Georgie Caldwell has established a jewellery line to help the ‘forgotten children’ of Peru.
“My art teacher used to say to me, ‘You have far too many ideas, just stick to one and develop it,’” recalls 24-year-old Georgie Caldwell, who launched LNO Jewellery in May 2015. In 2013, after graduating from a neuroscience degree, Georgie (pictured above with fellow orphanage volunteer, Anthony) took time out to volunteer at the Maria Salome Ferro orphanage for boys in Cosco, Peru, and it was there that one of her many ideas came to fruition. Distressed by their living conditions, she formed LNO to raise funds for the boys. The acronym stands for Los Niños Olvidados, meaning the forgotten children, of which there are many in Peru.
Deeply moved by her experience at the orphanage, Georgie found she couldn’t simply walk away from children in need. “I couldn’t have spent time with the boys and been like, ‘cool, I’m going back to New Zealand to get on with my own life’. It just wasn’t an option,” she says.
Returning home to Auckland, Georgie set about learning how to design and make jewellery. While she has since handed over the crafting to three jewellers, she continues to design the range. Georgie creates the special moulds herself and the pieces are then handmade to order. “I think jewellery is a very sentimental gift and buying it, when you know it gives back, adds that extra layer,” says Georgie, who donates 20 per cent of the purchase price from each piece directly to the orphanage, with contributions documented at lnojewellery.com.
L-R: Cuarzo cluster ring, $145; Cuarzo cluster studs, $80; Siempre Reyner ring, $200.
The LNO range consists of two lines – Cuarzo (Spanish for quartz) and Siempre (meaning ‘always’) and a new collection inspired by Georgie’s love of gardens and nature’s beauty will launch just in time
for Christmas. “I’ve thought about the consumer and transparency,” says Georgie, when discussing donations. “I’d want transparency; I’d want to know exactly how much of my money is going to the orphanage.”
To put it into perspective for customers, $40 from the sale of the $200 Siempre Reyner ring buys three new pairs of shoes, 100 toothbrushes or 80 notebooks for the boys’ school work. “At the moment there are two large rooms where all the boys sleep and there’s not really any sense of family,” explains Georgie. “They want to build small houses so there’s a family of five or six boys and they’ll each have a house mother to give it more of a family environment.
“The goal is to get the orphanage established to a position where they can keep it going themselves,” says Georgie, whose goal is to reach a stage of financial stability where she can assist the Maria Salome Ferro sister orphanage, which is currently home to 35 girls.
LNO Jewellery donates 20 per cent the sale price of each piece directly to the Maria Salome Ferro orphanage in Cosco, Peru.