An Artisan Mission
TWFF: You are a former corporate fashion executive with a background in design and marketing. How did your journey lead you to become the founder of a jewellery business?
CL: I worked in concept design for 12 years before founding Love Is Project, for brands like Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters. In 2012, I left corporate fashion with a mission of working with artisans around the world to create products and connect them to brands for market access. I connected artisans and brands in a consulting capacity for a few years before launching Love Is Project as a standalone brand in 2017.
With the success of our early corporate partnerships, I knew the Love Is Project could be a powerful stand-alone brand. By harnessing the meaning of LOVE, we could create economic opportunities for thousands and empower millions more around the world.
Leaving a stable corporate job was initially scary, and it has had its ups and downs over the years—but it has also enabled me to merge my passions for design and development together into a new category of fashion philanthropy. I’ve been able to take ownership and drive the vision of my brand forward, as opposed to trying to change an industry from within. In the past two years, I’ve learned more than I thought possible, and have become involved in every aspect of the business.
It hasn’t been all roses and sunshine, but my background in fashion design and extensive travel (I’ve visited 104 countries!) prepared me for entrepreneurship. Travel has made me adaptable, curious, and resourceful, and enabled me to find inspiration anywhere.
My skills in photography and trend forecasting help me style photoshoots, and my experience in merchandising showrooms gives me an edge when creating visual displays at trade shows. As a hard-charging New Yorker for 18 years, I’m used to getting things done.
With the grassroots support of influencers spreading the word, it validated the concept and product-market fit and convinced me to make it a stand-alone brand.
Love Is Project is more than just jewelry. We create jobs for more than 2,100 talented female artisans in 10 countries, supporting families, their children’s school fees, and investing monetary proceeds toward various LOVE-packed projects.
We give agency to our artisans to empower themselves. Also, Love Is Project donates a portion of net proceeds to non-profit organizations. All of our bracelets are handmade with LOVE and reflect the pride and heritage of the artisan maker and the artisan’s home country.
The Shark Tank Effect
Cutting Out the Factory Footprint
TWFF + Love Is ... Project Collection
TWFF: Tell us about where the new TWFF collab feather necklace comes from.
CL: We decided to create a white feather inspired beaded necklace pendant with the artisans we work with in Colombia. Feathers are used culturally and ceremonially within the Indigenous Embera Chami tribe that makes and beads these creations.
TWFF: Where does the TWFF camel bone pendant come from?
CL: We believe in a ‘no waste’ philosophy, so each feather pendant is made from upcycled hand-carved camel bone and comes with a with suede cord. Made in Kibera, Kenya.
TWFF: What is the story behind the TWFF silver cuff?
CL: Balinese artisans are world renowned for their intricate craftsmanship. We created a sterling feather silver cuff as an elegant symbol and a reminder to preserve Indigenous design.
TWFF: How can our supporters stay in the loop about new Love Is … Project updates and announcements?
CL: We’re really excited to collaborate with The White Feather Foundation!
Please check out our collections at www.loveisproject.com
5% of the sale proceeds of your Love Is … Project + TWFF purchases benefit The White Feather Foundation.