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Our Design Philosophy

We are extremely intentional about the steps and process that go into the creation of our products. Each piece is handcrafted by women in Uganda using local, and sustainable materials such as up-cycled cow horn, raffia sourced from palm leaves, and sisal that comes from the agave plant.

Jinja, a city in Uganda, nestled along the banks of the Nile river, is where our product comes to life. Our design process melds the various worlds we touch, reinforcing the global connectivity of our brand. The materials and techniques link directly to where they originate, inspired by the lush East Africa surroundings. Our designs rely on a layering of textures, techniques, and details - complex, yet simplex - light, yet vibrant.

About Horn

Akola’s horn comes from the Ankole Cow, a breed of cattle native to sub-Saharan Africa and Uganda. Ankole cows are referred to as, “The Cattle of the Kings & Royalty.” Their lineage has been traced back thousands of years to Egypt.

Not only is horn a sustainable material, it fuels the local economy. The women of Akola perfect each jewelry piece using a myriad of techniques like sculpting, carving, pressing, cutting and dying the horn.

Just like fingerprints, no two horns are identical, making every piece of Akola jewelry truly one of a kind. Horn has a natural variation and gradience in its color that varies from shades of white, to caramel and black. It’s lightweight and adds a touch of luxury to everything you wear.

About Raffia

Raffia, a palm of the tropics, is a natural and renewable resource that grows along the watery edge of the Nile River near many of the villages in Uganda. The leaves of this palm can grow up to 60 feet and have a fascinating and feathery appearance.

These leaves are clipped and torn off in parallel lines yielding a long continuous fiber that the women of Akola dye, dry, braid and cut by hand. The raffia is then used to form tassels and shape beads throughout our collections.

About Sisal

Though native to southern Mexico, Sisal is a global botanical that has been cultivated and grown in Uganda, thriving in the dry and exotic districts of the country. Sisal fiber is typically used to make yarn and harvested from the agave succulent.

This wild plant is a sustainable material with a distinct sheen and can appear almost thread like. Sisal’s natural color is an essential neutral shade, while its dyed hues are strikingly vivid and reminiscent of the vibrant East African culture.

About Glass

Imported from the shores of West Africa, Ghanaian glass has become an essential element in Akola’s collection, imparting a celebration of color, tradition and symbolism.

Produced by the Krobo tribe for centuries, this sustainable glass is still made by hand and comes in three recycled varieties- translucent, powdered, and painted.

About Bone

Bone is an integral part of Akola’s sustainable material selection. It can be hand-dyed for a pop of color, kept neutral and used in a polished form or 'batiked', which is a native Kenyan technique of etching a hand drawn pattern on the bone's surface with wax and dye.

About Karatasi

Akola's signature Karatasi beads were developed based on a traditional art form that dates back to the 1930's in Uganda.

Karatasi, which means "paper" in Swahili, is the foundation that many of the beads in our designs are built upon. They can be wrapped with raffia, chai, and leather. These beads allow Akola to provide numerous fair wage jobs to women in rural villages that are otherwise lacking a source of income.

Horn Products

    Avery Spear Pendant Necklace with White Pearl, Rainbow Glass & Horn I Akola
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    $125.00
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    Maive Dainty Layering Necklace with Multi Colored Recycled Glass & Caramel Horn I Akola
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    $78.00
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    Priya Set of 2 Beaded Stretch Bracelets with Swarovski Crystal Pave, Hematite & Horn I Akola
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    $225.00
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    Inaya Set of 3 Bangle Bracelets with Mint & Blonde Horn I Akola
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    $150.00
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    Rahmi Abstract Drop Earring with Swarovski Crystal, Colorful Marbled Glass & Horn
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    $175.00
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    Briar Statement Stud with Luxury Crystal & Blonde Horn I Akola
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    $98.00
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    Aden Hoop Earring with Multi Color Glass & Caramel Horn
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    $98.00
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    Prianka Beaded Statement Necklace with Swarovski Crystal Pave, Hematite & Caramel Horn I Akola
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    $195.00
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Raffia Products

    Zaima Triple Strand Mixed Media Statement Necklace with White Pearl, Woven Raffia & Multi Color Glass I Akola
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    $395.00
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    Vivienne Statement Necklace with Baroque Pearl, Oyster Shell and Woven Raffia
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    $225.00
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    Acacia Cuff Bracelet with Abalone & Woven Raffia in Natural
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    $150.00
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    Isadora Charm Bracelet with White Pearl, Abalone, Turquoise Woven Raffia & Multi Colored Glass
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    $98.00
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    Nile Clip-on Statement Earrings with White Pearl & Woven Raffia in Aqua
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    $150.00
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    Wren Statement Stud Earring with Woven Raffia
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    $125.00
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    Rue Earring
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    $125.00
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    Ariel Statement Earring with Woven Raffia
    Available in More Colors
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    $125.00
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Glass Products

    Maive Dainty Layering Necklace with Multi Colored Recycled Glass & Caramel Horn I Akola
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    $78.00
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    $78.00
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    Aden Hoop Earring with Multi Color Glass & Caramel Horn
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    $98.00
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    $98.00
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    August Statement Necklace with Confetti Glass & Natural Bone
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    $395.00
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    Zaima Triple Strand Mixed Media Statement Necklace with White Pearl, Woven Raffia & Multi Color Glass I Akola
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    $395.00
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    Channing Statement Necklace with White Pearl, Abalone & Woven Raffia
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    $150.00
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    Maha Necklace - Akola
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    $195.00
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    Rahmi Abstract Drop Earring with Swarovski Crystal, Colorful Marbled Glass & Horn
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    $175.00
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    Gwen Beaded Stretch Bracelet with Baroque Pearl & Confetti Glass I Akola
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    $150.00
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Bone Products

    Egypt Beaded Stretch Bracelet with Glass & Bone
    Available in More Colors
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    $88.00
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    Lala Beaded Stretch Bracelet in Bone
    Available in More Colors
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    $58.00
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    Monarch Beaded Stretch Bracelet in Turquoise Glass & Blonde Bone
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    $125.00
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    Nala Dainty Beaded Necklace with Turquoise Glass & Bone
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    $58.00
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    $58.00
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    Egypt Beaded Stretch Bracelet in Turquoise Glass & Blonde Bone
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    $88.00
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    $88.00
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    Zaima Triple Strand Mixed Media Statement Necklace with White Pearl, Woven Raffia & Multi Color Glass I Akola
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    $395.00
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    $395.00
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    Hope Drop Earring
    Available in More Colors
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    $58.00
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    $58.00
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    Nala Dainty Beaded Necklace with Glass & Bone
    Available in More Colors
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    $58.00
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    $58.00
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