Press Enter / Return to begin your search.

Moroso The Rift Collection Furniture Inspired By Africa

Stretching from the Middle East through Eastern African and ending in Mozambique, the Great Rift Valley is considered one of the wonders of the world. Teeming with amazing biodiversity the Great Rift Valley splits into two once it reaches Eastern Africa, forming the Eastern and the Western Rift Valleys. Commonly associated with Kenya and Tanzania, the Western Rift Valley is home to high mountain ranges and some of the deepest lakes in the world, offering visitors spectacular views. The Great Rift Valley is the result of Tectonic plates; unimaginably massive irregular shaped slabs of rock that bump and separate as […]

Read More

Savane Luxury Protective African Skin Care Range 

The African continent is said to contain a quarter of the world’s biodiversity; with the Southern African region home to more than 30 000 indigenous plant species many of which have been traditionally used over the centuries for their holistic benefits. Utilising the power of these indigenous plants is Savane, a luxury range of protective African skin care solutions that blend traditional botanical treatments with modern techniques in green science. Launched in South Africa 2011 by Jennifer Peters, an anthropologist who specialises in developing health products for rural communities and Stephane Helary, an ecologist; Savane products were created to revitalise, regenerate […]

Read More

Tekura Ghana Contemporary African Furniture Design

Imbued with the spirit of Ghana’s rich culture and heritage, Tekura a contemporary African furniture design and décor accessories company that was founded in 2000 Josephine and Kweku Forson. Tekura draws inspiration from the ancient cultures such as the legendary Ashanti and Fanti to produce stylish yet functional collections that include stools, tables, benches and storage containers; in addition to complementary home décor items like bowls, vases and mirrors. [Image credit: Tekura Walking Tables – AfricaNow!]

Read More

Contemporary South African Architecture And Interior Design Style

I love the element of surprise (as long as it’s a good one of course!!); and the Forest Town Long House located in Johannesburg, South Africa rises to the challenge…resembling a large shipping container, this house doesn’t look like much from the entrance approach; however swivel round to the back and what you get is an impressive expanse of open spaces maximising on light, and views that take in a forest of trees and an extensive garden covered with dense foliage. What drew me to the house was the vast sliding door that acts as a removable wall; completely opening up the living space […]

Read More

Contemporary African Jewellery The Roots Project Beaded Dinka Corset

Absolutely stunning; I am in awe of this draped cape, it looks like it has been knitted but in fact has made with strand upon strand of tiny beads and in what is most certainly a time consuming process. Known as a Dinka Corset the garment takes a few weeks to make and is just one of the examples of traditional and contemporary African jewellery being produced by members of the Roots Project, a not-for-profit organisation with a centre based in Nimra Talata, Juba, the capital of South Sudan located by the Nile River. Founded in 2009 by Anyieth D’Awol; a human […]

Read More

Ndali Intense Fairtrade Vanilla Extract From Uganda

I love the taste and smell of vanilla; and find creamy vanilla ice-cream, the kind where you can just see the bean flecks, and light fluffy sponges made with real vanilla extract irresistible and comforting. Good quality vanilla bean pod sticks, extract and paste is valued by bakers and chefs looking to add that familiar rich flavour and intense aroma to their culinary creations. One brand favoured by some of the UK’s leading chefs is Ndali fairtrade vanilla, which comes from a 1000-acre farm located in the midst of the explosion craters of the Ndali Volcanic Field in Western Uganda; and is a […]

Read More

Modern African Fashion Jewel By Lisa And Banke Kuku

Leading luxury modern African fashion brand, Jewel by Lisa was founded in 2005 by Lisa Folawiyo, a fashion lover whose sophisticated and glamourous style sees crystals, beads, sequins and other trimmings meticulously hand sewn onto Ankara fabrics, that are combined with linen, Chantilly lace, silk, taffeta, cotton and chiffon to create unique and sought after collections. Jewel by Lisa’s modern African fashion creations are all handcrafted and individually embellished, a process that can take about 120 hours, giving an insight into just how much work goes into the creation of a garment. Carrying the signature embellishment and Ankara prints, Lisa […]

Read More

Vermont Wood Studios African Inspired Furniture Design

Hand carved from Mahogany, this Sofa Table is an elegant piece of African inspired furniture design that draws on East African wood carving traditions and features intricate detailing based on floral and geometric designs from the region. The attention to detail and finish gives it the look of a precious antique. Each table is custom built in Vermont, USA by a highly skilled furniture maker from Vermont Wood Studios; a local company that works with artisans drawn from the small workshops scattered across Vermont, giving them a platform to bring their products to a wider market. The style of Vermont wood carving is said […]

Read More

FIGS Fashion Inspired Global Sophistication Luxury Neckwear

Attending an all girl’s school, my senior school uniform was not the most attractive thing, well at least until I entered sixth form. In the summer terms it was a short-sleeved belted green and white check affair that was far from figure flattering, improving in the winter term when it changed to a bottle green tunic and a khaki long sleeved blouse complete with tie, both styles would be topped off with bottle green cardigans or pullovers. Sixth form brought a much more smarter grown up look in bottle green a-line skirts, khaki short and long sleeved blouses which we […]

