks to Alli- the director of PR/Marketing for kindly giving me the opportunity to tour the 31 Bits headquarters and for gifting me the ‘Heritage’ necklace in violet, as a thanks for doing this article on the brand.
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