is a collection of jewellery made from horn, bone, ebony and sterling silver. The horn and bone are derived from West African Watusi cattle. This range of contemporary jewellery made from natural materials into bold forms, both geometric and irregular, can be worn to accessorise both casual and formal attire. Each piece is unique and carefully handcrafted in West Africa.
Bé Diem Nguyen Domingo’s relationship to Africa began when she discovered her passion for African dance at the age of sixteen. Since then her interest has branched out to African cultures, notably art and artisanal objects.
In 1997 she started designing jewellery made from natural raw materials indigenous to Africa. One of her objectives was to show people around the world that articles of high quality and design can come from Africa. Equipped with machinery and material brought over from Europe, the individual workshops which manufacture bé are continually in the pursuit of improving the quality of their craftsmanship.
From 2005–2010 Bé has lived in Benin in order to be closer to her collaborators. This has allowed her to better understand their reality and work on finding solutions together. Bé regularly visits her production ateliers. Along with this, her personal relationships with local people and mutual trust with workshops insure that International Labour Organisation guidelines are respected.
Bé has been producing jewellery made from natural material in an eco-sustainable manner since its beginning in 1997, simply because this is the natural way for her.
The horn and bone used as raw material are collected from slaughterhouses and are therefore natural recycled products. The products used to polish the horn are non-toxic. Bé also takes measures to have new workers trained and invests in their ateliers by equipping them with new machinery.
Bé works with the same small family-run workshops since 12 years for the production of her collection, allowing over 50 artisans and their families to earn significantly higher-than-average salaries.
The company currently counts 3 employees, Bé, her assistant and a sales manager in Berlin where inventory is kept. In France, bé is represented by Green Room
, an ethical showroom of fair trade accessories. Today, the bé collection is sold in 450 stores in over 25 countries.