Couple Releases ‘Wear Their Names’ Jewelry Made Out Of Shattered Glass From Charleston Riot And People Are Not Happy About It

With everything going on surrounding the recent Black Lives Matter protests, people all around the world have been looking for ways to become a part of this movement and honor the victims of racism and police brutality. However, not everyone’s attempts happened to turn out successful.

Recently, a guy named Paul Chelmis along with his girlfriend Jing Wen released a jewellery line where every piece is made out of the shattered glass from the Charleston riot. Moreover, they called the line “Wear Their Names” since every item in the collection is named after black people who died at the hands of injustice.

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After hearing about this brand, thousands of people were absolutely pissed

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According to Charleston Scene, on the evening of May 30, when peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters gathering in the honor of George Floyd were replaced by rioters shattering the windows of several King Street businesses, the couple were in Summerville. While watching the Facebook live capturing the riot, Chelmis wanted more than anything to be in the middle of the chaos with his camera and documment everything.

“I’m kicking myself for not gathering 10 times as much glass”

Image credits: paulwhoislost

That night while ruminating about the whole situation, the couple came up with the idea to “make something beautiful out of the rubble.” The next morning, Chelmis and Wen drove downtown to see the aftermath with a mission to collect the shards of shattered glass lining the street.

The couple decided to use shattered glass for creating a line of jewellery

Image credits: paulwhoislost

Chelmis and Wen decided to name each item in the line after the names of those who died at the hands of injustice. Apparently, there was supposed to be The Tamir (Rice), The Ezell (Ford), The Tanisha (Pughsley), The Trayvon (Martin), The Gabriella (Nevarez), The Breonna (Taylor), The Eric (Garner) and The Elijah (McClain). Moreover, they came up with an idea to call the line “Wear Their Names” since the phrase “Say Their Names” has become a slogan for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The couple called their brand “Wear Their Names”

Image credits: paulwhoislost

While creating the line, the couple turned to their friend and a powerful voice in the music scene, Kanika Moore, for assurance and advice. “When Paul came to me with the idea, he really wanted to make sure that it would be perceived the right way. He was cautious about it and the way it would be viewed. He wanted it to be a positive influence,” Moore told Charleston Scene. Apparently, she was in full support of the project.

They were also planning on donating all proceeds to Black Lives Matter

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Chelmis and Wen came up with 8 designs for their line

Image credits: paulwhoislost

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After hearing about the upcoming launch of this new jewellery line, people were absolutely pissed. Many were pointing out how these guys were simply trying to profit off the pain of others and how it all just seems like a terrible marketing trick. Some people were okay with them using the shattered glass from the riot but thought that naming the pieces after the names of the victims was absolutely unethical.

Many think this idea was insensitive and disrespectful to the victims and their families

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“I can understand why someone may want to use the glass to make a piece of jewellery to memorialize the deaths. However, I feel if someone chooses to do that, it is a private and intimate matter and shouldn’t be made into an online store??” someone wrote on Twitter.

Many were angry that the couple is making jewellery out of the shattered glass from the riot when they haven’t even been to the riot themselves.

After getting the negative feedback, the line has since been canceled

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The couple has since come out with an apology that you can find on the web page that was supposed to be the platform for their online store. “So sorry to those we offended or harmed. While our intentions were pure and we consulted with a wide variety of people before launching, it is clear that there are issues with the approach we took,” the couple wrote in their statement. “Though we only wanted to honor the victim’s names and retell their story, we see now that using those names was inappropriate and in poor taste.”

Here are some more thoughts on the “Wear Their Names” jewellery line

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