You may know Bella Bridesmaid for the extensive collection of fashion forward bridal party dresses, but also consider the store a destination for bridal jewelry and ‘maids gifts. Last week I stopped by to tour the new location on Allen Street and noticed a line of unique colorful necklaces and bracelets made out of paper beads. (Yes, you read that right!) The jewelry is from 31 Bits, a socially minded business that employs 110 northern Uganda women to make each piece from recycled paper. In exchange for their talent, the program provides them with an income, as well as financial training, holistic care, literacy education, and strong support systems. Most of the women in the program have been displaced from their homes due to the ongoing war in East Africa, led by the Lord’s Resistance Army. They’ve been placed in camps that are riddled with disease and poverty. So, 31 Bits aims to free the women by helping them become financially independent, one bead at a time.
Not only does the jewelry line have a great story to share with your bridesmaids, but it is also affordable and cute. The prices ranges from $17-$62 and include chunky and layered necklaces, wrap bracelets, and simple one-strand bracelets. Read more about the company’s mission here, and head on over to Bella Bridesmaid to pick up some gifts for the girls.