The Baobab Guild:
Leveraging Business for Good
It’s all about the people. To connect the artisans from far away to my customers, who change and impact the lives of the artisans and their communities with every piece they buy.
I see Baobab Guild as a bridge across cultures. It is a way through which I can introduce the tactile, colorful tradition-based creations of African artisans to a global marketplace. It is a means by which my clients, many of whom are in North America, are able to collect artistic yet functional pieces from far away while knowing that each purchase encourages entrepreneurship and supports a sustainable path for the craftsmen to better lives.
To me, there is nothing more exciting than discovering a new artist that preserves age-old cultural traditions that are in danger of being lost. Such artisanal communities get to unlock their own potential, share the know-how that is woven into their ancestral memory, culturally enrich the world while earning sustainable incomes.
One of our most popular suppliers is Potters Workshop of South Africa. The woman behind Potters Workshop, Chris Silverston, took a group of Xhosa men with no creative background and gave them a safe space with which to nurture and develop their painting skills. From this environment has evolved the renowned bead & seed like decorations which grace their ceramics, along with flowing interpretations of local flora and fauna.
I travel to Africa to scout out new and exciting artisans and to bring back samples. Each time, I touch the ground in South Africa, an exhilarating feeling of discovery hits me. I hope every Baobab Guild customer gets that same feeling. Together, we are leveraging business for good.