KAZURI is a Swahili word which means “small and beautiful”.

Kazuri Beads, as a business, has an interesting backstory.

THE ORIGINS…

Founded by Lady Susan Wood, who was born in 1918 in a mud hut in a West African village.
Her parents were missionaries from England.
Lady Wood was sent back to England to be educated and married Michael Wood, a surgeon.
They came to East Africa in 1947.
Both dedicated to making a difference, they finally settled near the Karen Blixen estate, famous from the award winning movie “Out of Africa” at the foot of the Ngon’g Hills, 30 minutes from the bustling Nairobi city centre in Kenya and the spectacular Rift valley.
In 1975 she set up a fledging business making beads in a small shed in her back garden.
She hired two disadvantaged women, and quickly realized there were many more women who needed jobs and so Kazuri Beads was created.
This workshop, based in a place named Karen, is still in its original location today!

Lady Wood was a visionary and sadly passed away in 2006. She will be missed, but her legacy lives on…

GETTING UP TO DATE…


In 1988 Kazuri became a factory and expanded hugely with over 120 women and men, trained to produce these unique and beautiful beads and jewellery.

Now under new ownership, Kazuri has been able to expand whilst still retaining its philanthropic roots.

AND THE SUCCESS STORY TODAY….

Now a collective of 340 women  – many single mothers –  making and hand-painting a range of exquisite original ceramic beads, designed to convey the colours of Africa.

Kazuri Beads is a member of both the British Association for Fair Trade Shops & Suppliers (BAFTS) and the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO), and strives to achieve sustainable employment for disadvantaged Kenyans.

AND KAZURI`S VIEW…


“In an age of mass-produced goods, we believe Kazuri jewellery stands out as a little bit different.
As every piece of jewellery is handmade, every one is unique.
Indeed, many pieces 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.
All Kazuri beads are shaped by hand from earthen clay and kiln fired. They are then painted and glazed by hand, before being kiln fired again and then finally strung.

Many Kazuri styles are named after areas, tribes and other features of the Kenyan landscape; evocative names that resonate with the organic nature of the clay that comes from its earth.”

AND FAIR TRADE TOO!


Like us, you will love the fact that Kazuri jewellery is Fair Trade – offering a contemporary western take on traditional African themes.

The range includes bracelets and earrings.

You can read more about the awesome country where these beads are made in my Blog post 19 Fascinating Facts About Kenya.

Kazuri beads – your “small and beautiful” piece of Kenya!