As we continue to support black communities – now and always – shopping at black-owned businesses is a meaningful way to effect change. In 2019, Sydney Ziems founded his company, Fortuitous project, with the aim of creating eco-responsible jewelry and accessories. Since then, she has created and sold countless pieces made with materials from the earth, such as sea glass, as well as vintage items from brands like Oscar de la Renta and Carolina herrera. Now Ziems is donating all proceeds from the Serendipitous Project to the Minnesota Freedom Fund for two weeks. Vogue spoke to Sydney Ziems about how she is using her platform for good, what it means to be a black female business owner, and the importance of inclusiveness.
As for the inspiration behind his magnificent creations, Ziems turns to the past, art and nature. She is obsessed with Victorian and Rococo fashion. “Art also plays such an important role,” she says. “Sometimes I just go through art books and see what catches my eye and find how I can take elements of a picture and make it into a prop without making it too literal.”
Since sustainability is an important part of the Serendipitous project, Ziems also enjoys working with natural materials, such as pearls, stones, sea glass and seashells.
Not only does Serendipitous Project help the environment, but they also use their platform to raise awareness about social issues. Following the George Floyd protests, Ziems wanted to give back in any way she could, so she decided to donate two weeks of her company’s profits to the Minnesota Freedom Fund. Giving back has always been an integral part of the Serendipitous Project – for each seasonal collection, Ziems selects a piece to donate a percentage to charity. For the resort’s collection, 10 percent of the proceeds from the Mayan Necklace went to RAICES, a Texas nonprofit that helps protect and provide legal aid to children at the border. Connecting with other women is another important part of the Serendipitous project. “First and foremost,” Ziems said, “I wanted to build a community of women whose style, interest and values match mine, such as eco-friendly, ethical shopping and giving back.”