Hello! We wanted to welcome you to our very first “Kawami Blog!” This is going to be a space where we highlight stories of the members of our Kawami family. The theme of these stories will range from person to person, but our goal with this platform is to create a catalyst of positivity to show you how much good there is in the world. Every single person that you will read about in this blog will have some sort of connection to Kawami Jewelry, as they have all created a positive impact on us and changed our world.
Today’s story is one that makes our heart warm and our face smile every time that we think about it. As seen in the title, this blog is dedicated to the topic of men in jewelry. We have to admit, when we first thought of creating Kawami, we had a monochromatic view on who would wear our earrings. Our initial mission statement was: “while enhancing the confidence and beauty of women, we focus on keeping the value of handmade work of artisans in Colombia.” You see, there is a huge issue with that sentence, we are only including women in it. Which left out a gigantic part of the world’s population! Who are we to say that only those who identify as women are the ones that can feel confident and beautiful? One day, we followed someone called Jeremy Quintero (pronouns He/Him). At the time we didn’t know it, but Jeremy was about to become a big part of our lives and he was going to teach us an honorable lesson.
Jeremy gave us unconditional support from the moment he followed us. We welcomed him to the Kawami family, and he told us that he loved our earrings and our purpose. Soon, Jeremy made his first purchase. We were very excited about the pair that he had chosen as it is truly beautiful, but what we did not foresee is that about a week later we would receive pictures of him wearing them! We were in awe by how perfect the earrings fit him, he looked so good with them on and we could tell that he felt confident. It dawned on us: we have been so wrong all along. Our mission statement was not honoring the men and non-binary people that are a part of our community. Our mission statement was leaving out thousands of beautiful souls that make a part of our world. We messaged Jeremy right away and told him that because of him we had changed our statement, that because of him our world had changed. He also inspired us to create this blog, as a way to lift up the voices of those that should be heard! The following paragraphs are dedicated to Jeremy.
Jeremy is eighteen years old and he has just graduated high school! He is half Mexican and half from the United States, and he currently lives in Ohio. He is very proud about his Mexican heritage and is learning more and more about the Latinx community in the United States and how to be involved. At the age of fourteen, he came out to his family as a gay man. Ever since, Jeremy has become an avid advocate of LGBTQ+ rights. He loves being a part of these two communities and constantly finds ways to support them. He wants everyone to be treated equally and respectfully. He is in love with history and plans to study archeology and anthropology in college. His biggest dream right now is to make subtle changes in people’s life, he wants to be their support system. Someday he wants to give back to his parents everything that they have ever given him!
Jeremy and Jewelry (how the story began):
Since he can remember, he has liked wearing small necklaces. However, at the age of sixteen he decided he wanted to get his ears pierced. At first this was done just to wear studs; however, he began to be very interested in the Chola culture (a Mexican American subculture in the United States). He noticed the big earrings worn in this culture, and suddenly he also began to see the beautiful big earrings that his mom and sister always worn. One day he decided that he wanted to wear those beautiful big colorful earrings too; a moment that marked Jeremy’s fashion identity. He started to experiment with earrings, slowly making them bigger as his bright confidence continued to grow.
Challenges and Advice:
Jeremy’s challenges when wearing earrings are the subtle aggressions from those who are too closed minded. Unfortunately, to many in our society, seeing a man openly wear “feminine” jewelry makes them uncomfortable. To the day, Jeremy receives lots of looks from those who think this is something strange. Yet, Jeremy has learned how to keep his head up and look at the bright side. His advice to men who want to wear big earrings is to firstly have a support system that has your back. Whether this be family or friends, it is important for you to have people whom you can turn to and in his words, “vent to.” As a man who wants to begin wearing jewelry, you should do it in a place where you feel comfortable. Example, your room or your house. Wear them around people you feel comfortable with, this will slowly build up your confidence and allow you to step out into a world of beautiful jewelry!
“It’s gonna make you happier than if you didn’t do it at all!”
Thank you, Jeremy, for teaching us at Kawami Jewelry a great lesson about inclusion. If you are a man or a non-binary person who has ever felt left out by Kawami, we want to apologize! We want you to know that you matter to us and that we believe you deserve to feel beautiful and confident.
While enhancing the confidence and beauty of people, our mission is to create fair wages for the families that dedicate themselves to hand make jewelry.