Save The Rhino: Stackers x Temba

We've teamed up with an amazing jewellery brand called Temba. Temba is very special as they raise money from the sales of their jewellery to help the conservation of endangered Black Rhino's in Africa. A member of the Stackers team met the creators of Temba jewellery, Touran and Polly, in one of our stockists and ever since we have been very keen to do our bit to help the cause. With World Rhino Day taking place next week (22nd September) the timing seemed perfect to work together and raise awareness, as well as funds, for this great cause.

For a limited time only, you will be able to purchase one of our black jewellery box lids or travel cases personalised with the beautiful Temba logo hand stamped onto it. 20% of all sales will go towards helping the Bubye Valley Conservancy's Anti-Poaching Fund in Zimbabwe.

One of the creators, Touran, took time out of her busy day to tell us a little more about their business and the vital work they do for these majestic animals.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourselves and your company Temba?

Temba's journey began in 2017 on the banks of the Limpopo River as my great friend Polly and I discussed our joint love of jewellery and wildlife. I had previously been designing jewellery in London, and recently married my husband Adam who is a rhino anti-poaching ranger in Zimbabwe. I have loved jewellery my whole life and started designing at the age of 8, with my poor mother having to model all of my pieces, whether stylish or not! Polly shares my passion for jewellery, and as a born and raised Zimbabwean she injects this amazing country's culture of creativity into our Temba designs.

Temba's pieces are unique and handmade in Zimbabwe from sterling silver, and we are shortly expanding our range with a gold collection. Each piece has a special story that inspired its design, drawn from unforgettable moments in our wildlife filled world.

2. You do amazing work for the endangered Black Rhinos, how did it all come about?

I came to Zimbabwe for a three-month sabbatical to take photographs of wildlife, and never got around to returning to London! I met my now husband Adam on my first day here and was completely drawn into his world. We live on a wildlife conservancy in southern Zimbabwe which is a refuge to the 4th largest black rhino population in the world, and it is Adam's job to try and protect them from armed poachers who kill them for their horn. Witnessing first-hand the never-ending poaching pressure on our rhinos and the dedication and courage of those trying to protect them led us to our first Temba piece: Squirt the silver rhino. Temba's rhino charm is inspired by an orphaned black rhino called Squirt who was hand raised at the conservancy when his mother was shot by poachers. Although she survived a bullet in her head, his mother lost her sight. While treating her, vets discovered that his mother had already survived three previous poaching attempts.

Last year we had five baby black rhino orphans at one time, one of whom is named Temba. Each one of these orphans has a story filled with tragedy and violence because they and their mothers were seen as targets rather than the incredibly social animal they are. When these orphans are brought in from the bush, usually having had to survive alone for a few days in an area full of lions, they are often in poor health and full of trauma. They are nursed back to health by the brilliant Katrina Leathem, whose mission is to raise them with a view of returning them to the wild. She has so far raised and re-released 17 black rhino orphans. With wildlife facing more and more pressure, whether from habitat loss or poaching, I have learnt from my four years in Zimbabwe how crucial it is that we try to protect it while we still have the chance. The Temba Collection is dedicated to Zimbabwe’s extraordinary wildlife and to those who work so hard to protect it.

3. Are you able to run us through a typical day in your office?

My 'day at the office' is very varied, something I absolutely love! I have to combine designing jewellery with a rather wild lifestyle which comes with living on a wildlife reserve. It can range from getting up early to go and track a rhino with my husband in the bush, to taking photographs of rhinos, lions or game rangers for our donors who make protecting wildlife possible.

I always find time in the day to sit down and work on a new design which is going on in my head, and when it is ready, I go to my studio which is situated in the town of Bulawayo. From there we work on the piece until it is perfect and ready to be made. Zimbabweans are known for their creative talent, and I work with an extraordinarily skilled team who bring our Temba designs to life.

We are so fortunate as from our house, which doubles as my office, we can see all sorts of wildlife walking around outside, from giraffe to zebra, and we often fall asleep to the sound of lions roaring in the distance. For a girl from London, I still have to pinch myself sometimes! Wherever I go, whether walking in the bush or into the studio, I am usually followed by my two trusty Rhodesian ridge-backs.

4. How does the money raised through Temba help towards the conservation of this critically endangered animal?

Temba puts a percentage of earnings directly into rhino anti-poaching. Although we are still a small company, we try and create awareness and give back as much as we can. Our little silver rhino was made in the hope that it would be worn as a symbol of hope for the rhino, and to encourage as many people as possible to wear one to show their support for the rhinos and the anti-poaching teams protecting them. If you turn our little rhino upside down, you will see that he has footprints, which is a dedication to those who spend their days tracking rhino footprints in the bush to ensure their safety. If you would like to learn more about our anti-poaching team I encourage you to check out Bubye Valley Conservation.

5. We'd love to hear a little bit about how you go about choosing/designing your jewellery?

Each of our pieces has its own unique story. We draw inspiration from Zimbabwe's wild heritage as well as our own experiences to create designs that we hope will relate to the personal stories of others. We strive to combine beauty, comfort, versatility and style in our jewellery so that they will look perfect whether you are walking down the busy streets of London or cuddling up to a baby rhino in the African bush. Jewellery has always been a vessel for self-expression, as through jewellery you can show so much about yourself. Since starting Temba one of the greatest things has been how often we are approached by people telling us that they have been inspired by our designs. We take moments of everyday life, an incredible story someone has told us, or a shape we spotted out on a walk amongst wildlife, and try and turn it into a work of art.

"Our goal is for the Temba charm to be worn as a symbol of hope for the survival of rhinos like Squirt. By wearing a little silver rhino, you are directly contributing towards rhino anti-poaching!" - Polly & Touran

Thank you so much to Touran for giving us such a wonderful insight into Temba and the selfless work they do every day to help protect Black Rhinos.

Take a look at the Temba Jewellery collection and treat yourself to a beautiful new piece of jewellery while directly helping the protection of the Black Rhino. You can also shop the limited-edition Stackers x Temba collection here and do you bit for these magnificent animals. A percentage of every sale will be going towards the conservation of the critically endangered Black Rhinos.