Kerry and Sarah have returned from the Autumn Fair and are really happy with the new range of Kazuri Beaded Jewellery they found. Kazuri means small and beautiful in Kiswahili and is the name given to the beautiful hand made beads from just outside Nairobi in Kenya. Each bead is shaped from clay by hand, then kiln fired, hand glazed and fired again. It is then strung to make a necklace, bracelet or pair of earrings.
Kazuri was founded back in 1975 to create employment for struggling single mothers and now employs 350 local women. The workshop is still in the same place in Karen where it started over 40 years ago, on part of the coffee farm once owned by Karen Blixen of ‘Out of Africa’ fame. Karen, named after Karen Blixen, is a beautiful residential area just a few miles outside Nairobi located at the foot of the Ngong Hills between Kenya’s bustling capital and the spectacular Rift Valley.
In an age of mass-produced goods, Kazuri jewellery stands out as a little bit different. As every piece of jewellery is handmade, every one is unique. Indeed, they take on the quirks and trademarks of the individual people who shape the beads, paint them or string them, giving them soul as well as beauty. So a Kazuri piece is more than an item of jewellery, it’s a piece of Kenya.
The women employed by Kazuri receive a salary 3 times more than the average wage in Kenya in the agricultural sector. Full medical cover is offered to employees and their relatives: 80% of medical costs in public hospitals are supported by Kazuri, a clinic is located within the grounds of the property for basic medical care, prevention of AIDS and family planning. The company is committed to creating jobs for women in difficulty and is committed to their welfare. It is a member of IFAT (International Fair Trade Association) in recognition of its social commitments to Fairtrade. This makes Kazuri a very different Company.