open for business
Mazuri Designs online shop for accessories and clothing is officially open! We've hung our shingle, opening our virtual doors on Etsy.com to start, and once we grow we will make our products available for purchase here on our site.
What is Etsy?
Etsy is a well -known and -respected platform where people from around the world can list vintage and handmade items for sale. It's also a rabbit-hole of awesomeness, where you can blink, and hours have passed while you browse through cool vintage clothing that people have curated for you to discover, or you can be introduced to businesses from around the world offering handmade items for purchase.
It is a community of makers, creators, designers, and craftsmen. Its online platform allows opportunities for people to be financially rewarded for the value and delight they create for their customers. For example, it has allowed Mazuri Designs to connect a small sewing workshop in the Luzira slum of Kampala, Uganda, with a 20-something fashionable girl in Boston who’s never been to Africa but knows she just has to have the skirt she sees on her computer screen available in our shop.
We decided to debut on Etsy because it's a search engine itself, where people are already going to buy purses, wallets, skirts, dresses, and other accessories. We are bringing our products to the people. Mazuri hopes to sell items on this website you're on now as well, but there is less financial risk in starting with Etsy.
We have coin purses, wallets, purses, bags, skirts, dresses, headbands, scrunchies, and totes in our store! We buy fabric and other materials from the local market in Kampala, keeping the money in the community.
Everything that Mazuri produces uses the bold, bright, beautiful colors and designs of the fabric that goes by many names - dutch wax fabric, ankara, African tribal print, or ethnic design. Did you know, however, that while many African countries love to wear these fabrics that they were inspired by Indonesian batik prints, and were manufactured in the Netherlands? You can read more about the history of african prints in our previous article here.
We aspire to be a fair trade organization, and are mindful of the 7 principles that are important to this movement. While we unfortunately can't control our suppliers of fabric given that we're so small and want to use a particular type of fabric, we do a good job at building our business ethically and responsibly in the areas we are able to control. For instance, all the proceeds from Mazuri Design directly fund our vocational training program for young women in tailoring and fashion design. Read more about it on our fair trade page.
So head on over, the shop's open 24/7. Purchases are shipped from our volunteer Janice's home in Chicago and she's excited to answer any questions you have about items. Just message her through the shop, or at mazuridesigns (at) gmail (dot) com. Happy browsing!