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Madécasse Luxury Single Source African Made Chocolate

Pink pepper and citrus, exotic pepper, and sea salt and nibs are just some of the rather interesting flavour combinations you will find in a Madécasse African made chocolate bar. Recently named ‘one of the world’s 50 most innovative companies’ by Fast Company magazine, Madécasse is on a mission to revolutionise the African chocolate industry by becoming one of the few fine chocolate companies to produce a bar that is not only grown in Africa, but is also produced in Africa. The stats on the website highlight the fact that although Africa produces 70% of the world’s cocoa, actual African made chocolate production amounts […]

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Willowlamp Chandeliers Innovative South African Interior Accessories

Illuminating your home or business space, ethereal constructions from willowlamp provide a sense of mystery and wonder. Operating from a studio and workshop in Johannesburg,  willowlamp’s innovative South African interior accessories look like they’ve been spun out of silken thread and belie a solid framework that holds it all together. [Image credit: Faraway Tree Chandelier – willowlamp]

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Designer Rupert Sanderson Inspired By Africa Shoes Collection

I know I said don’t get me started on Rupert Sanderson shoes when I profiled his protégé, footwear designer Liam Fahy; but they found me! I came across the Rupert Sanderson Resort 2012 Shoe Collection on Fashionologie whilst following a link trail; and instantly falling in love with the gorgeous Kibo wedge I just had to pause and have a look at the rest. [Image source: Kibo Wedge – Rupert Sanderson Resort 2012 – fashionologie]

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Haldane Martin South Africa Iconic Furniture Design

‘…meaningful for the spirit, beautiful for the soul, and nurturing for the body.’ Words that describe the design philosophy of innovative South African furniture, product and industrial designer; Haldane Martin. Based in Cape Town; Haldane set up his eponymous company in 2002 and works to create Iconic furniture design for life; designs that serve to harmoniously connect us to the world in which we live in. Its fair to say in most cases our home is our sanctuary and Haldane believes that the environments we live in and the objects we fill them with should reflect the core of who we are, […]

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Rachael Ruddick Luxury Leather Tie and Dye Bags

The recent trend for the 1970’s and global fusion has seen a resurgence of tie and dye across fashion and lifestyle products and whilst browsing Selfridges online I came across a vividly coloured luxury leather tie and dye Tangerine clutch bag by Australian luxury leather goods and accessories brand Rachael Ruddick. Displaying a bold tie and dye pattern I immediately thought African inspired, however I do not know if Africa was the specific inspiration for the brands Spring/Summer 2012 piece. [Image credit:  Tangerine, Mini Traveller – Tangerine clutch bag]

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Idyllic Africa Travel To Kaya Mawa Eco Lodge Malawi

At the moment, there seems to be a festival taking place everywhere you turn and not to be outdone Malawi will soon host what has been dubbed ‘Simply the finest festival in the world’ by noted UK leading music magazine; Q Magazine… high praise indeed! In partnership with arts and development organisations from the UK, the three-day extravaganza entitled the ‘Lake of Stars’ has rapidly made a name for itself across the region and beyond since launching in 2004. The showcase has grown considerably over the years; attracting top musicians, DJs and artists from Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and […]

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Mikuti Beaded Maasai Bangles African Inspired Jewellery

[Imagecredit: Musa Bangle – Mikuti] Get a glimpse into a vibrant part of Tanzanian culture with these gorgeously colourful African inspired jewellery bangles from Mikuti; a socially active company founded by US-based Erika Freund, who after spending time in the country as a volunteer set up the business to produce simple yet striking jewellery designs in partnership with various artists, individuals and workshops in Tanzania. Inspired by the colourful and distinctive Maasai jewellery and beaded adornment, the ‘Musa Bangles’ are hand cut and shaped into a circle of polished aluminium that comes from an airplane wing and is accentuated with two colourful swathes […]

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Contemporary Nigerian Art Ibeabuchi Ananaba Evocative Paintings

I have spent the past few months reconnecting with my creative self; using the summer to indulge in strolls along the Southbank taking in the various open-air exhibitions, going to the theatre and visiting galleries and getting up to date with developments in contemporary African art scene. Speaking of the galleries I visited the National Portrait Gallery recently, a place I’ve always wanted to go but somehow over the years never made it through the doors; I can’t work out why considering how often I’ve been to others like the Tate. Portraiture fascinates me; the way an artist can capture a person’s likeness […]

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Choolips Hand Printed West African Batik Textiles Fashion Accessories

Ok… so I’m coming to terms with the fact that autumn is around the corner and gradually letting go of the hope of a sudden late summer; after such a promising start it hasn’t been the greatest. In preparation for the chilly days to come London-based clothing and accessory label Choolips have a range of boldly printed cotton West African batik textiles scarves. Choolips is a fair-trade clothing company whose philosophy is one of simple stylishness, whilst helping to preserve ancient textile traditions. Part of Choolips ‘Gold Coast’ collection, all scarves are hand printed using traditional West African batik textiles methods a signature […]

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Contemporary African Art The Wonder Welders Of Tanzania

Invite Africa’s wildlife into your living space with these striking metal contemporary African art sculptures from Wonder Welders; a social enterprise based in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania. Wonder Welders was formed in 2004 when a group of adults afflicted with polio came together and established a welder’s workshop with support from a local charity, Blue Mango Photography, along with donations of scrap metal from local businesses. After receiving initial training from a local welding expert the members soon began creating a range of objects including wildlife, birds and boats sold to contemporary African art lovers in the local market. [Image credit: Large Flamingo […]

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MERBI Contemporary Ceramics Inspired By Nigerian Culture

Pretty little contemporary ceramics containers and storage jars that’ll have you looking for things to display in them; are just so endearing and handy to have around the house with a multitude of uses when  conveniently stored in areas like kitchen work tops to dressing tables. Designed by table and giftware designer, Ruth Babajide; MERBI is a collection of slip cast contemporary ceramics storage units inspired by Nigerian culture in the form of the flamboyant styles found in clothing and the customary practice of storing large quantities of dry food.  

