Culture-Cross is a collaboration between international designers, indigenous communities and craftspeople, philanthropists, development and aid groups, and of course… appreciators of quality cultural art and jewelry.

Culture-Cross founders Ben Chaffee and Alex Zinn developed the business while working as teachers in communities across Asia. With unique access to remote communities, Ben and Alex developed Culture Cross as a practical way to support sustainable income and cultural preservation. Culture-Cross grew with a sense of timeless style and design. Traditional designs found common ground with Western taste and new styles were developed based on ancient designs. Culture-Cross today represents a wide range of cultural jewelry, from the high Himalayas to the jungles of the Maya. The final connection that makes this collaboration possible is you. We hope Culture Cross may be a journey of exploration and discovery. We hope you will enjoy this journey we share together. Welcome.

Providing Sustainable Income The most important part of Culture-Cross is the communities that we work with. These communities make a living through their traditional craft. This not only provides for their communities, but also helps preserve their cultural heritage.

In January 2017 we travelled to Cambodia to visit Phare Ponleu Selpak or “The Brightness of the Arts”, a non-profit Cambodian association improving the lives of children, young adults, and their families with art schools, educational programs, and social support programs. Phare Ponleu Selpak, or just “Phare” was founded by a French humanitarian worker in a refugee camp after the Cambodian genocide who found that art classes worked as therapy by allowed the children to express through art the emotions that they couldn’t put into words. Today Phare offers a wide curriculum of art education which provides the children in the surrounding Cambodian countryside with the skills to develop a career in the arts. Students graduating from Phare make an income in music, graphic and fine arts and by travelling the world to share their talents.

In a country where so much art was lost in the civil war and where so few opportunities exist, Phare creates opportunities for Cambodians to earn a living by contributing to the artistic development of Cambodia. The music building at Phare Ponleu Selpak needs repairs due to foundation damage. Culture-Cross is now contributing 5% of total sales to Phare Ponleu Selpak to go directly towards the music building so that it continues to offer Cambodian students education to prepare them for careers in Cambodian music.