Loving Hands Beaders at work

Outside of Kruger national park, accompanied by a field worker from Khumbulani Craft, we visited with a group of women beaders called Loving Hands. Khumbulani’s mission is to contribute towards poverty alleviation in rural communities through the production, marketing and sale of traditional and contemporary craft. One of the artisan groups they work to promote is Loving Hands, so we spent the day with this group of women, learning about their process of bead making, and choosing products to sell at our stores. We also took some time to tour their community garden.

For many in this group, women are the sole bread winners of their families, and craft making is their only source of income. Each bead is made by hand from recycled bottles, which the women collect for free in a bottle recycling drop off place. The bottles come from Kruger park and we were glad to see them put to such good use. Once the women pick up the bottles from the drop off location, they are ground down and made into a mud-like substance. Then the women roll each bead by hand, poking a hole using a long needle-shaped tool. Next the beads are baked, then painted, and finally strung into necklaces.

Handmade bead-making is a tedious process. A lot of care goes into crafting each bead. Knowing these beads came from recycled bottles makes them extra special, and a product we look forward to offering in our stores.

Check out the Loving Hands Muticolored and Cobalt colored necklaces on our website.