There’s something truly special about creating something beautiful while empowering another human being and positively changing their life. I was thrilled to receive news of a wonderfully uplifting collaboration between creative local accessories brand, Missibaba, and a group of Maasai bead work craftswomen from Kenya.
On a recent trip to Kenya, Missibaba designer Chloe Townsend met Abigael Terenoi Sentero and her group of Maasai craftswomen. With a mutual passion for women’s rights and community empowerment, Chloe spotted the perfect opportunity to share the creative beauty of the Maasai crafts by collaborating on an exclusive collection of beaded bags.
Chloe noticed the traditional Maasai bead work done on leather belts and knew how gorgeous the striking graphic patterns would look on bags. So three different Missibaba bags – the Cha Ching, Macaw Sling and Macaw Clutch – were given a uniquely Kenyan makeover by Sentero and her talented team.
“I am thrilled with the outcome and completely love the slightly skew obviously hand beaded feel,” remarks Chloe on this small collection of unique and exquisite pieces. “The patterns embrace the ethos of beauty in imperfection. No line is straight, no dot or mark the same and the overall effect speaks to the heart! It is very human.”
The best part about this collaboration? As the breadwinners of their families, Sentero and her group each contribute monthly to a communal fund that goes to school fees and to upgrading shelters from Maasai manyatta to the modern mambati houses. So this collaboration not only shares something of beauty with others, but more importantly, ultimately adds to the empowerment of a talented group of women.
What you should know about the Missibaba brand is its uninhibited passion for South Africa and support of local trade. With an enthusiasm for the handmade quality of artisanal African design and crafts, Chloe and her business partner Lizel Strydom agree that African design has a freedom that is entirely intoxicating and insatiable.
The Missibaba beaded collection bag prices range from R2250.00 to R3600.00 and are available for purchase exclusively from the Missibaba shop in Birdhaven, Johannesburg.