Handmade African Jewellery
Whether you’re shopping for Christmas gifts, a birthday, or treating yourself, here are several reasons why we think buying handmade African jewellery is a great option.
1. The bare necessities of handmade African jewellery
Here’s the simple fact… handmade African jewellery is just that – handmade! This translates to quality, creativity, love, and so much more. It’s more than just a product and it shows! When making a necklace, I can personally attest to the fact that I mindfully consider the next “right” bead to string to achieve the look that I’m after. Artisans or craftspeople take true pleasure in creating their wares, and the resulting creation “holds” that positive energy, personal touch and attention to detail.
I often incorporate unusual artefacts or handmade beads into my designs that I source from around the African continent. Even though I usually do not have the opportunity to meet the artisan that created it, particularly in the case of antique pieces or those that have exchanged many hands and travelled long distances, I still feel a sense of community when acquiring an item that journeys from their hand to mine. Which leads me to my next reason…
2. Supporting African artisans and their unique craft
One of the biggest reasons why I buy handmade African jewellery or components is to support the many talented people who are trying to get started with their business, or maintain their livelihoods, cultural heritage and traditional practices. I feel a sense of extra worth and pleasure knowing I have helped to keep their art alive. Supporting each other is such a rewarding gift in itself!
3. Made to be different and to last
Handmade African jewellery is made with the loving hands of artisans that take pride in their craftsmanship, rather than approach production with the attitude of “how cheap can I produce this”. As an avid collector, I travel to different countries and spend countless hours in the local market or souk, handpicking items that reflect the true craftsmanship of local artisans and their distinctive design aesthetic. The smells, sounds and humdrum in these market places is all part of the experience that I truly revel in.
Similarly, when I attend gem, rock and fossil shows, at the forefront of my mind is my ideal client – the woman who possesses her own distinctive style and wants to stand out from the crowd – which guides me to select only the most beautiful and unusual stones and fossils.
I, like most other jewellery artists, want you to take as much pride in wearing and treasuring your one of a kind jewellery as much as I enjoy the creative process. Equally, I want your handmade jewellery to last so you get long term enjoyment from it.
4. Be the Envy of the Crowd
People notice your distinctive jewellery and shower you with complements. They may even ask where they can get the same or a similar piece. Silently you love the fact that your piece is one of a kind, and you will always be the only one to ever own a piece like it. Receiving compliments makes you feel beautiful, especially when wearing a handmade necklace that is “made for you”. And if you buy or receive handmade jewellery as a gift, you know the thoughtful care that went into its creation, which makes you feel even more special!
5. A True Act of Gift Giving
Whenever I’ve received handmade African jewellery, I’ve felt immense gratitude and appreciation that the person who gifted me the item took the time to carefully select something that matches my personal style. I’m sure you can relate.
When you buy a handmade gift, you are telling the recipient that you care enough about them to buy something as individual as they are. It conveys so much more than a generic item pulled off the shelves in a store. And you can be sure that the personal touch, yours and the makers, will touch the recipient.
Make your loved one feel special, particularly in the case of one of a kind items, that no one else will own the same piece. It also guarantees that no one will give the same gift as you!
6. Customisation Options
Since every item is made by hand you can sometimes request an adjustment, remake a similar style in your favourite colours, and even commission a custom order. All you have to do is ask, and in most cases, the artist will gladly work with you personally to create a piece that mirrors your (or your chosen recipient’s) individual style.
7. The Connection with the African artisans
Most of the handmade items that I have bought in the past – be it jewellery, wall art, glass ornaments or wooden furniture – is special because it connects me to the artist whom created it. My purchase is based on a connection with their background, story, the way they source materials sustainably, or quite simply, their design aesthetic. Somewhere along the meeting and discovery process a spark is ignited and the hard part is making a selection from the many beautiful choices on offer.
8. Environmentally Friendly and Ethical
Handmade African jewellery is usually much more environmentally friendly than commercially produced jewellery since there is no use of large manufacturing machines, industrial chemicals, mass labor (sometimes illegal) and waste. With handmade jewellery, human rights are respected in the making of a product as it is usually made single handed by the artisan.
9. Buy from the Comfort of your Own Home
Shopping online for handmade African jewellery keeps you out of the crowded stores. You can spend as little or as much time buying all your gifts and sometimes get them gift wrapped with direct shipping; many retailers offer this as a free service. The convenience of online browsing and shopping has revolutionised the way many handmade businesses market and sell their products.
Isn’t it a relief to know that if you cannot go to a local craft fair, or go but don’t find what you are looking for, that the item can probably be bought from the comfort of your home with the click of a few buttons?!
10. Handmade African jewellery is unique!
Last but not least, jewellery is one of the easiest and most effective ways to express your individuality. Buying and sourcing handmade gives you endless options to find the right piece to suit your style and reflect your unique personality.
What’s not to love?
In conclusion, I encourage you to buy more handmade African jewellery, be it for the holidays, a special occasion or simply because you want a beautiful new necklace for yourself. I know I speak for all artisans when I say that we appreciate you as a customer or because you appreciate handmade.
Go to our SHIKHAZURI shop and explore our different types of handmade African jewellery. And remember, our handmade necklaces from our Moja Range are one of a kind – once they go, they are gone forever!