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.  

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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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