Don’t Quarry, Be Happy

As a parent, I often say I would do anything for my children, but whenever I talk to my friend James, I hear about women who actually have.

Allow me to introduce you to Ember Arts, a socially-proactive company based in Uganda that employs former female rock quarry workers, allowing them to create beautiful jewelry for pay beyond their wildest dreams. I’m proud to say the man behind this is good friend of mine, James Pearson, who during a trip to Uganda several years back saw the quarries’ poor working conditions for mothers and decided–starting from nothing–that he would build a business around making their dreams come true.

Ember’s latest video is about one of their partners, Achiro Grace, whose commitment her children’s education (no small feat in Uganda) is nothing short of inspirational:

It’s so humbling.

I get so caught up in the day-in/day-out routine of suburban American parenting and find things to complain about that, in the scheme of things, are nothing compared to the adversity other parents face.

Which is one of the reasons I’m sharing this–it’s a reminder of how good we all forget we have it.

At the same time, the beauty of this company is its ability to put those struggles behind these families by providing joy on multiple levels. Women are paid more than they ever imagined they could be to create handcrafted jewelry instead of pummeling rocks, and in turn, those who buy it know they’re not only getting beautiful (yet affordable) bracelets, necklaces, and earrings they’d wear anyway, but also that behind each piece is the redemptive story of a woman who–like Grace–can’t stop smiling.

Achiro Grace, Ember Arts Partner

And that’s the other reason I’m sharing this–to make you aware.

No, I’m not doing a giveaway or a contest or going to beg you to spend your money or anything like that. I’m not receiving any products, money, or fabulous The Price Is Right showcases including matching jetskis for the Twins from Ember Arts for doing this. I’m sharing this simply because it blows me away that my buddy’s found a way to provide once-impoverished Ugandan refugee mothers with the same opportunities all parents want for our children–to send them to college.

So if you or someone you know likes jewelry (fellas–here’s where you can score some points with the Mrs.), I invite you to check out their products, and if you do choose to purchase any, know that you’re not only getting a quality product, but also that the money’s going straight back to the women who made it–that you’re wearing their stories. And if you’re like me and not into ever paying full price for anything, you’re in luck because Ember currently has a promotion where you can get 20% off their Summer Collection.

Ember Arts’ tagline is “Hope is Beautiful,” and that’s something I think we can all agree on with a resounding yes.

Yes, it is.


If you’re interested in learning more about Ember I urge you to read their story, meet their other partners, and check out their blog where you can find even more stories just like Grace’s. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.


You may also enjoy:

Did It   Won't Stop Believin'   I Can Fly Twice as High

If not, you still might want to check out those Ember Arts links up yonder.


  1. Sarah Richardson

    Amen. We all joke about our #firstworldproblems…but really we are so very lucky to have all that we have.

    Thanks for the great story and for the great recommendation for this company!


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