Handmade in Kenya

Handmade in Kenya

 

When I glance quickly at our collection of Fair Trade Products & Gifts from Kenya, Africa the first word that comes to mind is whimsy. Bright and happy colors, bold and geometric shapes and lots of friends from the animal kingdom bring quick smiles. A closer look at the collection reveals pure innovation- a stunning rustic nativity made with sustainable banana fiber, adorable figures made out of recycled aluminum soda cans and African jewelry made out of collected porcupine quills. This is a collection where the beauty truly is in the details.

Many of the sculptures we carry from Kenya are carved out of Kisii Stone, a type of soap stone found abundantly and only in the Kisii region of Kenya. The naturally white stone is beautiful in its natural color but also takes dye vibrantly, making it a wonderful material for artisans to create candle holders, bowls & dishes. Traditionally, Kisii is carved with a knife similar to a machete called a panga. It is then hand sanded and waxed for a smooth finish. From elegant stone sculptures to functional kitchen decor to our ever popular heart rocks, we think Kisii Stone rocks!

We also carry hand carved wood products like serving spoons, spreaders and wood hearts from Kenya made from beautiful olive wood. Olive trees take a long time to grow, and the process of pruning helps them grow healthier. African artisans we work with collect discarded prunings from olive wood trees and use the gorgeous wood pieces that are both decorative and functional.

Purchasing Fair Trade products from Kenya helps the artisans we work with to continue to live in their villages and not have to travel to the cities in search of employment. Many Fair Trade groups employ women despite the fact that in Kenya the norm is for men to provide for the family and women to take care of domestic chores. Bombolulu Workshops, one of the biggest groups we work with in Kenya, gives steady employment to physically disabled artisans who would otherwise be unable to find employment due to social stigmas. Every single Fair Trade gift you purchase makes a positive difference in the life of an artisan.

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