Inspired by ancient African traditions and nature, URU is a Tanzanian jewelry brand that preserves artisanal craft and local resources. URU?s meticulously hand crafted bold bracelets, pendants, and rings are all uniquely cast in gold or silver with rough semi-precious stones like tanzanite, rubies, spinel, and tsavorite; which are used as the main focal point. Wear one or collect many -- these ethically sourced bracelets look great mixed and matched together or worn alone. We recently caught up with URU's co-founder Iver Rosenkrantz and asked him to share the story behind this unique collection of jewels.
How does travel inspire your collection?
We spend a lot of time traveling around Africa to get inspiration for the URU collections. We do a large expedition to a new place in Tanzania to look for gemstones four times every year. These expiditions have brought us to the most amazing places and tribes completely isolated from the outside world -- places where you have to travel for days to reach. On one of our last trips to Mahenge, situated in the centre of Tanzania, we traveled for two days through dense bush. You can see a small video from the trip here. Tanzania is full of unexplored richness. We are always in search of new materials, new gemstones, and new methods to create our unique pieces. That is what URU is all about!
Describe URU in 3 words.
Unique, exclusive, timeless.
The URU pieces are mostly created from natural materials -- i.e. minerals and stones. These materials have been used for centuries by African royalty to make adornments. Many of the stones were (and are still) believed to give powers, strength, wealth or fertility. Our passion for rough gemstones are what inspired us to create the URU pieces. No two rough gemstones are the same. Every URU piece has been through at least 10 different hands before it is complete. Each piece is cared for and created by hand.
We only use natural gemstones, silver, and gold for the centrepieces. The URU pieces are currently sold in some of the most high-end stores around the world. Soon we are launching a collection in certified African gold in collaboration with Anglo-Ashanti Gold. We even intend to use 24 karat gold, which is very rare in the jewelery industry. This is what makes URU exclusive.
Our designs are inspired by nature itself. Most of the pieces are made with rough surfaces similar to those of natural minerals coming from the ground. Through its timeless appearance, URU will never be out of fashion.
Your collection of products is growing, what creative endeavors are on the horizon?
URU is constantly developing. We are already working on new collections with new materials. This month we are launching an exclusive collection with stone-washed ostrich leather and silver. More to come!
Who is your Muse? Describe the woman who wears URU.
The woman who wears URU is fashionable and trendy, active, considerate, artistic, adventurous, and appreciates a great story. She is not scared of change.
Tell us about your favorite piece (or one of them) and where you were inspired to create it.
One of our first gold pieces is still very special to us. It was made with 18 karat gold with rough diamonds found at the shores of Lake Victoria. The strap is made from rock python leather.
What was one of your most memorable trips?
In July we did an expedition to Lake Tanganyika, which is the third deepest lake in the world. It is on the border of Congo. We also traveled through an area rich in emeralds and we are making a movie about the trip!