How COVID-19 has impacted Akiani Handmade Jewelry

How COVID-19 has impacted Akiani Handmade Jewelry

After arriving in Canada in 2016, the idea of supporting the local artisan community in Mompox-Colombia encouraged us to create Akiani Handmade Jewelry. Mompox is a small town located in the north of Colombia that has a tradition, spanning well over 3 centuries, of creating fine pieces of gold and silver using the filigree technique. This technique’s uniqueness, increasingly in disuse, lies in the fact that the pieces are 100% handmade by master artisans; creating a single piece of jewelry can take up to eight hours.

Akiani got its start in 2016 by setting up tables at small fairs in the Ottawa- Gatineau area. In September 2018, we earned a spot at the iconic ByWard Market in downtown Ottawa. Since then, Akiani has promoted the Mompox-Colombian culture in the Capital of Canada.

Due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic at the beginning of the year, we were not able to set up shop at the ByWard Market this time. Most of our clients are tourists, so if there are no tourists, there are no sales. However, since our company is a social enterprise, we continue supporting the Momposino artisans by ordering new jewelry pieces. We don’t know if Covid-19 will allow us to run our business at the market next year, nor can anyone assure us that we will be able to sell all our inventory. Nevertheless, we sincerely believe that life goes on and that anything is possible with the community’s ongoing support.

People have anniversaries, get married, and celebrate special occasions, so we would like to encourage you to make a difference by supporting social entrepreneurship in Canada and a small community of young Colombians whose primary source of income is creating this beautiful art. We invite you to support the Momposino artisans so that they may continue their craft instead of wasting their talents working at jobs where they could potentially forget this centuries-old craft. Do you really want to make a difference during this Covid-19 crisis? Give the most vulnerable people in this pandemic a second chance to succeed by purchasing these exquisitely made works of art.

43 Comments
  • Milagro Porth

    September 7, 2020 at 9:06 pm Reply

    I look forward to see Akiani designs again in the Byward Market next summer. They are unique and extremely delicate pieces of art that, luckily, we can still order on line.

  • Daniel Bueno

    September 8, 2020 at 7:39 am Reply

    Hopefully we will see Akiani back again in the Byward next year, it’s an amazing social project that will survive this crisis with our help. The online store is amazing, and the products are beautiful and unique!

  • Javier Porras

    September 8, 2020 at 6:09 pm Reply

    High-quality, well-crafted jewelry, special designs, congratulations

  • Gina Gil

    September 8, 2020 at 6:13 pm Reply

    The best jewelry ever! My husband surprised me with the Akiani earnings. I loved it so much. I recommend everyone to have this jewelry, it’s perfect and precious handmade jewelry.

  • Javier Armando Porras Gil

    September 8, 2020 at 6:34 pm Reply

    Hope to see Akiani at byward again. Absolutely stunning products with kind service. Serves as the perfect gift for your special someone!

  • María Celemin

    September 8, 2020 at 9:16 pm Reply

    With incredible fine craftsmanship and a remarkable eye for detail, Mompox’s jewellers are the best in Colombia, and a little brooch or necklace of Akiani filigree silver is just about the finest gift I can give to someone.

  • Kevin Ventura

    September 8, 2020 at 9:33 pm Reply

    The filigree tradition in Mompox, Colombia is an utterly unique and ancient craft which supports the local community. Making a single piece takes hours of painstaking work. Akiani has brought these pieces and this tradition to Canada. Please support both Akiani and the master artisans that produce these gorgeous pieces. The quality is outstanding and the pieces are dazzling. You won’t be disappointed!

  • Claudia Uribe

    September 8, 2020 at 9:34 pm Reply

    I totally love the designs and the quality is excellent. I have no doubt Akiani will be in the ByWard Market again. Although, online shopping will probably be a success as well, cause the customer service is amazing and the product besides being distinctive its supporting a noble cause.

  • Sofía Moreno Martínez

    September 8, 2020 at 9:47 pm Reply

    Los invito a que apoyemos al gremio de artesanos día a día, a pesar de las circunstancias, ya que es una labor de mucha dedicación y amor, no dejemos de aportar por estos medios ya sea para adquirirlos y lucirlos o para dar un gran detalle.

