Grace - Jewelry Maker

Favorite design: Zambezi necklace

'What gives me joy about my work is knowing that, through what we do, we preserve our children's future' - Grace Mwanza

Grace has worked for Mulberry Mongoose since 2016. She has 18 dependents and is a single mother to 2 children. Grace’s infectious smile belies a story of challenge and resilience. However, her work ethic and positive drive enabled her to transform her fate and thus that of her families. 

Grace was not selected on her first Mulberry Mongoose assessment day; she walked home crestfallen. Grace was then living with 12 family members none of whom had employment. However, positivity was to come as Grace had made an impression on the Mulberry Mongoose team. We couldn’t forget her determination which aligns with what we stand for. We decided to create a new role for her. Until this point we had hired men, as casual labor, to convert snare traps into beads and then created our jewelry using these beads. The work seemed too hard for women.

But could hard working Grace make the beads? Rural Zambian women are immensely strong carrying water from wells, often based many kilometers away, with babies tied to their backs. We invited her to try.

Grace was determined to take advantage of the opportunity. She got blisters and her hands were rubbed raw as she practiced. She kept going with only a few murmurs about how hard it was. Within two months, and after numerous pain thresholds crossed, Grace got it. She could suddenly create the coils with amazing technique that made it look easy. She then set about training the rest of our female team to do the same.

Grace is now one of our most experienced jewelry makers. 

Fun fact, one of Grace's favorite things to do is enjoy a Mosi beer each week. And word of warning don’t challenge Grace to an arm wrestle!

  • Raised for anti snare patrols

  • Snare traps transformed

  • Snare wire removed from circulation

"Beautiful jewellery, well-made, original, and to top all of that, made from snare wire and giving a donation to conservation. There's a lot to love here!" - Penny, Great Britain

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