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Access Granted

Boma Jewelry celebrates 40 years, launches social justice initiatives.

Written by Rachel Gallaher

Image by Jessica Garcia

As seen in Issue 57

Boma Jewelry for Black Lives Matter silver necklace Say Their Names and fist around neck with ring and botton up shirt

In February, Boma Jewelry launched the This Matters collection in partnership with fellow Seattle-based brand and lifestyle boutique Cura Collective. All profits from the sales will support the Black College Matters campaign by Save Your VI, a non-profit organization dedicated to advocacy for Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This April marks the 40th anniversary of Boma Jewelry, the Seattle-based company that has been embracing ethical and sustainable production practices for the past four decades.

Founded in 1981 by Boon and Chieko Chaya, Boma now runs under the guidance of their daughter, CEO Suzanne Vetillart, who not only upholds her parents’ high ethical standards—by recycling precious metals and providing fair wages, education, and safe working conditions to the company’s factory employees in Thailand—but also sets new, higher ones for herself. In June of 2020, Boma Jewelry launched a grant program in direct response to the wave of social justice movements happening in Seattle and across the country. “In our 40 years of business, we had never worked with a Black jewelry designer,” Vetillart says, “and that spoke loudly to me. I started thinking about the connections and the access to resources that we have that many Black designers do not, and about how we could help change that.” The first-round grant winner was Sharece Phillips, a jewelry designer in Seattle who received a variety of support including design mentorship, sampling, production opportunities, and industry insight. The next round of grantees will start their mentorships this summer.


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