Elizabeth Suda originally traveled to Laos to research the country’s colorful textiles. But once there, another local craft caught her attention instead: spoons made by Lao artisans, using scrap metal salvaged from some 270 million bombs that were dropped on the country during the Vietnam War. Believing there was a broader market opportunity to be explored, Elizabeth challenged local artisans to expand beyond kitchen utensils and use the bomb metal to make jewelry instead.
“Jewelry has a personal significance–from an engagement ring to a men’s watch that might be a gift for graduation,” Elizabeth says. “We see [our] jewelry as having that significance. It is a piece of history. It’s a symbol of people turning something bad into something good.”