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Leather


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Leather


Karama's luxurious leather is sourced from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, home of two partner organizations. These groups find a variety of types and colors of leather at local tanneries, then bring them back to their workshops to begin the process of creating exquisite bags, wallets, and pouches. 

First, artisans draw the pattern directly onto the leather. A cutter then cuts out each piece. 

Next, a finisher glues each piece together and hands the attached piece to the seamstress, who sews them together.

The finishers hammer folds, remove pencil marks, and cut stray strings.

Ta-da!

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Jewelry


Jewelry


Our gorgeous brass jewelry comes straight from the heart of Nairobi, Kenya in a tiny workshop in the largest urban slum in Africa - Kibera. A small team of artisans designs and handcrafts every lovely piece.

Jewelry from Kibera has humble beginnings. This tiny smelter is responsible for every single piece that comes through the shop. Stephen, the organization's founder and lead designer (read his story here), uses discarded metal for his pieces and creates every mold by hand.  

Next, the pieces are hand-polished. Artisans then craft chains, carve bone and horn, and use tiny pliers to attach shapes to one another. 

Rough metal is softened and polished on a machine. Other machines etch, carve, and weld.

This beauty is the finished product!

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Woven Goods


Woven Goods


Our woven goods partners in Ethiopia use local cotton and silk to produce exquisite scarves, pillow cases, throws, and towels. The process is fascinating from start to finish!

Spinners take rough cotton that is hand-gathered and spun from artisans working in their homes. The resulting thread is then bundled. 

This organization also grows silk on site; silkworms hatch from tiny eggs into bright green caterpillars who then spin silk cocoons. Delicate and huge rust-colored moths emerge and begin the life cycle again. 

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The resulting thread is then sent to the next part of the weaving process: the dyeing room. Most dyes used by this organization are made from natural resources from Ethiopia. 

The freshly-dyed threads are left to dry in the Ethiopian sun, and then taken to the loom room. 

Threads are set on the loom according to specific patterns of the finished product. After the piece comes together, seamstresses cut and sew the correct dimensions. Finishers tie tassels and make sure that the final product is absolutely perfect. 

                                                                                                                       

We end up with a beautiful woven product, handcrafted by incredibly talented artisans who are paid living wages and pursuing their dreams in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.