I think its a bit surprising to see myself and my business partner Maggie doing what we do to some people. But what they miss out on is how much we love the art of the upcycle! We started Travellers because there was a great opportunity for us to redesign the old stand by designs that I had been previously making with East African Canvas for the past ten years. We wanted to showcase how talented our group of stitchers and cutters were that we had, and what talent was available in Kenya, by Kenyans.
We both worked in areas that were geared to eco-solutions in our previous jobs, and loved the idea that we could take waste products from luxury tent manufacturing and mix it up with african materials and beadworks plus so much more and turn it into something beautiful and functional.
So over late night discussions and several bottles of our favorite wine, we decided to brave the adventure and take over the small products division from East African Canvas. It was so exciting, and absolutely terrifying at the same time! With that decided we had to figure out a plan...
- What were our goals?
- How did we want to change the line and give it a fresh face?
- How were we going to get in new customers and attract back the old customers that loved our products but probably already owned most of everything?
We knew we didn't have the answers just on our own, so we started asking questions. Questions to the customers and friends and family that we knew and trusted....
- What do you like about our products?
- What changes would you suggest?
- How can we get you to stop by and visit us more often?
The general response was: Bring in more exciting items, not just yours, but find something that I don't know about. Show me something new!
So we started our search. Do you make a great Kenyan product? Do you offer a style or design that hasn't been seen all around town, but that excites us? Does your work help and promote Kenya and Kenyans?
With that running through our mind we have started stocking great works from companies such as:
Kenana Knitters who support hundreds of women and where their moto is "Changing lives stitch by stich."
Johari Glass, who take empty glass bottles and make amazing things out of it like shot glasses made from Tabasco Bottles, or Olive trays from wine bottles sliced in half.
Bao-Babe Design who work with amazing talented beaders and artists to transfer art onto pillows and canvas off-cuts which we turning bags!
There are so many more designers and artists that we are slowly adding to the mix. We hope that our adventure becomes your adventure, where you get to experience the talent and excitement that we are so proud to share with you.
Stop by today and say hi to us, we are always available and love to chat!