In 2008, Jessica went to Thailand to teach English to young students. While abroad, she took a weekend visit to Cambodia to see the Hindu temple Angkor Wat.

“What I saw in Cambodia really struck me. So much of their culture was destroyed in the genocide of the 1970s,” Jessica said. “There were factories with terrible working conditions. But what really hit me was seeing the girls for sale on the streets.”

Deep Blue Brave Bracelet High Res

The Deep Blue bracelet is part of the Shadow Blue Collection and retails for $38. It says “brave” in Khmer, the official language of Cambodia.

After she returned from her trip, she read Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, a national bestselling book that takes readers on a journey through Africa and Asia to learn about the oppression of women in the developing world and the power of a helping hand to change their lives.

Jessica then began putting the pieces together about how severe the issue of human trafficking still is to this day. (The International Labor Organization estimates that up to 20.9 million people are counted as modern slaves around the globe, and that 55 percent of forced labor victims are women and girls, as are 98 percent of sex trafficking victims.)

But she soon found that when she tried to talk to people about it, she got nowhere.

“It’s a difficult subject matter. I found that people didn’t know how to talk about it,” she said. “There’s an incredible disconnect about the issue, and it’s taboo.”

So she turned to jewelry in an effort to make the issue more approachable and begin raising awareness.

“I had seen firsthand the relationships that develop between customers and designers, and it’s an intimate and beautiful relationship,” she said. “So I knew that jewelry would be the right medium to use to start having this conversation.”

Jessica began working with local fair-trade artisans in Cambodia to design bracelets, creating quality jewelry that would “celebrate the Cambodian culture but was compelling to Western culture,” to open the business to global markets and give it the opportunity to go viral.



Each bracelet in The Brave Collection is entirely carved and woven by hand by local artisans in Cambodia.

She founded and launched The Brave Collection in February 2012, featuring bracelets that are carved and woven by hand and say “brave” in Khmer, the official language of Cambodia. The line now includes the Shadow Blue Collection, the Signature Collection and the Honey Mix Collection, all of which retail for $38.

They also just launched the Metallic Collection for fall/winter 2013, which features silver and gold vermeil and are priced at $85.

Jessica added that they are working on a new collection for spring, which will expand to include new materials as well as necklaces.

Caramel Brave Bracelet High Res

The Caramel bracelet is part of the newly-launched Metallic Collection, which features silver and gold vermeil. Each of the bracelets in this collection is $85.

In addition to providing jobs to local artisans in Cambodia, 10 percent of the proceeds from each bracelet are donated to anti-trafficking foundations in Cambodia and the United States, including The Somaly Mam Foundation.

The Brave Collection also creates custom designs upon request for fashion brands and non-profits.

To learn more about the work being done through The Brave Collection or to purchase a bracelet, visit thebravecollection.com.

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