Small & Beautiful Beads

Handcrafted beads and jewelry

Tamie Simpson offers an extraordinary selection of handcrafted beads from around the world by working directly with organizations that help women, including “Samunnat,” a gifted group of women in Nepal who help Nepalese women who are the victims of domestic violence. These women create income for themselves by producing gorgeous handcrafted polymer clay beads.

Tamie also features Swazi beads and buttons, which are handcrafted by 25 talented women in Swaziland. These women work in a clean, safe environment and earn a fair and sustainable source of income for their families.

In addition, Tamie is now proud to offer Kazuri Beads. Here is their amazing story:

In 1975, Lady Susan Wood set up a fledgling business making beads in a small shed in her back garden. She started by hiring two disadvantaged women, and quickly realized that there were many more women who were in need of jobs and so Kazuri Beads (Swahili for “small and beautiful”) was created outside of Nairobi, Kenya on the former coffee plantation of Karen Blixen (of Out of Africa fame). In 1988 Kazuri became a workshop and expanded hugely to over 120 women and men. Today it continues its long and successful journey as a help center for over 300 needy women, especially single mothers who have no other source of income.

Here women are trained and apply their skills to produce these unique and beautiful beads and jewelry. The beads are made from the clay from the Mt. Kenya area, thus giving authenticity to their craft. The workshop acts as a social gathering place with the hum of voices continuing throughout the day. With unemployment so high, one jobholder often ends up providing for an "extended family" of 20 or more. Kazuri is a member of the Fair Trade Act.

Kazuri’s beautifully finished beads and jewelry are made to an international standard and are sold worldwide. These standards are maintained through high training standards and a highly motivated management team.

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