RENTON, Wash. — In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, Suzanne Vetillart, the owner of Boma Jewelry, has designed a special collection that honors her family's Asian heritage.
The “Treasured Collection” includes an agate stone necklace in the shape of a bi-disc, which represents the connection to heaven and earth. It's a tribute to her late Chinese grandmother.
Other necklaces and earrings showcase jade stones that are significant in Chinese culture.
"It took me so long to want to wear something that was connected to my heritage," said Vetillart.
Vetillart's dad, who is Chinese-Thai, started Boma Jewelry in 1981, which produced and manufactured jewelry for major retailers.
Now the second-generation owner of the company, Vetillart continues to create ethical and sustainable jewelry that also supports social justice initiatives.
Last year, in response to the racial justice movement, Boma Jewelry gave back to those in the Black community.
"We decided to create a grant for Black jewelry designers," said Vetillart. "And I think that really helped me to learn that there's always ways that we can contribute."
To celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, Vetillart designed this special collection with pride and celebration of her Asian identity.
One hundred percent of the profits will be donated to the AAPI Community Fund, which supports organizations that uplift and protect Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Vetillart said in her company's 40-year history, they've never designed a line of jewelry that celebrates their Asian heritage.
In the midst of the violence and hate, she believes now is the time to share their story.
"Growing up in a culture like America, you just want to be like everyone else," said Vetillart. "And I think a lot of what I wanted to do was sort of erase what made me different from everyone else. But now as an adult, I really look back and I really celebrate my differences."