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cctreats Award-Winning Cupcakes Include African Inspired Flavours

Yesterday in the heart of London’s West End, a cupcake inspired by Africa wowed some of the UK’s top bakery and patisserie chefs to be awarded the National Cupcake Awards title of ‘Most Innovative Cupcake of the Year 2011’. Beating of competition from bakers drawn across the UK, the African inspired flavours of the stylishly titled ‘Midnight Safari Cupcake’ was the creation of cctreats, whom African Daydreams profiled about a month ago. [Image credit: Mignight Safari Cupcake – cctreats]

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Modern African Dresses Mantsho Returns To SA Fashion Week

The previous post mentioned the collaboration between Beloved Beadwork and Mantsho, designer of modern African dresses who made a welcome return to the South African Fashion Week catwalk following a hiatus that creator and designer Palesa Mokubung attributes to a lack of inspiration; using the time instead to recharge and learn about the business side of fashion. Palesa describes this period as ‘scary’ and going through the same thing myself I am acutely aware of how she feels; it takes a lot to down tools on something that in a way is an extension, an expression of you. [Image credit: Spring/Summer 2011 with Beloved Beadwork Adornment – […]

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Beloved Beadwork Modern South African Beaded Jewellery

Armed with a needle and thread I remember trying in vain to emulate the bead creations I so admired from local traditional beaders across Southern Africa; I thought it would be easy, but a lack of patience and immense frustration saw me quickly abandon my meagre efforts. So when I see stunning contemporary South African beaded jewellery creations from innovative creative business’ like Beloved Beadwork all I can do is scratch my head and ask myself ‘how did they manage to do that!!!’ …I am in awe of the skills. Beloved Beadwork as the name suggests was born out of a love […]

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Coral Stephens Swaziland Hand Woven Interior Textiles

In Northern Swaziland lies an area called Piggs Peak home to Coral Stephens; a close-knit community weaving high-quality luxurious hand woven interior textiles for home and personal use. Founded in 1949 by Coral Stephens the company produces carpets, rugs, blankets, curtains, shawls and fabrics woven from hand spun mohair and silk; cotton, raffia and wool. Plain or textured designs are skillfully showcased through complimentary hand dyed contemporary colour palettes like; ecru, fawn, brown, duck egg blue, olive and ruby.

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Etiyé Dimma Poulsen Sculptures Inspired By Traditional African Art

Adorn your walls with these rather intriguing mixed-media traditional African art inspired sculptures from Ethiopian-born artist, Etiyé Dimma Poulsen. Distinctive forms in bright earthy colours show humanity stripped back to its most basic forms, displaying a frail-like vulnerability in the process. [Image credit: Trois Statuettes – Etiyé Dimma Poulsen]

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Luxury Africa Travel To Grand Hôtel du Lagon Réunion Island

[Image credit: Grand Hôtel du Lagon – Naiade] I know I have often referred to the ‘hidden gems’ of luxury Africa travel throughout the Travel posts but Réunion Island, or Ile de La Réunion to give it its proper name truly signifies the words ‘hidden gem’. A French overseas department located to the east of Madagascar and 200kms south west of Mauritius; Ile de La Réunion is probably one of the region’s least known tourist destinations, as most visitors tend embark at the bigger more well-known islands of the Seychelles and Mauritius.

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Wire Trophy Heads Contemporary African Interior Decor Idea

Having a stuffed dead animal head hanging on your wall is rather creepy and so not cool; however there is a stylish contemporary African interior decor alternative from CapeTown based company, Streetwires, that does not involve the unnecessary harming of Africa’s precious wildlife, in the form of a wire animal head; a modern take on the traditional trophy. [Image credit: Wire Antelope Head; Streetwires – Safari Fusion]

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  • This popular Africanisim beautifully illustrates the pioneering spirit of togethernes. It highlights how working and collaborating with others can propel you to new heights. Building a business rarely happens in isolation. Atelier Fifty Five seeks to to shine the light on African brands, and this includes extending a hand by sharing our knowledge and expertise to help African brands become the best they can be. So let us go together. Sign up to the Atelier Fifty Five Academy mailing list and join a community of ambitious creative business owners dedicated to creating brands that make their audiences sit up and take notice.⁣
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.  #quotes #inspirationalquotes #motivationalquotes #africanproverb #brandstrategy #creativeentrepreneur  #entrepreneur #mycreativebiz  #brandbuilding #africanstartup #africanbusiness #makeithappen
  • Preserving traditional skills the Kayla cushion by Frida 54 highlights the art of Tritik, a process of knotting and sewing that results in a variety of symmetric patterns. Handwoven with 100% cotton from the cotton mills of northern Cameroon the textiles are dyed with handmade dyes using ancestral techniques. [📷 credit: @frida_54 ]
  • Values . Respecting the design [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Infuse your interior style with the colourful elegance of African beaded necklaces courtesy of The African Woven Necklace light shade by @moderngesture. The design features graduating circular hoops each hand wrapped with colourful woven thread bands. Handcrafted in Cape Town, South Africa by designer Candice Lawrence, the lighting is available in the  Atelier Fifty Five shop. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
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Instagram @ atelierfiftyfive