The Beatles are convinced that all you need is love. Elvis can’t help falling in love. Foreigner wants to know what love is. Lionel Richie’s love is endless. The Bee Gees tell us what it’s like to love somebody. The Troggs assure us that love is all around. And it seems like it is. In our music, novels, how-to books; streaming on our televisions; acted out on stage and in movies. There are even apps for finding love, sustaining love and, when the time comes, letting your loved one know he or she is history. But even with all that, I don’t think anyone would dispute that the world is sorely lacking in love. Chrissie Lam is working on that with her Love Is Project.
Chrissie founded Love Is Project to spread a message of love with LOVE bracelets handmade by women artisans in underdeveloped parts of the world. Chrissie contributes to their work with her design, production and marketing efforts. Every purchase of a bracelet contributes to the financial independence of these women, water and food security, educational opportunities and access to healthcare.
After graduating from the Parsons School of Design with a BFA in Fashion Design, Chrissie worked for Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters as a concept designer, which included forecasting trends, directing marketing strategies and launching successful product lines. In 2012, she set out on a mission to connect the work of artisans around the world to brands for market access. She did that for a few years before her Aha! moment.
Chrissie was inspired by the Maasai women of Kenya, not only for their meticulous beadwork and vibrant tribal colors, but for the love that was obvious among them in the spirit of cooperation that existed within the community. She designed a red beaded bracelet (red is the symbol of bravery and strength among the Maasai) with the word LOVE woven into it. That simple bracelet grew into a global movement.
It is an empowering and beautiful message to wear a Love Is Project bracelet. It shares love with everyone we encounter and reminds us to reflect that love.
Love Is Project is now in 10 countries: Kenya, Indonesia, Ecuador, India, Guatemala, Colombia, Mexico, Philippines, Bhutan and Vietnam. Each bracelet is handcrafted using traditional techniques and materials of the particular culture. For example, in addition to the red beadwork of the Maasai, there are the gold and silver bracelets from Bali and the macrame bracelets made by Buddhist nuns high on a mountain top in Bhutan.
Among the collections of bracelets available from the Love Is Project are the Heart, Rainbow, Seed Bead and Zodiac. Bangles and cuffs comes in gold, silver, wood, horn and tortoise. There are necklaces and a children’s line—it’s never too young to get into the habit of loving. There are also T-shirts and totes that encourage us to “Make America Love Again.”
Chrissie and her mother Gladys run Love Is Project, with the help of collaborators, mentors and friends. Chrissie travels the world working with artisan groups, designing new products, and assembling an ethical supply chain. She handles the production, marketing and customer service. She is the merchandiser, photographer and social media coordinator. She is putting every minute of her experience into fashion philanthropy.
LOVE Bracelet “Atta-Boys”
- The Corazon Mexico Collection of hand-painted wooden bangles won “Best New Product in Personal Accessories” at NY NOW, the semi-annual market for retailers and specialty buyers seeking diversity and innovation.
- Appeared on the cover of Glamour Magazine (on the wrist of Anne Hathaway).
- Featured on Good Morning America’s “Deals and Steals.”
- Was one of Oprah’s favorite Valentine’s Day gifts.
Love Is Project Shares the Love
- Donated 1,600 LOVE bracelets to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in a gesture of solidarity after the tragic school shooting.
- Sponsored the 20th Anniversary Marathon in Kenya that benefits wildlife and conservation efforts.
- Donated a portion of proceeds from the India Collection to organizations in India that work toward reducing poverty and donated face masks, sewing machines, supplies and food to our artisan partners in Uttar Pradesh.
- Funded food gardens in partnership with RENEW (Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women) Bhutan.
- Launched our LOVE Grows Program, a long-term initiative to create a local food source by teaching sustainable farming practices to the community so that families can thrive—physically and economically.