Kazuri America

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The Kazuri Story

Kazuri America is honored to sell Kazuri jewelry, which includes their incredible ceramic bead necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Please take a few minutes to learn more about our story.

Creating Hope and Opportunity from the Earth of Africa

Situated on what was once a part of Karen von Blixen's coffee plantation there is now a small workshop where Kenyan women make ceramic jewelry and beads. It is painstaking work. Many of the beads and necklace components are tiny. Each one has to be shaped carefully, polished, fired, painted, and fired again. The result is Kazuri, the Swahili word for "small and beautiful."

View the Kazuri Movie

In the workshops, there is a constant buzz that comes from over 350 or so women chatting away non-stop while they work. The peoples of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa are facing what often seem to be insurmountable problems as they attempt to improve their respective situations in life. With unemployment running from 65% - 90%, one jobholder often ends up providing for an "extended family" of 20 or more. It is particularly difficult for women to find jobs. Those with little or no education find it virtually impossible. Those lucky ones who do find employment are shown great respect by their families and communities.

Kazuri Workshops

Making Necklaces

Lady Susan Wood started Kazuri in 1975 with the social mission of providing work for a few women. Initially, less than 10 women were employed making beads in her garden shed. As word of the beauty and uniqueness of the Kazuri beads, necklaces and earrings spread, sales increased, as did the facility, and as a result, 350 people are now employed. Many more wait in the hope of having an opportunity to join the ranks of those talented people who make small and beautiful objects. Now under new ownership, Kazuri has been able to expand while retaining its philanthropic roots. The workshop is still located on a portion of the farm once owned by Karen Von Blixen, of Out of Africa fame, at the base of the Ngong Hills outside Nairobi.

Lady Susan Wood

Kazuri founder Lady Susan Wood was born (1918) in a mud hut in a West African village. Her parents were missionaries from England in the Ituri Forest. Lady Wood was sent back to England to be educated and married Michael Wood, a surgeon. They came to East Africa in 1947. Both dedicated to making a difference; they finally settled near the Karen Blixen estate, famous from the award-winning movie Out of Africa.

Susan Wood

Lady Wood was a visionary and an unsung hero of her time. Working with the local Hospitals, she assisted her husband in founding the East African Flying Doctor Service, which expanded into the African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF). Lady Susan Wood passed away in 2006, she will be missed, but her legacy lives on.

World Fair Trade Organization Approved

Kazuri is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), an internationally recognized organization, which authenticates fair wages and safe working conditions at production facilities worldwide.

Helping Those in Need

Over 350 women have found gainful employment making Kazuri jewelry. Moreover, we have helped build clean water systems across Africa, including two solar-powered water filtration systems that can push through rock salt and pump out clean water. We raise money to purchase necessities for the people in Africa, giving back to their communities. It is our goal to continue doing so for many, many years to come.

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