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Minka Kelly‘s latest project in a meaningful one.
Known for her do-good nature, the Friday Night Lights actress, 39, teamed up with ABLE, an ethical fashion brand, for a second time to create a jewelry collection of everyday pieces that gives back in a big way.
“I first started collaborating with ABLE in 2009, after I lost my mom in 2008, because they create jobs for women who don’t have the opportunity [otherwise],” Minka tells PEOPLE exclusively about the company which started by employing and training women in Ethiopia who were coming out of the commercial sex industry. Today, the brand employs, trains, educates and empowers women across the globe so they can earn a living and break the cycle of poverty.
For this collection, Kelly was inspired by her favorite hoop earrings. “I had a pair of hoop earrings that I held on to for almost eight years because I wasn’t able to find another pair that were as delicate or the same size. So I was really excited to get to recreate this pair that I have held on to like a Fabergé egg.”
Kelly’s collection is named after one of ABLE’s first jewelry designers, Barbara, and features dainty gold pieces, such as stackable rings, pendant necklaces and, of course, hoop earrings ranging from $28 to $88.
“The idea of playing and layering all of the necklaces is really fun,” Kelly says about her Barbara line. “The hoops and longer chain necklace are ones that I never take off ever. I even go to the gym in it. I live in it.”
During the design process Kelly traveled to the brand’s Nashville studio to work with the designers directly.
“The most fun part of creating the line was spending time with the girls and seeing what we could come up with together,” she explains. “Just seeing all the girls come together to create these beautiful pieces was really amazing.”
But one of ABLE’s designers, Barbara, made a lasting impression on Kelly during her first collaboration with the brand in 2009.
“All of the women working with ABLE have their own story, but the jewelry line is named after one woman, Barbara,” Kelly adds. “She overcame a 10-year battle with addiction, now has four daughters and a husband and is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. If that doesn’t inspire you and make you want to keep going and grow as much as you possibly can, I don’t know what will.”
To spread the news and share the story behind her collection, Kelly sent the Barbara set to her A-list inner circle of friends including actress Sophia Bush, Jenna Dewan and Kelly’s BFF, Mandy Moore who shared the pieces on Instagram.
Even though each item holds a special meaning for Kelly, one necklace in particular is her favorite.
“Last time time I was [in Nashville], I saw all the girls wearing the elephant necklace, which is really special because of the meaning behind it,” she explains. “I wanted to create the elephant necklace because of the fact that when a mother elephant gives birth in the wild, the other female elephants go around her for protection. That’s the epitome of women supporting women, and helping in a time of need, which represents why I work with ABLE and what ABLE is about, period.”
Shop the full ABLE x Minka Kelly Barbara collection at livefashionable.com.