Artisan & Fox partners with social enterprises that promote and honor the craft and skills of their local communities, while showcasing their designs and crafts to a global audience. For the fourth edition of Field Notes, we’re featuring our enterprising artisan partners in Kenya. We first spoke with Marta, a development professional and founder, who is our partner and coordinator in bringing Kenyan crafts to conscious consumers like you.
Handcrafted by our artisan partners in Kenya, our new Shapes & Sand range adds a timeless selection of classics to our marketplace.
Marta and Ojiko
In Conversation with Marta...
What do you believe in?
My team and I believe in fair wages, using sustainable products, and ensuring high quality products that are affordable for “everyday people”.
As a founder leading an organisation working to improve the lives of those in the handmade crafts sector in Africa, is there anything that you would like people to know?
Perhaps that as a social enterprise, it is important for us to make an impact in the lives of artisans living in low income areas, stay committed to environmentally friendly products and practices, and at the same time provide high quality products to conscious consumers.
We believe in fair trade and sustainability for a better Africa tomorrow.
Complete the sentence “Social responsibility is _____”
Social responsibility is what every business should prioritize because people make up every business and are at the core of it’s growth.
Behind the Scenes at the workshop
Ojiko and Elijah are the master artisans behind the production of our Made in Kenya Collection. Both makers strive to work towards running their own businesses one day, to work with other talented artisans and give back to their communities.
We also spoke to artisan Elijah to learn more about his perspective from the jewellery business. Elijah is 28-years-old and dreams of opening his own jewellery workshop one day.
Elijah in his workshop
What’s your favourite thing about creating your pieces?
Everything that I make is my favourite :) But I love sampling the most.
Can you describe the process of creating your pieces? Where do you start?
I start by sourcing the materials, and then drawing the shapes. Afterwards cutting them into shapes and hammering, grinding, and then soldering the pieces. Lastly, polishing and coating the pieces.
Do you ever think about the people who will wear your piece? If so, what do you think of them? Is there anything you want to tell them?
When I meet someone wearing my pieces, I ask them where did you buy your piece? That is the work of my hand.
What is your biggest dream?
To finish paying my land so that I can build my own house on it near my rural home, Busia.
By working hand-in-hand with our artisan partners across the globe, we’re on a journey to re-shape the narrative behind the things we buy and love.
Together with Marta, we’re proud to showcase the craft of Elijah and Ojiko and look forward to sharing their future designs and jewellery with you.
Discover the Shapes & Sand Collection here.