It's been a little over a month since I returned from South Africa and I am excited to announce the release of B.Birdwatcher's IXam Collection. While visiting the Apartheid Museum, we were told to not take photographs so I went old school and took out a pen a paper to jot down my memories. Upon entering, we gained knowledge about the Khoisan people of South Africa and their now extinct language of IXam. The Khoisan are South Africa's oldest inhabitants and are made up of a number of related communities: The Cape Khoi; the Nama; the Koranna; the Griqua and the San - who also often refer to themselves as bushmen. Throughout the day, we learned about how many of the revolutions of South Africa was driven by the taking away of their own language. It touched me to the point where I knew I wanted to name the next collection, IXam.
Later that week, after having a terribly hard time finding gemstones to use for the collection, I found a souvenir with all the gemstones from South Africa and the collection finally had legs. South Africa is known for their diamonds and platinum mines however some of your favorite gemstones are actually mined there. Tiger's Eye, Carnelian, Amethyst, Blue Lace Agate, Aventurine, Citrine, and Rose Quartz to name a few.
Finding the charms I needed to complete the collection came by two awesome designers, one I met in Johannesburg and the other in Capetown. Shirley Larken of The Jewellery Experience at 27 Boxes in Melville. 27 Boxes is a local fashion and design center in Joburg. Shirley actually created the small Africa Charms and also......the Mantra Bracelets located under fly by B.Birdwatcher ( story to come later). Shirley and I bonded quickly and she not only created my charms with lightening fast speed she sent me awesome recommendations for the Capetown leg of our trip,
The second designer was found by my travel buddy, Sheree in the Greenmarket Square Artisan Market that was conveniently located directly in front of our hotel. Lelhaam Alexander, sets up her tent every day in the market and truly reminded me of my weekend vending here in DC. The struggle is always real but much real-er when you have to physically build your own tent!!
So please enjoy the browsing through the collection! These designs have a meaning and a story to tell!