When Yuwei Designs founder Yuwei Lee first visited Bali in 2011, the island’s beauty and simplicity inspired her to create a line of jewelry—and to move on from a painful past that included domestic violence. Now, three years after her first collection, the San Diego-based jewelry designer is using her healing process to help women and girls in need. Her brand, Yuwei Designs, has just partnered with the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women for a line of eight limited-edition pieces called the Opportunity Initiative. Pieces in the collection cost between $145 and $1,795, with all net proceeds benefitting the UN Trust Fund.
“Designing jewelry wasn’t something I always knew I wanted to do,” Lee tells InStyle. “But, over the last few years, as I began to heal from my childhood experiences with domestic violence, it organically surfaced as a way for me to express myself. It continues to help me heal, and I want to use it as a tool to help other women and girls.”
Each handcrafted 18 karat gold-plated piece is filled with meaningful details, right down to the sparkling stones. “Orange citrine is known for its healing properties and bringing about positive energy,” Lee says. “The color orange has significance to the UN Trust Fund’s brand—it symbolizes a bright future without violence against women and girls.” At the same time, the geometric designs “pick up the teardrop shape of the UN Trust Fund logo, which represents the tears of survival of the women they support.”
Through its sales, the collection serves as a reminder of the hardships that women have endured. “When you wear a piece from this collection, you are acknowledging every woman and girl who has ever experienced any kind of violence in her life,” Lee says. “We are honoring their stories of strength, power, and dignity. We are also contributing, in a meaningful way, to making a tangible difference in their lives.”