MY INSECURITIES AS A YOUTH
This project began during the formative college years at UT Austin, where I attended college because I just felt like it was the right thing to do. During this time I went through difficult times and depressions, and it was during this darker period that I had started a personal Tumblr blog called the Purple Buddha Project as a personal antecedent of mine journaling the progress of my growth.
BIG RISKS & BIG CHANGES
My life changed when I took a risk that I never thought I could do by traveling alone around the world. I quit school and I set out on a backpacking journey alone consisting of 365 days, through 10 countries, in 57 cities, and creating countless memories of a lifetime.
MY TRIP TO CAMBODIA
I also crossed paths with a group of fair trade cooperatives that employ Khmer artisans who were recycling and handcrafting jewelry from upcycled weapons of conflict in this country. During my trip to Cambodia, I learned that Cambodia was one of the most bombed countries in the history of mankind. Due to this fact, Cambodia also has the largest amputee population in the world.
THE BEGINNING OF A MOVEMENT
Upon returning to Texas, a friend was the first to tell me about this cool new thing from California called Kickstarter shortly after getting back home from my trip. Being a 20 year old at the time with no investors, no funds, and with no experience in the business world I figured why not? Within days the campaign was a success with bracelets selling out and everyone was asking for more.
ABOUT OUR JEWELRY
Every Purple Buddha Project jewelry is carefully handcrafted by artisans in Cambodia. The commitment to their craft is conveyed through the quality of their work and each bracelet tells the story of the person whom handcrafted it. Our jewelry also focuses on the aspect of transforming an object traditionally symbolizing negativity into an object of positivity.
FROM CAMBODIA TO THE WORLD
In the early days, we were excited to sell even a few bracelets a week. Today, the bracelets are worn by millions of people around the world. The bracelets continues to tell a story of Cambodia of history, while also assisting the local community here in Cambodia.