When former civil rights attorney Alexis Ander Kashar made a career jump to become a jewelry designer, the core elements of her work didn't change all that much—there are more parallels between lawyer and designer than one might suspect, she says. Sure, the day to day is different, but the designer insists that both occupations allow for one key thing: advocacy. In both roles, there exists a platform and an opportunity to make your voice heard.
Through Kashar's debut line of pendants, which proudly feature the American Sign Language symbol for "I love you," she has been able to connect people from many different communities. The designer and founder of RoseBYANDER, who herself is deaf, says that once she began donning her necklace, she "engaged in so many meaningful conversations with friends and strangers who are intrigued [by] the pendant or want to share their own experiences. Unexpected connections are constantly made as a result of those conversations."
In honor of International Week of Sign Language (September 20-26), Marie Claire spoke with Kashar about her collection and the importance of "showcasing the beauty of deaf cultures and languages throughout the world." Kashar explains: "There are 200 known sign languages, and there are 70 million deaf and hard of hearing people around the globe, and 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the USA alone." Her pieces represent love, inclusivity, and belonging—statement jewelry with a message.
Kashar's pieces come in a a variety of metals, diamonds, and colored stones, and at a mix of prices (starting at $239). Join in on the celebration of this week and shop some of our favorites from the collection below: