Enamored by design and travel from a young age, designer Jessica Hendricks Yee was born in Paris and grew up outside Manhattan with eyes glued to the cases in her mother’s jewelry shop.
While receiving her BFA in Drama at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Hendricks Yee became fascinated by indigenous cultures and spirituality, and traveled to South East Asia to teach English. This experience led her to launch her first line – The Brave Collection: jewelry handmade in Cambodia to support local artisans and empower women against human trafficking. She was named a Forbes Listmaker, interviewed by MSNBC, collaborated with designers such as Tory Burch, and invited as a guest to the White House.
After planning her Chinese/Jewish wedding, she created her second line, Zahava, in 2018 to celebrate the beautiful collision of heritage with who we choose to be today — modern, multicultural families and global citizens with deep roots. Jessica’s passion lies in using design as a platform to tell powerful stories, connecting people to bigger ideas through symbolic objects with deep meaning.
Our jewelry is handmade by talented Cambodian artisans who come from underprivileged backgrounds or suffer from disabilities. Mostly mothers, our team of artists work in a small studio in Cambodia, or from their homes while they care for their young children. All artists work in a free, fair, and dignified work environment where they are paid above average wages and receive benefits such as health insurance and stipends for their children’s education.
Each piece in our collection is carved and woven by hand in Cambodia using traditional metalwork techniques with brass, silver and gold vermeil materials.
Our goal is to provide job opportunities to talented artisans, exposing them to a global customer and collaborating creatively. Additionally, 10% of our profits are donated to fight human trafficking in Cambodia. We work with partners on the ground to support programming that empowers vulnerable Cambodian girls.
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