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KAZI



At Kazi, we believe that everyone deserves to make a fair wage to support themselves and those around them, no matter where they are in the world. We don’t just measure success by how many products or services we’ve sold - but by how the lives of our artisans and their communities improve over time, too. We aren’t just bringing handcrafted things to your living room. We’re bringing you beautiful pieces that add life to your space and empower artisans to weave a better story for themselves.


PRODUCTS WITH A PURPOSE


 

"We wanted to change people’s live not only through aid,

but also through creating a sustainable enterprise where

a family’s income is permanently improved."

 

In 2013, an unusual pair, both committed to social good and with years of nonprofit experiences under their belts, Greg Stone and Alicia Wallace still had one big question on their minds: "How can we really empower men and women to overcome poverty in their lifetime?"

They set out to create different solutions to pull people out of poverty, but couldn’t shake the words that came from one of their school sponsorships program...

“Thanks for helping, but it’s put more of a burden on our family since our children can’t help with farming. We don’t have enough to eat without their help - what we really need are jobs.”

Instead of ignoring what they heard and reporting only the successes, they transformed their program from traditional aid into a sustainable business focused on developing leaders and market solutions.


“We’ve set out to change the face of poverty in

this lifetime, not just for the future

generations of those we serve.”

 

From this, KAZI was born, focused on creating unique, beautiful products for the world to admire from talented artisans in remote regions previously without market access.

“We believe women and men in rural areas in Africa can be agents of change for themselves, their families, and their community when given the proper training and consistent access to global markets. Their talents and gifts are incredible.”

At KAZI, we’re equipping and empowering women and men to succeed beyond their biggest dreams. Now, these women and men send their kids to school without traditional aid, through their own hard work. We hope you join us on our journey to create a beautiful and fair world for everyone.


KAZI

/kah’ ze e/ noun
Origin: From Swahili,

Meaning: “employment, jobs, source of income”





Never the result of luck - the intricate design and perfected craft of your favorite Kazi basket is crated through a long tradition that has been passed through the hands of mothers to their daughters for centuries.

 

When you purchase artisan-made goods, you aren't simply purchasing a woven product - you're investing in a high-quality, handcrafted, naturally sourced work of art created by an experienced weaver.



HOW IS YOUR BASKET MADE?

A high-quality basket begins with locally sourced materials and resources that are accessible to weavers. With leaves that can grow several feet long, sisal is a perfect source of the long, strong fibers needed to weave a basket.

Found high in the mountains or low in the swampy areas, the plant is scattered throughout the regions across Rwanda.



THE FIRST STEPS

involve a labor intensive process in which the leaves of the sisal plant are stripped, revealing the useful threads inside. Using water to loosen them and a machete blade to separate them, weavers work to carefully break the fibers down into individual strands.



THE SISAL THREADS

are then washed repeatedly until they lose their natural tint and fade to a silky white.



THE WHITE SISAL

now act as a blank canvas for another important step before the weaving begins - the dyeing process. Often, groups of weavers gather together, turning their fiber dyeing into a collaborative event.



DYES ARE ADDED

to boiling water brewing in large metal pots. The artisans stir and wait, ensuring fibers are perfectly infused with the dye. When the shade is just right, the brilliantly colored fibers are hung like laundry to dry, and the construction process can finally begin.



THE WEAVING

The process of weaving is intricate. Sisal fibers are wound around thin bundles of sweet grass, and secured stitch by stitch into a tiny coil. The col grows as the process continues, and the weaver incorporates differently colored sisal threads into careful patterns or designs. Eventually the basket takes shape, and the completed basket- with its brilliant hues vibrantly dyed, neat coils carefully bound, and intricate design expertly stitched- is a labor of love, a testament fo skill, and a piece of art.








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