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For many of us, our most-cherished pieces of jewelry have been passed down from previous generations. Sometimes, it’s a ring we wear every day or a special pair of earrings nestled in our jewelry box. Either way, an heirloom upholds familial meaning and history, passing along memories each time it’s given to a daughter, niece, grandson, etc. We typically think of the past when we think of heirlooms, but jewelry brand Omi Woods is creating contemporary heirlooms for future generations. Founder Ashley Alexis McFarlane designs jewelry that celebrates her connection to Africa and the diaspora with the intention that the pieces will allow African history and heritage to live on through future generations.
“My grandmother is the reason I started making jewelry and why Omi Woods is centered around heirloom heritage pieces. Her name means shalom in Hebrew and sälam in Ethiopian-Semitic languages. It translates to peace primarily, but also harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare, and tranquility. I reflect on these things as I learn about the cultures and histories Omi Woods pieces are inspired by,” McFarlane explains on the Omi Woods website.