Kazuri Bead Necklace & Earring Sets
The Kazuri Story
The jewelry on this page is made using beads from the Kazuri factory tucked away in the rolling hills outside of Nairobi, Kenya, where the gorgeous handcrafted ceramic beads are made from African clay, dug by hand, from Mount Kenya. Each bead is shaped individually by hand without the aid of molds, forms, or any modern machinery. The beads are painted with a high gloss paint, then glazed to produce a smooth shiny decorated product.
This product began in 1975 to help disadvantaged women of the Kikuyu Tribe. The founder, Lady Susan Wood, and her husband were missionaries who purchased a portion of the Karen Blixen Plantation - as seen in the movie "Out of Africa." Lady Susan saw a need to provide employment for women, who at the time were not allowed in the work force. She set up a small garden shed with two women, a kiln, a vision to help women find a way out of poverty, and a commitment to make it socially acceptable for women to hold jobs. She revived the traditional bead-making process of the Kikuyu women, took the bead necklaces to New York, and the beaded jewelry business began.
Kazuri Ltd. is a member of the Fair Trade Federation, and pays its employees three and a half times the national wage in Kenya. Kazuri also provides free health care, day care, and educates workers on AIDS and Malaria.
Since 2001, Mark and Regina Newman have been the owners of Kazuri. They maintain the guiding philosophy of creating employment for disadvantaged families. In the thirty plus years since it began, employment at Kazuri has grown to over 400 women.