Good People Doing Good Things:
Meet Farrukh Lalani
Wedon't often think of where our gemstones come from. Even less time is probably spent considering the lives of the people who bring those stones to life through their skill and craftsmanship.
Farrukh Lalani and the team at Daria Day Jewelry have helped to change my own perspective on where my jewelry comes from, on what to look for in gemstones, and even in why the stones we choose to wear matter.
As part of our Good People Doing Good Things series, we asked Farrukh to show us how sustainable jewelry is helping to change the lives of women in Northern Pakistan.
Beautifully Made and Powerfully Worn
Daria Day’s story begins almost 10 years ago when Farrukh Lalani found herself weary and tired of her corporate life and began to look for inspiration outside of it.
Knowing only that she wanted to make a difference, Farrukh volunteered with a women’s group working in the slums of Mumbai. Eventually, she joined an international NGO focusing on issues of poverty alleviation in developing countries. Her new work took her to new parts of the world she had never experienced before: war-torn countries, post-conflict -zones, and regions affected by natural disasters.
Eventually, her work also took her to the country of her birth, Pakistan. A country she had often heard about from her parents but had rarely visited. There, in Northern Pakistan, at the foothills of K2 mountain, Farrukh came across some of the most vulnerable and isolated communities and the encounter changed her perspective and, ultimately, her life.
As she spent more time building relationships in the area, she began to see a gap in how people were being helped...
"To break the cycle of poverty and provide the communities with an additional source of income, various NGO's had implemented gemstone processing and jewelry making programs. However, as with most NGO’s there was no follow up after the training. Althought the artisans received these extensive trainings, they were still unable to stake out a livelihood. They simply had no access to profitable markets or an idea of what to produce."
Daria Day Jewelry emerged as a way to connect those artisans with people who would appreciate the value of what was being brought into the world through their skilled hands. Our gemstones are sourced directly from miners. Our artisans’ hands transform the raw stone into beautiful, faceted gems you see in our jewelry. Each gemstone carries with it healing powers and our jewelry is designed to connect you to those positive powers.
Daria Day’s mission is to provide the artisans who handcraft our jewelry with a sustainable livelihood and a path to prosperity. Daria Day works with artisans living in the remote mountain communities in the foothills of the K2 Mountain in Northern Pakistan - some of which are the most isolated and poor communities in the world. Each piece of jewelry is handcrafted by our artisans and tells the story of the artisan who made it. By supporting the economically disadvantaged, Daria Day hopes to make a difference by breaking the cycle of poverty and to show that we are all connected."
Here are some of our favourite items that are handcrafted by the female artisans of Northern Pakistan:
LUSTROUS LAPIS BRACELET
Lapis is a symbol of honor and spiritual vision, helping to inspire self-confidence.
HANDCRAFTED BY NAHIDA
NORTH STAR AMETHYST BRACELET
Glittering Amethyst gemstone set in a hand-shaped sterling star setting. Each link of the sterling silver chain is made by hand and the gemstone is hand-cut by artisans in Northern Pakistan. It takes an artisan 10 days to make one bracelet.
HANDCRAFTED BY NASREEN
NORTH STAR CITRINE PENDANT
It takes an artisan 5 days to handcraft a pendant. Citrine is known to impart joy, encourage creativity, and attract wealth and success.
HANDCRAFTED BY NASREEN
This blog is part of a series we are doing here at Brave Soles called "Good People Doing Good Things."
It takes courage to stay the course and stay true to your values and vision. Now, more than ever, we believe in the power of raising our voices, passion and attention to GOOD PEOPLE DOING GOOD THINGS.
Do you have someone you recommend us to feature here? Send us your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.