Monday, August 30, 2010

Jessica Ricci Jewelry Launches Tanzania Inspired Collection

Jessica Ricci’s recent travels to Tanzania, a place of both engulfing beauty and grinding poverty, were the inspiration for the recent additions to her Wanderlust Collection. Volunteers such as Ricci raised money to help fund micro-finance loans

, distribute mosquito nets and school kits to teach basic First Aid and HIV/AIDS education. Ricci is donating 15 percent of sales to Nest, an organization which provides micro-finance loans for women in third world countries.

African Coin Ring

Eternal Masai Spearhead Pendant

Tanzanian Coffee Bean Necklace

A few pieces from the collection include:

African Coin Ring - Approximately one inch in diameter, this ring is made from one of the coins found in a basket of rusty old Tanzanian and British coins. ($100-$470)

Eternal Life Masai Spearhead Pendant – This pendant is made from a Masai spearhead found in the Arusha Bazaar in Tanzania and stamped with the DNA sequence for a Telomere. In essence, if you can keep the Telomere alive, which some geneticists purport potentially possible, you can achieve “eternal life” by halting the ageing process. ($150-$650)

Tanzanian Coffee Bean Necklace - When Ricci discovered that coffee is one of Tanzania’s largest exports, she thought it would be simple, small and significant if she were to make jewelry from a Tanzanian coffee bean. ($60-$200)

For more information on Ricci and her jewelry, please visit:

Click here to view Ricci's Tanzania video - volunteering and searching the markets for jewelry inspiration.

About Jessica Ricci – Inspiration to Creation

Jessica grew up in Providence, RI and studied English Literature at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts. After graduating, she moved to Montana where she volunteered for an emergency services organization. There she learned how to bead simple necklaces- not knowing that the seed for jewelry design had been planted during those snowed-in wintery nights. Eventually, Jessica made her way back to Rhode Island where she worked for a small, local newspaper in a fishing town. She then moved to New York City and received her graduate degree in Journalism from New York University and worked for several publications.

In 2001, Ricci moved to Italy to pursue her interest in writing, teaching and creating jewelry. In the ancient, magical city of Rome, Jessica became inspired to create more than beaded necklaces. Through a good deal of trial and error and self-teaching, Jessica's ideas came to fruition and became the jewelry that speaks to so many.

Upon her return to the States in 2005, Ricci officially founded JL Ricci Designs, and today she creates and produces her collections from her studio and retail space in Providence, Rhode Island.

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