Inzuki Designs by Teta Isibo is creating modern designs to support women and youth traditional artisans.
A long time admiring African designs and patterns and Inzuki designs was born out of this admiration of Teta, the founder of the company. While working 8-5 job as an Urban Planner in the Mayor’s Office, she started designing jewelry and accessories for herself which she would then take to local artisans to weave or bead using local fabrics and materials. At the time Teta was only doing it as a hobby and didn’t really expect anything to grow out of it.
“I was surprised when soon my friends and family started to admire the jewellery and requested that I get some of them. So whenever I made new designs, I would place orders with the artisans for my friends and family as well. It did not take long before I realized that I would much rather pursue my passion to earn a living. I quit my Urban Planning job and launched Inzuki designs in 2010.”
“Inzuki” means “Bees” in Kinyarwanda.
Teta has chosen the name because according to her respects the fact that bees give us honey which is sweet but at the same time they could sting you really bad if you mess with them. Like bees working in a beehive, Inzuki designs pursues a symbiotic harmonious relationship with traditional artisans to produce all the jewelry, accessories and homedécor.
“We work with women and youth cooperatives in Kigali who weave or bead our designs to life. On the one hand, without the artisans, Inzuki designs would only essentially exist as a concept. Inzuki design, on the other hand, comes into the arts industry to link the traditional artisans with the modern arts and crafts market.”
Inzuki designs today offers clients with unique Rwandan inspired jewelry, accessories and home décor that match their modern taste. The clients in Rwanda are mainly young professionals who are very proud of their culture and like to have a touch of jewelry with cultural patterns, colours and fabrics. Over time Inzuki has acquired international markets and have representation in Europe so far and is exploring the possibilities of having representation outlets in the East African region. In addition, soon clients in the rest of Africa, Europe, Asia and North America will be able to buy the products through an online store.
“The women and youth artisans that we work with come from varied backgrounds and some have come from low income poor households. As Inzuki designs continues to grow, we are glad that we have been able to support them with stable income.”
The number of cooperatives that Inzuki has started to work with has significantly grown over time. All the artisans are fairly remunerated for their work. As long as Inzuki designs exist they will remain to be an important part of our story.
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More at the official website.