​Jen Boschma + Annie Walker

Jen Boschma and Annie Walker are passionate about the goodness of life and, after meeting in chance encounter, decided they didn't want to do it alone. Together, they make up Tribe of Dreamers. 

Tribe of Dreamers isn't just a jewelry line, it's a reminder that life is too beautiful to settle for the expected. Risk doing what you love to end what you hate.  This is something that we are after - something that we want for you. Now get it.

 

What is your soul+work?

Do what you love to end what you hate.

For us, we love to make jewelry with rural artisans + non-profits to help end poverty + injustice in the world. We believe everyone has a dream that can change the world and want to encourage people to find that and do it.


Tribe of Dreamers taught a group of women in Swaziland who live at the top of a mountain hours away from anything, how to make jewelry. For the first time these women received a paycheck, have a small savings account, and were able to use the skills they already had of braiding and weaving to create a product people could purchase.


Why do you do what you do? Take us on the journey.

Annie :: Oh goodness, there are so many people and little experiences that have brought me to this place.  The most life shifting for me was when I quit my job and took a couple of years to travel the world.  I am originally from Kansas and a former pastry chef.  After living as a wedding cake designer in New York,  I left to see the world.  I partnered with local organizations wherever I was and helped out however I could.  I worked in the red light district in Thailand, helped post op children in Togo and lived in villages in Romania.  I stayed in a house in the South of Spain with some of the best people I know sharing dreams of a better world and how to not leave it the same as when we got here.  When I returned home, I knew life could not be the same.  I wanted to figure out a way to use my skills and talents and merge that with the beat of my heart.  

Jen and Annie took a little tour with their camper, Birdie, hiding goodies along the way.

Jen and Annie took a little tour with their camper, Birdie, hiding goodies along the way.

Jen & Annie with Birdie the camper.

Jen & Annie with Birdie the camper.

Jen :: Oh boy, the journey's been a windy one for me too. I was working in non-profit and loved the feeling of contributing to something bigger than myself but hated the actual work of spreadsheets and asking donors for money. There was a time on the 405 while on my daily commute when I felt like I would rather get in a car accident and have minor injuries than go in to work, and in that moment, I knew I needed a change. Selling everything and embarking on the unknown was worth the risk. So I did it, and set out on a journey to pursue things that made me feel alive - traveling, acting, taking risks and doing what I loved. I took a jewelry class for fun and was hooked. Obsessed. A couple years later I met Annie while I was on a blind date at a Mexican restaurant in Silverlake. The sweet guy left to go to the bathroom and after a couple moments of chatting with Annie, the rest is history.

What do you perceive to be one of the biggest issues in our wold and how can we address it to make the world a better place?

Annie :: For me, it's social injustice.  We shouldn't be living in a world where people get mistreated or don't have access to the necessities of life.  People are people!

Jen :: I completely agree. There are so many issues in the world that need to be solved - clean water, trafficking, poverty, disaster relief, injustice in every form... we could go on and on and on. Traveling and living in different countries really opens your eyes to the reality of the world and how we have so many resources to be an active participant in the solution. One of the reasons I love what we do is we get to create and partner with so many beautiful people and causes. I don't have the capacity to choose one need over the other and we don't have to, we get to do a little with everyone.

Share with us your most difficult moment. Take us there.

Jen :: Okay, let's do this. The truth is that there are so many ups and downs when you start something that hasn't been done before, and you never, ever feel like you have arrived. I am by no means the expert here, I just know my experience. One of my hardest moments came about 6 months after I quit my job and sold everything (the very romantic story I shared above). My reserve savings was drying up, and in the same week I lost my part time job, my car was towed twice (a $1000 price tag) and my rent doubled unexpectedly. I literally found a quarter on the sidewalk and deposited it into my bank account and ate my roommates stale tortillas (thank you Julie Ordonez). I was that broke. I remember walking around Los Feliz (no car remember), where I was living at the time, and praying, begging, for the trials to stop. I was at the end of what I could handle and I needed help, a break. I wanted to quit. But something happened, and I didn't. I chose to stay in it. And things slowly, in teeny tiny steps, started coming together. A kind person picked me out of the audience at a gameshow and I won the exact amount I needed to pay for my tow tickets. A friend got me a job at a restaurant. Family members bought my jewelry. People took risks on me and introduced me to others who would ultimately build into the story that I'm living now. And today, 7 years later, I'm just dipping my toes into the dreams I've had forever. I think the journey can be a slow one that is built on the kindness of others, and made up of a bunch of times saying yes when you feel like you want to give up.


There was a time on the 405 while on my daily commute when I felt like I would rather get in a car accident and have minor injuries than go in to work, and in that moment, I knew I needed a change.


