Carmen Myers gives traditional Kenyan craftsmanship a contemporary spin with her accessories label Meyelo. Handmade by Maasai artisans in Kenya, the brand’s brass rings and cuffs, pendant necklaces, tote bags and carryalls are sleek and elegant, perfect for everyday. Bonus: they support a worthy cause! 10% of the proceeds from each purchase of a Meyelo product are donated to Myer’s philanthropic organization, A Voice Is Heard, which provides community development and aid to Maasai villages.
Shop Latitude chats with Myers about her brand and what inspires her.
What’s Meyelo in a nutshell?
Meyelo is a socially conscious lifestyle brand that inspires you with color, using authentic materials, and offering a meaningful story behind our products. We invite you to escape into a journey to Kenya.
Tell us how the brand came to be.
Meyelo was founded in 2013 out of a desire to lift artisans out of poverty by providing a global platform for their work. Together, we have created a brand that shares the story of Kenya. We now employ over 80 artisans who are finding a sustainable solution to breaking the cycle of poverty. With every purchase, we donate a portion back to the community development projects of ‘A Voice Is Heard,’ a non-profit organization I founded that works in some of the regions where our artisans reside.
How does travel inspire your collections?
Travel is the essence of our collection. My first trip to Kenya in 2008 changed my life forever. Soon after that trip, I founded A Voice is Heard to help find solutions to fight poverty. Education is the foundation of our mission. Through our work, we saw an important need to provide opportunity. Education, training and opportunity go hand in hand.
What are the three words that describe Meyelo best?
Opportunity: We provide employment opportunities for artisans who live in marginalized conditions.
Authentic: Each piece is handcrafted by local artisans who represent the diverse talents of their people.
Colorful: To me, color is Kenya. The beautiful prints, patterns, and bright colors are inspiring and uplifting.
Who is your muse? Describe the woman who wears Meyelo.
My muses are the Maasai Mommas in my life. They inspire me with their beauty, colorful dress, talent, love and spirit. They dance in the face of adversity. They are truly an inspiration.
The women who wear our products are diverse. My hope is that they know the story behind their purchase because when it comes to handcrafted pieces, there is a face behind that work.
Which country inspires you the most?
I love to travel and have been very fortunate to see many parts of the world yet nothing is quite like Kenya. For me, after working there for so many years, returning to Kenya is like going home to family. I'm in love with the people, the landscape, and the animals. Kenya helps me unplug and take stock in what's really important. The simplicity of that world reminds me that the little things really don't matter.