About Us!

The Ceramic Bead StudioThe Ceramic Bead Studio
While visiting Kenya in 2005, Tomi Browne visited a ceramic bead art studio at the suggestion of Fr. Angelo D’Agostino, the founder of the Nyumbani Children’s Home. She put her trip to the studio off until her last day in Kenya. To her delight, Tomi found the beads to be exquisite. As she toured the facility with the manager, a former Nyumbani volunteer, Tomi wondered aloud about whether she could take some beads home to make some jewelry and earn some money for Nyumbani. That errant thought changed her world. The manager packaged up several bags of beads and all but challenged Tomi to “do something substantial with them”. In this simple act of faith the ICareIWear jewelry line was born.

Tomi BrowneTomi Browne with a patient in
the Lea Toto daycare

A doctor of audiology by profession, Tomi Browne’s first efforts were, by her own admission, “real dogs”. She used her husband Jeff’s fishing line to string them. But little by little she learned new techniques, found that by combining the African beads with spacers and clasps available in the United States, high-quality wearable art could be designed. Her workshop became the Browne's kitchen table, her display case the kitchen island. Friends and then friends of friends stopped in, first to see the jewelry they had heard about and then to make contributions in exchange for a piece of wearable Kenyan art of their own.

Since that moment with the manager of the bead studio over a year ago, Tomi Browne, now retired from her Audiology practice, has purchased thousands of beads and made hundreds of jewelry sets and individual pieces. She has extended the visibility of her work on behalf of victims of poverty by participating in dozens of fundraising events featuring the ICareIWear jewelry line. Response to Tomi’s jewelry line has been overwhelming on all levels. If you would like to help the victims of diseases of poverty, both in Kenya and elsewhere, here’s how.