The Gentle Heart Pendant holds a special place at Ten Thousand Villages because it was originally designed as a gift for one of our buyers: Melissa Hand. Melissa has been traveling to Kenya for 7 years and has grown close with many of the artisans she has met through her work there.
“SMOLart gave this Gentle Heart Pendant to me as a gift for visiting them. They wanted to make sure I remembered them and that I keep SMOLart close to my heart. I do. I loved this necklace so much that I thought it should become a regular product. I look at it as a way to pay love forward. So when customers wear this heart, they should know they are loved.” – Melissa Hand, Ten Thousand Villages Buyer
Two artisan groups came together for the creation of this piece. Both SMOLart and Bombolulu contributed their unique skills to achieve one beautiful necklace. SMOLart, with their expertise in working with the rare kisii stone (found only in Kenya), formed the heart through a multi-step process of sanding and waxing. Bombolulu contributed their knowledge and experience in the art of jewelry-making by assembling the leather cord with the adjustable lobster-claw clasp, and they took the time to instruct a member of SMOLart how to fasten the pendant to the cord.
It is not often that products are made through the joint effort of two separate artisan groups, but when they do, the results become a one-of-a-kind treasure. Knowledge sharing is a great benefit to working with so many unique and talented artisans.
The simple design and smooth textures of stone against leather give this pendant its stunning, understated beauty. And just as every human heart is unique, so it is with the Gentle Heart Pendant, as variation comes through in the handcrafted processing of natural kisii stone.
Give this necklace to someone you love, or wear it yourself as a constant reminder of all the love around you.