Musana & a Giveaway

{This is not a sponsored review and Musana has no idea I’m writing about them or giving away an item}

I have a weakness for jewelry with a story.

Most of my favorite pieces of jewelry have some sentimentality involved. When I travel, I tend to buy myself something made locally to remember my trip. I’m obsessed with the whole small batch/handmade aspect of Etsy.

So obviously when I heard about Musana I was immediately intrigued.

The women who make the jewelry work at their workshop in Lugazi, Uganda for a steady salary which helps them provide for their children. The organization provides the women with opportunities to take English classes, business classes, receive financial mentoring and more at workshops throughout the week. They also subsidize medical costs, work to prevent sickness, and give back to the community. You can learn more here.

When clicking around on their site, the necklace that immediately caught my attention was the Bumba necklace ($42).

The beads are made from clay sourced an hour from the Lugazi workshop. The artisans shape each clay bead by hand and then send it to the kiln for firing. After firing, the beads are strung on fishing line and tied up to be painted. The women mix the color and paint each bead by hand. Then, the beads dry for two days before being taken down and strung onto the necklaces.

All that work done by hand results in this gorgeous one-of-a-kind necklace that I just HAD to have. It comes in a bunch of different colors, but I really love the teal.

Musana 4

Pretty, right?
And such a great story too.

Musana 1

Actually, it even had a story in getting to my house. Somehow my beautiful necklace was lost in the mail for so long that the nice people at Musana sent me a second one, along with a trio of bracelets as an apology for it taking so long.

The Festival Bangle bracelets (retail value $42) are a lightweight set of three hand-pounded metal bangles (7.5 inches) locally sourced in Lagazi, Uganda. They are so pretty and I can totally see wearing them stacked together or even adding in a leather wrap bracelet or two.

Musana 2

Ollie likes them too.

Musana 3

While I love the bracelets, I’d actually love it more to give them to one of you! All you have to do to enter to win is leave a comment on this post telling me the story of one of your pieces of jewelry. I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner on Thursday!

So, what’s your best jewelry story?

2/4/16 Update: The winner of the handmade bracelet set is… Annie Greaves! Congrats and thank you to everyone who shared their jewelry story!

Disclosure: I repeat… this was NOT a sponsored post. I paid for the Musana necklace with my own money. They gifted me the bracelets because my order was lost. I’ll randomly pick a winner on Thursday and post the winner’s name here.

Like what you see? Share me with your friends!

14 thoughts on “Musana & a Giveaway”

  1. That necklace is so YOU and I love the story. I don’t have a good jewelry story, other than I always misspell the word “jewelry” as “jewelery.” I just wanted to comment 🙂

  2. This is too funny and a little freaky. I am an absolute sucker for stuff with stories. Anything that is old, vintage, worn, weathered –sign me up! I totally feel like I’m honoring those that have gone before me by giving another life to their items. While looking for some vintage items for my wedding (over a year ago now) I came across an old merchant marine signet ring. It had no bids on it whatsoever and that made my heart hurt. Though it wasn’t very expensive, I’m very frugal and was really trying to pinch pennies for the wedding but…I bid. I had to! Plus I was sure someone else would outbid me. I put one bid and if someone went even a penny over me, they’d have it. Well, you guessed it, I won the ring. I told my (then) fiance that I accidentally bought a ring. So, I paid right away and the next thing you know, the seller messaged me to apologize because she went to get the ring ready for mailing and she could not find it, anywhere. Now I was sad. Something I sort of regretted buying and now I really wanted it. Man! But I had to think it just wasn’t meant to be mine. The seller refunded my money immediately. A few days later, I got a message from her saying something like – I found it!! And here’s your tracking number. I asked her to send me another invoice and she said it was her treat for the trouble! I don’t know what stories that ring has to tell or why it chose me but I know, for whatever reason, I’m supposed to carry them with me. I totally love that ring and wear it at least 4 days out of every week. Whatever stories it has to tell, it now has this one too.

      1. I know, right!?!! Makes me wish I knew the stories behind it. Maybe I should try to take it to a psychic or something. Wonder if they could pick up anything from it.

  3. I don’t have any fantastic stories to go with my jewelry finds, but I do make sure I pick up a piece (or two) on every place we visit when we travel. I have a set of murano glass earrings from Venice, a leather cuff from the leather market in Florence, and a pair of Larimar earrings from the Dominican. I only have boys, but hopefully some day I will have someone to pass on my jewelry finds to.

  4. I am just now starting to wear more jewelry as I have gotten older. It started when my husband proposed to me with a beautiful pearl ring. I am slightly addicted to pearls. I am starting to branch out and wear other pieces now, one piece at a time… right?

  5. Love the necklace! And I love the story, too. I have a number of pieces of jewelry with stories. One of my favorites is my engagement ring. It belonged to my grandmother. She promised it to me when I was just a little girl. After she passed away, my husband and I rest it into an engagement ring for me. It was like she was giving me a gift all over again because we didn’t have a lot of money and I didn’t want him going further into debt financing a ring.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing the story and your love of this company. How amazing! My jewelry story – I have a “very” fake gold and fake diamond ring that my grandfather was conned into buying in New York city in the late 1920s. He was new to the country from Italy and on his way to a job interview, he wanted something that looked like he was a hard worker and took care of his things when he made money to buy them. Little did he know about street vendors in NYC. My grandmother kept that ring in a box after he passed away. He wore it every day, even after he found out it was fake. It has no value but I love that I have it. She gave it to me, laughing while telling the story, the last time I saw her before she passed away.

  7. I have a pearl necklace that my aunt gave me in 2009. It is just s single blue pearl on a chain, but I love it. My mom had it made for her when she had her pearl necklace shortened. So my aunt said I could have it when I was looking through her giant jewelry box and found it all tangled up. I untangled it and have enjoyed wearing it since then.

  8. When I used to live in Boston, I volunteered at a Boys & Girls Club once a week after work. I taught creative writing to 8-12yo kids, most of which had pretty tough home lives. One day a particularly shy girl silently took my hand and slid a beaded bracelet she had made onto my wrist. It took all I had not to cry when she did this, and I still–almost 20 years later–have it in my jewelry box. It reminds me how little it takes to make someone feel cared about.

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