Ann Arbor, MI – On June 5 2015, Leela and Sheeni launched a Kickstarter campaign for Ikwetta, their new line of African handmade leather sandals, bags, belts, and other accessories. Not only is this team looking to introduce a great collection of handmade products to the market but also to improve the lives of the artisans who make them for a living.
“Ikwetta is the Swahili word for ‘equator’. When I first visited Kenya, my husband took me to a place the equator passes through, and he showed me how when water was placed in a bowl with a hole in it, it drained clockwise north of the equator, and anti-clockwise south of the equator,” says Sheeni, “If such a difference could be made by moving a bowl of water few feet north or south of an imaginary line, then imagine the impact we could make with a real brand that looks to make a difference? Thus Ikwetta.”
At the Junction Shopping Mall in Nairobi on Thursday mornings, over 200 local artisans would display and sell their week’s work. During this trip Sheeni fell in love with their handmade sandals because of their colorful and eye-catching designs, but realized that many artisans were forced to operate in the slums of Kenya. The lack of a proper consumer market led them to work in conditions with insufficient electricity, lack of raw material, and insufficient basic necessities.
Ikwetta’s products are handmade using the highest quality raw materials by the most talented artisans in smaller batches with attention to detail. Using age old Maasai beading techniques and eco-friendly, sustainable leather and sisal, they craft modern day masterpieces! As a company, Ikwetta stands for sustainability, hope, authenticity, empowerment and colorful, top quality fair-trade products.
“Our main purpose of running this campaign is to try and collect funds to build a new workshop for our artisans, and so based on our calculations, we are setting a fundraising goal of $10,000,” the creators explain, “These are 100% handmade sandals, bags and fashion accessories crafted in the slums of Kenya. Help our artisans move out of slums and into a better life with your pledge!”
The campaign will be running until Monday July 6 2015. In exchange for pledging to the project, backers can gain access to a variety of rewards including an empowerment bracelet for $10, a classic clutch for $25, flip flops for $29, and much more! Backers can also pledge to receive a number of collections and limited edition Ikwetta products, such as an African Belt for $79 or the Limited Edition: All-Star American Collection for $250.
For more information, please visit the Kickstarter page here or contact the creator below.
Distributed by CrowdfundingPR
Company Name: Ikwetta
Contact Person: Leela & Sheeni
Country: United States