Bronzed basket has emerged through a love of baskets as handbags and natural accessories. Their versatility to every occasion always amazes me.
My vision started on a trip to Bali in April 2017 where I became familiar with Balinese rattan handbags.
Apon arriving home to South Africa, I noticed many imports of these Balinese basket bags. I then decided to use the concept of a tiny basket as a handbag, but to create it as a truly African product. Africa is, after all, known for its basket weaving which is so deeply entrenched in the African culture.
The project seemed impossible, and just before giving up on the concept after months of searching for a weaver I came across a woman. This woman lives in Mpumalanga and weaves in her spare time while running an African Arts and Curios store. She is now the middleman (lady) of this project and communicates with and trains the weavers in the village where she comes from.
Our weavers live and work in a tiny village in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Through local trade in South Africa, we achieve job creation and can contribute to improving the lives of the hard- working individuals in our country.
Due to the nature of the product, each of our bags are different in their own way- even if they do look similar. Baskets are made with a natural fibre, and naturally, this fibre is a grass. Keep your basket bag away from water, especially if it is dyed a colour.
The aim of each hand- made basket bag is that it becomes a treasure to its owner.
The first batch of basket bags have been named after an African individual who has influenced me positively in my life and who I have loved.
May their names resonate as positively to their new owners as they do in my memory.
About a year into this venture, it was time to add beaded bags into the collection. These bags fascinated me in their intricacy, texture and design.
I set out on a mission to learn how to create these bags, and once mastered started creating! But with a full time job it was no longer easy to spend hours patiently beading bags into creations.
I then decided to reach out for assistance, posting a notice around our community that stated that we are looking for anyone who needs an extra income and wants to learn to create with their hands.
We received only one response.
In came Thandi, who contacted us, stating that she works as a domestic worker in the day but is free at night and wants to learn.
We have been partnered ever since.
Your precious beaded bag has been patiently hand beaded with love by either myself or Thandi.