Saturday, August 29, 2015

FULL MOON - An Imaginative Bead Poem

I was a little stuck with my blog this week, so I have decided to write quite freely
...So here you have it.

An Imaginative Bead Poem by Kirstie MacLean Kalonji 


In Ndejje the lights are dim, a lady can see things
Is that a bead?
...dancing in front of the moon and stars
A bead with expression?
Precious, inspiring... powerful

She thinks...did I rolled out this character?
Today.. when the children played, the men laid bricks, and babies cried.
Did I rolled out this traveler? Zitume.
The one who will visit homes afar.
For the hands of those who adore the natural type
The types that dance in front of moons and stars
..for they are unique, made with care and from the good stuff.

A glossy printed poster, made to attract and sell
... for a fleeting weekend
But now will dance for many moons

For I have rolled it out 
...a beautiful bead intelligent bead 
...a Mzuribead

Mzuribeads,Ugandan paper beads,barkcloth beads,banana leaf beads,cow horn beads,handmade beads,African beads,Recycled paper beads,Ethical beads,Green beading,Make jewellery,Make jewelry,Jewellery supplies,Jewelry supplies,Fair trade,chunky beads,colourful beads,African fashion

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Mzuribeads and the African Fashion Phenomenon

Mzuribeads and the African Fashion Phenomenon

Four years ago I left my rat-race job in economic development consultancy to embark upon an entrepreneurial adventure that I hoped would involve enabling artisans in the developing world to bring their jewellery products to market. Motivated by a desire to run a business, make a difference and do both of those things by selling 'pretty things', I never really considered that what I was getting involved in was the fashion industry. But then I discovered Mzuribeads and met Kirstie. Kirstie has worked intensively with the women in Ndejje, Uganda who make Mzuribeads and together they have developed beads of amazing quality that are truly worthy of their place in the world of fashion and design. And now, as the African fashion industry begins to boom, I find myself becoming increasingly interested in the African fashion phenomenon, and increasingly excited about the prospects this holds for Mzuribeads and our lovely co-operative of Ugandan women who have made it what it is today.  

Found on Pinterest, By

So where has this growth in African fashion come from, and is it set to continue? I think the answer to the latter question is 'yes'!Sub-Saharan Africa is currently the world's second fastest growing economic region, and this in turn is leading to a growing middle class in Africa. As wealth begins to grow in the region, so too does a demand among Africans for quality African fashion. As a result, Africa is now home to a growing number of African fashion designers. These fashion designers have been brought to the world stage through a series of Africa Fashion Weeks, which have been held in the world's fashion capitals, with the first being held in New York in 2010. Africa Fashion Week London 2015 was held only a couple of weeks ago. The success of African fashion is clear to see when high profile women such as Michelle Obama and Beyonce Knowles are attending events wearing clothes made by African designers. Take a look at our Pinterest page where we share some amazing photos of African fashion on our "Style We Love Board"

So this is all fantastic news for Mzuribeads and we are delighted to be part of the African fashion scene. Our bead range is very versatile. You will find small and slender or bold and chunky, and you will find a plethora of vibrant colour among our paper beads; or you can opt for the delicate earthy tones of our cowhorn or barkcloth beads. Kirstie, who I mentioned earlier has some fabulous designs made using Mzuribeads available for sale on her Mudhut101 Etsy Store. If you'd like some inspiration to make your own designs using our beads, check out our Making Jewellery Facebook Group where our customers go to share their creations.

If you share our love of African fashion, join us on one of our social media platforms, leave us a comment, drop us an email or maybe even join our team. We'd love to hear from you!


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Friday, August 7, 2015

The hustle of a bead order in Ndejje.

The hustle of a bead order in Ndejje...

Edith, the team leader in Ndejje, gets a new bead order, she travels either by foot or by boda boda to the local internet cafe to print the order forms. The rain makes the volcanic dust a mud bath. the bodas skid and slide but skillfully navigate the paths and potholes.

Edith then contacts the 5 other artisans to arrange a meeting at her home where Mzuri hire a small workshop space. In the meeting, they discuss the order, who will do what, and make sure the order is split even between the members. Mzuri pay the artisans for a agreed price for each product they make and so they know what they are receiving. The cooperative agrees the set prices.

Edith then goes to the city, collect the money sent from Mzuri Uk and buys the materials needed. paper, varnish, bark cloth, etc, see youtube video of dying the barkcloth;

The artians work in their own time and at their own speed. Edith is responsible for quality control and to complete the order in a agreed timescale. The artisans get their wages when the products are ready.The products are then pack according to requirements and sent to the customer by international courier.
Edith, who recieves a team leaders wage also completes the expences and makes sure everything is accounted for. We use Skype and telephone to communicate. Any profit from the order Mzuri UK , uses it to invest in Uganda. Buying a new computer or setting up internet connections for the artisans are good examples.

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Mzuribeads New Stockist 2015


We are delighted to have a new online store selling our handmade, 
Ugandan range of barkcloth, cow horn, recycled paper and glass beads.
Based in the UK, Mudhut101 is an Etsy store, 
which can deliver beads right to your door within 1-2 working days in the UK 
and standard shipping rates Internationally.

What makes this store special is the range of jewellery made from the beads, 
which you can use to get design ideas, or just buy direct.

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