  • Lina Jimenez

    September 9, 2020 at 12:05 am Reply

    It is a pride for the Colombian community to have Akiani as a exponent of our culture in the capital of Canada. I look forward to see Akiani in the Byward Market next summer with they beautiful pieces of art. As a business owner I know that this unprecedented time hasn’t been easy for many of us. Stay strong and positive!

  • Jennifer Castro

    September 9, 2020 at 12:52 am Reply

    Unique and astonishing Colombian jewelry.
    Thanks to your support Akiani will be back to the ByWard Market again.
    Hopefully any time soon.

  • John Martínez

    September 9, 2020 at 9:08 am Reply

    The best jewelry ever! My wife love the Mompox handmade jewelry. Congratulations. Great Work Akiani.

  • Socorro Vasquez

    September 9, 2020 at 9:13 am Reply

    I am confident that we will see Akiani social business in the Byward Market again, not only for the amazing quality of the product but because our Iconic downtown Market is a display of what Canada 🇨🇦 is all about. A land of opportunity, diversity and inclusion therefore as a community we will be committed to keep it the way it was. You count with our support and don’t give up! See you next year!! And thank you for your service on line!!!!

  • Carolina Beltran

    September 9, 2020 at 10:07 am Reply

    Akiani handmade jewelry is doing an amazing job, the pieces are beautiful and the support offered to the local Mompox community is wide enough to contribute. I’m very proud of exemples like Akiani because handcrafters and traditions need to be showed up worldwide

  • Steven Connors

    September 9, 2020 at 10:24 am Reply

    I recommend buy anything here because it is very good quality. They support aboriginal people who made this jewelry by hand. And they are very kind.

    I will buy again for sure.

  • Sandra D.

    September 9, 2020 at 10:40 am Reply

    Des bijoux de très belle qualité et un service impeccable à un prix imbattable.
    Je recommande 100%

  • Claudia Angarita

    September 9, 2020 at 10:43 am Reply

    Más que una joya es una hermosa artesania, elaboradas a mano con detalle y creatividad, esta es la ocasión especial para regalar un detalle único y original; detrás de cada joya hay una familia en su elaboración, todos unidos incentivando a nuestros artesanos a continuar con el legado de sus ancestros.

  • JACQUELINNE CADENA

    September 9, 2020 at 10:51 am Reply

    Akiani not only sells jewellery they support a community of artisans in Mompox – Colombia and inspire new generations of artisans. I had the opportunity to learn the cultural story behind each piece of silver filigree handmade jewellery thanks to Akiani. I hope to see you next year again and your unique and beautiful jewellery in the ByWard Market. I am so sad to see how businesses are affected by COVID-19 and how they are struggling in these difficult times, as a community our role is to support them buying local to help them overcome this crisis. Together we can do amazing things.

  • Ginna Barón

    September 9, 2020 at 11:12 am Reply

    I really love this kind of handmade jewelry. It’s a Colombian art that deserves to be exalted. Congratulations for this excellent work and I hope to see new designs very soon.

  • Diana romero

    September 9, 2020 at 11:15 am Reply

    La artesanía no solo es un arte es parte de nuestra cultura y me alegra mucho que se haga conocer en países como Canadá. 👏 Bravo

  • Clara Ortiz

    September 9, 2020 at 11:37 am Reply

    Akiani vous offre une pièce unique de l’art du filigrane de Mompox (Colombie).
    C’est un bijou d’artisanat d’un très haut niveau de qualité ! Vous ne serez pas déçu.

  • Sergio Rodriguez

    September 9, 2020 at 1:59 pm Reply

    Akiany is the store I recommend in CANADA to buy an original handmade jewelry. An outstanding customer service and a high quality products will be part of your customer experience.

    You will be discover beautiful and spectacular collections of elegant, charming, and unique jewelry that is expertly and carefully crafted by Colombian artisans of Mompox.

  • Cedrick Lafontaine

    September 9, 2020 at 3:01 pm Reply

    At first I was scared of buying jewellery because of Coronavirus. I took the risk to go visit Akiani’s store. I found myself inside a nice, clean and cosy house. The owner, Marcela made me feel like at home. She gave me peace of mind by seriously conditioning the place for safe purchases, free of coronavirus. The jewels: astonishing. My wife was extremely happy. She loved the necklace.
    Thank you Marcela.
    Be certain that I’ll be back to visit your store several times.

