In the Maasai culture, the beaded creations they wear can tell you something about the person who wears them - age, marital status, social status, special events in their life (like a new bride). With guidance from a talented leather worker/designer, the mamas were given the opportunity to use their natural sense of color and design to create products for the Western market. They live and work near their homes (which allows them to care for livestock and children) where they gather in small groups to share advice and stories as they bead the leather provided. A friend of our collection – Nils Tcheyan – visited the mamas and beautifully captured a few images of their gathering.
The Kenyan Collection
"Africa can compete"
"We have seen clearly where hope and opportunity exist in one part of the world, it can impact peace and stability across the globe."
Why is The Kenyan Collection NOT a non-profit? Because the Kenyans felt that setting up as a non-profit would suggest donations are required or desired to sustain this operation and customers would need to manage expectations in terms of quality of products. These are both assumptions the Kenyans specifically wanted to challenge….and they have. We don’t want your donation, we want your business which we will earn by ensuring every customer is satisfied with the product purchased with their hard earned money. While there are many who have tried to duplicate some of the work and designs of our artisans, in terms of creativity, consistency, and quality we are sure you will agree there is no comparison.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHY
Professionals and "Happy Customers"
Gautam S. Kaji – for the Africa landscape and years of support
Nils Tcheyan - the Mamas at work - http://imagesbynils.com/