Rafiki Designs, 'Rafiki' meaning 'Friends,' specialises in Beaded Dog collars, Belts, handbags, washbags , makeup bags and baskets handmade in Kenya. Made and designed by friends I made and met while living and working in Kenya.
In today’s world of mass production, where our sensibilities are bombarded by plastic and machine-made, disposable everything. Where time is squandered in the rush to grasp for a materialism far beyond our needs. Lets pause a moment to look at the handiwork of the real artisan, to see beauty amidst utility, to ponder a creation that remains timeless, and to know that hand-craft traditions begun so long ago can still adorn our world today...
Our local artisans, part of the local Zinj Design create all our dog collars, belts, handbags, washbags, makeup bags and baskets by hand in Kenya.
Dedicated to promoting East African bead and leather-work across the globe and improving the lives of East African craftspeople at home, Zinj Design has now trained and supports over 80 artisans from Takaungu and the surrounding area. Before joining the team, many of the villagers were either unemployed or working only very sporadically. The steady income they are now earning means they can settle down with their families and send their children to school. Hence their motto: ‘Changing Lives One Bead at a Time’.
Our products use rustic and natural, free range, Kenyan beef leather and are embellished with East African beadwork in both traditional and contemporary patterns and colours. Every piece is hand-stitched, and bags are lined with traditional Kenyan cotton kikois. All the brass hardware for belt or dog collar buckles is hand-cast from recycled, pure brass.