  • Jose Parra

    September 9, 2020 at 3:40 pm Reply

    The quality and beauty of Akiani’s products are only a reflection of the excellent human quality of those who serve customers there.

  • Natalia Mantilla

    September 9, 2020 at 3:49 pm Reply

    What an amazing piece of Colombia in Canada. Thanks for sharing colombian culture and craftsmanship with the world.

  • Caro Portilla

    September 9, 2020 at 4:03 pm Reply

    Beautiful designs and high quality.

  • Carolina Doch

    September 9, 2020 at 5:29 pm Reply

    I LOVE that colombians are known for their quality products/art

  • Diana A

    September 9, 2020 at 5:48 pm Reply

    Magnifica joyeria, lo mejor que existe

  • Liliana Silva

    September 9, 2020 at 6:06 pm Reply

    Excelente iniciativa, excellent idea!!

  • Lilian Sanchez

    September 9, 2020 at 9:13 pm Reply

    It’s so beautiful! Congrats!

  • Carolina Cardona

    September 9, 2020 at 11:57 pm Reply

    What a extraordinary job… congratulations 💓

  • Karina Gutierrez

    September 10, 2020 at 1:58 am Reply

    Beautiful jewelry pieces. Beautiful work.

  • David Velandia

    September 10, 2020 at 9:34 pm Reply

    Akiani is history, culture luxury and heritage. It’s nice to see projects that innovate conserving the traditional methods of the Colombian crafters. Akiani definitely shares an artistic experience that stands out among other kind of jewelry. Beautiful project!

  • Andrea espitia

    September 10, 2020 at 9:41 pm Reply

    This kind of art is really beautiful and very Colombian 🇨🇴 all the best for your project

  • Cindy Munoz

    September 12, 2020 at 12:29 am Reply

    As a Peruvian that loves his heritage , I admire the work of those Colombians craftsman that have carry this tradition from generations , we PERUVIAN’s has watch die this craft type on peru very few cultivated this tradition , this is why I love to support Akiani, every time I Have a gift to give or is a special occasion , is my girl to go , even my wedding bands are from Akiani and live them dearly as was a gift from Marcela , can be more great-full and proud of showing this fine handmade jewelry

  • Ana Ortiz

    September 12, 2020 at 11:35 am Reply

    People who make a difference are the ones we need in our country, THANK YOU SO MUCH for changing the image of 🇨🇴 in the world.. What happiness to know that your exist..

  • Diana Carolina Perez

    September 13, 2020 at 11:46 pm Reply

    I love filigrana art is really made with the heart each piece keep part Of the artisan, I have earrings and one ring and that represents to me the beauty of Colombia I highly recommend these art.

  • Mayerly caselles

    September 23, 2020 at 1:26 am Reply

    Admirable social work. perfect combination of art and “business”, where culture is embodied in a unique jewelru. I love filigrana art. Merci Marcela pour apporter un peu de cette culture. Un fuerte abrazo. Mayerly.

  • Paola Orti

    September 25, 2020 at 8:54 am Reply

    La he regalado en dos ocasiones, no solo por lo hermosa, sino por ser una expresión elegante del trabajo, la precisión, la paciencia y la perfección. Felicidades!

  • Gabriela Perez

    September 25, 2020 at 10:34 am Reply

    La artesanía colombiana es una belleza y la filigrana de Monpox demuestra la calidad de nuestros artesanos!.
    Espero ver Akiani en su burbuja otra vez en el ByWard Market en 2021.
    Adoro las piezas que he comprado, y la atención y amabilidad son inigualables!
    Bravo a Marcela y a quienes te acompañan en este emprendimiento tan fabuloso.

  • Carolina torres

    September 28, 2020 at 4:46 pm Reply

    I didn’t know about this store, but I love Mompox jewelry 🇨🇴 I hope he can overpass this difficult time to continue offering love and history to everybody in Canada 🇨🇦

  • Isabel Cascante

    September 28, 2020 at 10:44 pm Reply

    Beautiful jewelry! hope to see you at the ByWard Market next year!!!

  • Miguel Galvis

    September 29, 2020 at 10:47 am Reply

    I’m sure i found the perfect gift not only because of the delicate handcraft but also for what it means as an ancient tradition.

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