Paola Delgado had worked for four years on Wall Street when she began to yearn for a more fulfilling and philanthropic occupation. She put her New York life on hold to search for inspiration in Peru, where she grew up. When she came across artisans making beautiful jewelry by hand using Amazonian seeds, she knew she had found her calling, and started her own jewelry business in 2011. Paola's company makes jewelry of sustainable materials only, and provides educational opportunities, healthcare benefits, and fair wages to her artisan partners. Tagua seeds, the company's signature material, are often called "vegetable ivory." They grow on an Amazonian rainforest palm tree, and are harvested after they've fallen to the ground, so no damage is done to the rainforest, or, of course, any animals.
We spoke with Paola about her background, her love of tagua, and her relationship to her artisans. Read more on our blog.