Support for Black owned businesses blew up post Black Lives Matter. However not all of it was sincerely done. Marilyne Kékéli is the founder of jewellery brand Mamater and she wants you to buy from her because her jewellery resonates with you, not because of the colour of her skin.
Following the tragic loss of black lives in the US this year, and fuelled by social media, the topic around racism, allyship and tokenism has been an interesting and necessary one. It has touched every facet of our lives and fashion has had it’s own reckoning in many ways. From highlighting the plight of black and brown female garment workers to former employees calling out fashion and beauty brands for their performative stances on allyship. This week my conversation is with Maryline Kekeli, founder of jewellery brand Mamater. As a black female creative, she was concerned by the way her peers and their businesses were being portrayed in the press.
Lifting Up Black Creatives
The jewellery industry isn’t a very inclusive one and as a product historically advertised to wealthy women, by often wealthy men, black women have been woefully missing from the narrative. Marilyne has worked hard to carve out her own story, creating beautiful, and responsibly made pieces designed to let the wearers personality shine. So she is keen for her talents and brand to be talked about in its purest way, and not simply because of the colour of her skin. She believes that lumping all manner of black owned businesses into shopping guides is not the way to help. Yes we should showcase black talent and she believes that real change comes from awareness. However our support has to be respectful and long lasting, not simply a flash in the pan to appear PC or pander to a trending hashtag.
With thanks to my incredible guest, Marilyne Kékéli
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