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The Woman of Kazuri & Their Beautiful Ceramic Story

Out of concern for the well-being of those living around her, Lady Susan initially hired two disadvantaged women to create sellable beads in a shed on her property in Karen, Nairobi, Kenya. Here, on acreage formerly owned by Karen Blixen (whose pen name, Isak Dinesen, is memorable to many from Out of Africa fame), Lady Susan quickly realized a greater potential. So many women, most of them single mothers, needed steady work and a productive outlet to support their children with basic needs, such as money for food and fees for school supplies. The business was opened to many more women, who used clay from the area to produce these unique and beautiful beads.

In 1988, Hand Painting beads Kazuri became a factory and expanded to employ over 120 women and men. With local unemployment at rates of up to 90 percent at times, one jobholder often provides for 15 or more other “extended family” members. Currently, the business supports around 400 employees.

Kazuri is a member of the Fair Trade Act. Visit the Fair Trade Federation's website for more information into how the organization's members participate in this unique system of exchange that empower producers and creates sustainable, positive change while delivering high quality products to the public Showing off the beads The production of quality products is maintained through rigorous training standards and a highly motivated management team.

In 2001, Mark and Regina Newman bought the company. Their goal has been to further increase the size of the company and to maintain its guiding philosophy — to provide positive employment opportunities for artistic, dedicated Kenyans. Click here to browse our large selection of Ceramic Kazuri Beads.