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I literally found a quarter on the sidewalk and deposited it into my bank account and ate my roommates stale tortillas... I was that broke. I remember walking around Los Feliz (no car remember), where I was living at the time, and praying, begging, for the trials to stop.



A kind person picked me out of the audience at a game show and I won the exact amount I needed to pay for my tow tickets. A friend got me a job at a restaurant. Family members bought my jewelry. People took risks on me and introduced me to others who would ultimately build into the story that I'm living now. And today, 7 years later, I'm just dipping my toes into the dreams I've had forever.


Tell us about one of your favorite career moments, what you learned, and what lit up your soul.

We just took a trip to Swaziland and Mozambique! We are a part of a new design collective called Project Raiz.  It's a group of designers who are connecting rural artisans to a global marketplace. Tribe of Dreamers taught a group of women in Swaziland who live at the top of a mountain hours away from anything, how to make jewelry. For the first time these women received a paycheck, have a small savings account, and were able to use the skills they already had of braiding and weaving to create a product people could purchase. Our newest passion is selling their pieces here, and creating more jobs and opportunities for them. We are also in planning stages of building a creative center in Mozambique so people can have proper training and a beautiful and inspiring place to work and create. This is a huge dream for us and we cannot believe it is coming into life.  

Your social channels and website are lovely. How do you tackle the challenges and the hustle of social media mindfully?

We try to stay focused on the purpose, the "why" of what we are doing.  For us, jewelry, gaining social media followers, all the "things" are just a shadow of the bigger picture.  Where our heart resides, and will always be, is with people and doing as much as we can to make people feel loved and supported.  Our goal is to reach as many people as possible here in the states to encourage them to dream big and make the world a better place. Our personal way of practicing what we preach is to help to employ as many rural artisans as we can, and make awesome pieces for non-profits to help support their efforts and fundraising goals that are already in place.

Where do you like to travel?

Where do we not like to travel!  Different cultures and nature are really big for us.  All that being said, Mozambique might be our new favorite places! It feels like a deserted, untouched Bali - we think everyone should go!

What is your most inspired work setting?

We currently work in a communal loft and LOVE it!!!  For us, it's so inspiring working around other companies.  We love seeing what other people are working on and collaborating. 

Taken at Jen and Annie's favorite work spot, The Boxcar.

Taken at Jen and Annie's favorite work spot, The Boxcar.


I think the journey can be a slow one that is built on the kindness of others, and made up of a bunch of times saying "yes" when you feel like you want to give up.


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What makes your business soulful?

We think being soulful comes from people.  Who you surround yourself with has such an influence on your daily life.  We are so fortunate to be around incredible world-changing people every day!

Walking in the footsteps of our mothers. Teaching our very first workshop to our very first employees to receive their very first jobs. Words cannot describe. Photo: @carleyscamera | inspirational mamabears: @wboschma @lindalouwalker  

Walking in the footsteps of our mothers. Teaching our very first workshop to our very first employees to receive their very first jobs. Words cannot describe. Photo: @carleyscamera | inspirational mamabears: @wboschma @lindalouwalker
 

What helps you be a soul+worker?

We LOVE the book The War of Art.  It speaks so beautifully to creatives and people who put their souls into what they do.  We also are so inspired by our friends at Darling and Yellow Conference who are redefining what it means to be a creative woman and setting a new tone for all of us.

Words to live by?

Annie :: I grew up with this incredible quote.


Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings.  Only one thing endures and that is character.
- Horace Greeley


Jen :: Just say yes.


Annie Walker is a Midwest gal from Kansas and former pastry chef. After living as a wedding cake designer in New York, she decided to spread her wings and see the world. What she found was remarkable. She worked in the red light district in Thailand, helped post op children in Togo and lived in villages in Cambodia. She stayed in a house in the south of Spain with some of the best people she knows sharing tales and dreams of a better world and how to not leave it the same as when we got here. When returning home she had the burning desire to make a difference in the world. She wanted to do that through doing what she loves, making jewelry. She studied at a small design school in Florence then moved to her current home in LA.

Jen Boschma has wanted to make a difference in the world, ever since she was a lanky kid playing underneath the large oak tree behind her elementary school, but never really knew how. After graduating, she tried her hand at many professions - working in politics, fundraising for cancer research, teaching PE, but when she realized she'd rather get in a car accident than go to work, she knew she needed a change. She decided to quit her stable job, sell everything, and pursue creative endeavors and explore the world. It’s beautiful where life will take you if you say yes. From tents in Haiti, to women’s shelters in India, under elephants in Thailand to stilted houses in Cambodia, she realized one of her true dreams - helping to inspire others to live theirs. To be one voice in a sea of many that reminds you that you don’t have to settle for the mundane.

 

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Say "hi" to these dreamers!

f a c e b o o k  |  i n s t a g r a m

tribe of dreamers