Sunday, October 25, 2015

So what's it really like to work or volunteer at mzuribeads?

What is it like to work and volunteer for Mzuribeads?
What could you be doing and what skills could you learn ?

As one of the founders, I am going to tell you a little about what I have learned at Mzuribeads, and what you could also gain from working or volunteering with us.

(Me with the Mzuribeads women)


From 2009 - 2010 I set up and managed the first online bead store for Mzuribeads.  At first I thought this would be quite simple, but things got interesting after getting into it, and when consistent sales began. Some of the valuable things I picked up were around stock management, effective listings and sales formulas, all of which, by the end of my role, I swore by.  All of the knowledge I and others have accumulated, will be shared with you, as we mentor and advise you along the way... should you decide to set up your own store selling Mzuribeads.

The other way I have worked form Mzuribead is through commission on wholesale.  Although often challenging, I found this extremely rewarding.  As, not only did I feel responsible for sending Mzuribeads to countries I hadn't even imagined, but I also saw a significant amount of money reaching the women in Uganda, and each sale called for a mini celebration (:


Before starting Mzuribeads alongside my brother and the initial four beaders, I would never have thought how much I could self learn from the internet.  I owe my most of my recent and current professional positions to my volunteer posts at Mzuribeads.  Getting to know the women and becoming passionate about such amazing, natural, recycled and handmade beads, motivated me to help.  
At the time I started to volunteer, ecommerce was just starting to become mainstream, and I was faced with all sorts of issues as website, logo, and all the online branding and presence which had to be designed.  Mzuribeads supported me to learn how to use Adobe Creative Suite, basic HTML, and so much more.  And has resulted to my current professional position as a graphic designer, working with all sorts of interesting small charities, organisations and businesses around London.

(The women opening their first bank account 2006)

Overseeing the production of the beads in Uganda, and designing alongside the artists new products, has brought on an array of challenges, especially structurally and financially.  Amazing transferable skills, which I am delighted to use in my current role of Project Coordinator, establishing a new art studio and store for people with enduring mental health issues in South London. 

This was just a little brief insight into my time at Mzuribeads.  For now, I have a wonderful position, volunteering my time towards advising the team, because now I'm an older timer, who has seen and struggled through many ups and downs, but never gave in.  For Mzuribeads is a truly inspiring initiative... working with women who are much need of income... in a respectful, creative and enterprising way.  I am so proud to be one of it's members and hope that you may consider to join, work, volunteer and support, and learn a range of skills you never thought you would... 

Volunteer Uganda, work Uganda, Start an online bead store, Make a difference, help women in Uganda, Fair trade beads, Sell ethical products, Learn skills by volunteering, African beads, Ethical beads, Recycled beads, Natural beads, Sell beads, Social enterprise

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Friday, October 9, 2015

the home of the banana

Mzuribeads...the home of the banana leaf bead

Bananas do not grow from seeds but from bulbs and it takes between 9 to 12 months from planting to harvesting.

They dont have a havesting season

Banana's are grown in tropical regions like Uganda and Ndejje where the Mzuribeads artisans live.

The banana is a edible fruit, as most people know, and they grow in bunches. Mostly people in the UK are aware of the yellow, soft, sweet dessert banana. In Uganda, a different variety of banana is mostly grown. Plantains are harvested when green, firm and more starchier. The local name of this food in Uganda is called Matoke.

Matoke is peeled plantain, either boiled or softened in the oven. They are then usually mashed or used in stews.

In Uganda, the matoke is often cooked or steamed rapped in banana leaves

The banana leaf is very important in Ugandan cooking as it gives so much flavour to the Matoke or meat that is cooking.

So how can the natural little oval beads come from the leaf? They are rolled from actual dried banana leaves and weaved and varnished for a smooth and professional finish.

Mzuribeads, ethical, natural,  recycled

African, ART UGANDA beads, BANANA LEAF, BEADING, BEADS, BEADS UGANDA, big beads, business, bead making, banana growing, african beads, recycled, RECYCLED BEADS, Uganda food, Ugandan community, ethical, 

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