Kazuri means “small and beautiful” in Swahili. In 1975, Lady Susan Wood set about helping 2 Nairobi women begin the art of bead-making in a small shed in her back yard on the Karen Blixin coffee plantation where she and her husband, both missionaries, were staying. Lady Susan wanted to assist these women to find a way out of their extreme poverty.
Today these extraordinary, colorful beads have found their way around the world. Each bead is handcrafted by women of Kenya from the clay that is hand dug from Mount Kenya. Now two beads are exactly alike.
Kazuri, Ltd. currently is owned by Mark and Regina Newman. They continue to maintain the original philosophy of promoting empowerment of disadvantaged African women through meaningful employment. Kazuri, Ltd. is a member of the Fair Trade Federation and is currently able to employ over 300 women. It provides them with fair wages, child care, health care and AIDS education. In fact, one woman’s salary can support about 20 family members. Purchasing items crafted from Kazuri beads helps sustain employment of these women.