Tamiko’s Beads Story
Every bead tells a story. Following ancient trade routes across Africa, collecting, buying and seeking out unique items makes this a fascinating journey. As a pilot for twenty years, I have flown near the border of Angola to buy ekipas from Himba women, to the shores of Lake Turkana to buy pieces from the El Molo, strolled the markets of Istanbul, bought silver on the island of Djerba in Tunisia. Negotiating with African traders who spend their lives buying throughout the continent is a lesson in life itself. Finds can be tourmaline, driftwood or whale bone in Namibia, omba shells from Angola, or rare, antique beads from throughout Africa that show up with someone on my doorstep in Johannesburg – it is part of creating a life of adventure and beautiful objects d’art.
Our Jewellery Makers
No story is complete without words to honour those who make our beautiful products. It starts with the amazing artisans who create beads throughout Africa. In South Africa where our jewellery is made, our staff members continue to amaze and delight with their own creative air. Each person takes pride in their creations, ensuring high quality and attention to detail in every aspect. Our jewellery makers come from townships or rural areas, and are trained in both beading and jewellery making. Their contribution helps to alleviate poverty and unemployment in South Africa.
Supporting Our Communities
Contributing to communities, assisting with job creation and making a difference in the local community is part of the company’s ethos. By partnering with a local jewellery school, African Trade Bead Jewellery Collection helps the school to raise income, grow skills through the making of our jewellery, and works with their jewellery incubation programme to assist developing jewellers. The reciprocal nature of exchanging their jewellery expertise with our access to markets and consulting skills has created a new collaboration. The Gold of Africa range is developed and made in conjunction with Ekurhuleni Jewellery Project in Johannesburg, and a portion of the proceeds goes to train up-and-coming South African jewellers.