What were you doing when you were 14? Well, Body Bijou's teenage founder, Linda Manziaris (above) isn't just kicking back this summer. She has a two-fold mission for her accessories company: To help women define their style with jewelry, and to empower girls through education. Not exactly an underachiever!
To do this, Manziaris gives fifty-percent of the net profits from her body jewelry collection to GirlsHelpingGirls, a non-profit organization started by her older sister that supports girls' development through education. (Doing good apparently runs in the family!)
Manziaris and her sister were inspired to help fund women's education during a trip to Kenya. "We took a family vacation two summers ago to Kenya, and while we were on the trip, my sister saw the difference that an education makes for girls," Manziaris tells InStyle.com. "They were not living in poverty, they could break the cycle. They got better jobs. Their well-being, their life was way better." Manziaris noticed the same things her sister did, so the two partnered together. To date, Body Bijou and GirlsHelpingGirls have provided 22 scholarships to young girls and built two schools.
If you haven't heard of Body Bijou yet, it has a romantic bohemian feel to many of its designs, which include body chains, hip chains, leg jewelry, earrings, necklaces and bracelets that are handmade in a Toronto studio. Manziaris, who got her first taste of designing jewelry during a 7th grade art class, draws her inspiration from nature. Many of the pieces have leaf-like detailing and earthy gemstones. We especially love the gold rivoli earrings (above, left) and the soultana body chain (above, right).
Check out the full collection of jewelry at bodybijou.com now!