Read More

Mijikenda Contemporary African Furniture From Driftwood

The irregular form of a solid wood dining room table with a spilt seam running deep into the wood and held together with steel pins is just one of the characteristics pieces from Mijikenda Workshop, a company in Kenya whose contemporary African furniture furniture and decor accessories give a new lease of life to the natural beauty of centuries old wood salvaged from the beaches, oceans and old railways around East Africa. Based in Diani Beach the Mijikenda Workshop was opened in 2008 by Nicole Engelfield a local resident who spent many years working in the tourism industry before turning her creativity and focus towards woodwork. […]

Read More

Tin Town Whimsical African Interior Decorating Accessories

Reminding me of a Cecilia Ahern novel, Tin Town is a magical place that came into existence in a garage in Cape Town at the end of 2001 when two former advertising creatives, Magdel and Andre diverted their skills towards designing delightful South African interior decorating accessories, as well as those for the garden. [Image credit: Lovebird Clock – Tin Town]

Read More

Shumba Inc Hand Felted African Products And Gifts

No words necessary with this sentimental card that captures the spirit of love. Using felt, the card is part of a modern range of hand felted African products and gifts handcrafted by Harare based company Shumba Inc, whose cute and quirky products I have featured before here. [Image credit: KIssing Couple Card – Shumba Inc]

Read More

Dainty and Romantic African Print Inspired Jewellery

Introduced to Manna through an article in online magazine, Hornblend, I was instantly taken with the delicate vintage feel of the jewellery pieces that are designed and handmade by designer Bunmi Balogun, who works from her studio in London’s Kensington. Growing up in a home filled with vintage charm and antiques Bunmi is inspired by the old; by heritage and craftsmanship, coupled with the influences of her highly creative parents and multicultural upbringing; the designer was born in Nigeria, grew up in Lagos and rural England and travelled extensively. These diverse influences can be seen across Manna designs through the shapes, forms and patterns used, […]

Read More

Luxury Africa Travel To Romantic Boutique Hotel Riad Noir D’Ivoire

Tucked away down an unassuming alleyway in the Bab Doukkala quarter of the Marrakech Medina you will find Riad Noir DI’voire, a luxurious and romantic boutique hotel defining luxury Africa travel. Riad D’Ivoire is a place that will surprise and entice from the moment you arrive, making it the perfect romantic getaway. Leave the hustle and bustle of the souk behind as you enter through a wooden door emerging into the spacious courtyard of an elegantly restored traditional Moroccan riad. [Image credit: Private Terrace Jacuzzi – Riad Noire D’Ivoire/Elan Fleisher]

Read More

Contemporary African Home Decor Mali Chic Boutique

Perfect perched in a hallway or at the end of a bed, when I first saw the image of this embroidered bench I thought it had beaded detailing across seat area, such is the effect of the textured pattern from afar. Beautifully and skillfully woven, the textile covering is made from cotton upholstered onto a wooden bench frame handmade by the artisans of Mali Chic, a boutique and workshop based in Bamako, Mali. Mali Chic works with a network of over 195 local artisans; to produce a diverse range of traditional and contemporary African home decor, furniture, fabrics, clothing, jewellery and personal accessories […]

Read More

Afro Coffee Speciality South African Teas and Coffee

[Image credit: Speciality Teas – Afro Coffee] Starting out as an ordinary cafe selling coffee in Cape Town, South Africa in 2004 a radical rebrand saw the first Afro Cafe offering speciality South African teas and coffee open it’s doors to reveal a riot of bold colour, clashing patterns and cool characters; across the interior, packaging and accessories. Young and funky, Afro Coffee was out to have a bit fun, bringing its own retro tinged interpretation of the urban African vibe to a range of speciality South African teas and coffees. Owner, Grant Rushmere with the help of two Austrian partners sought to […]

Read More

Swahili Modern Stylish African Home Decor Accessories

Reflecting the grace and beauty of the animals that inspired them, these hand carved wooden jars are absolutely stunning! Protruding upwards from the round belly storage area, the long slender handle of the lid is unmistakable as that of the horns of the Eland, Gemsbok, Sable and other large antelope of the Genus Oryx species, hence the name given ‘Oryx Horn Mpingo Jars’. The beauty of these African home decor accessories lies in their simplicity; each handcrafted by artisans in Mozambique who work with sustainably sourced Mpingo wood, a dark hardwood also known as; African Blackwood, Mozambican Ebony and Zebrawood depending […]

Read More

Golden Madagascan Spider Silk Cape at the Victoria & Albert Museum

I wouldn’t call this a daydream, just something I found quite fascinating if not a little weird… If the thought of hundreds of spiders crawling about creeps you out, what more wearing a garment spun from their silk. I came across several web articles trending the very thing a few days back but paid them no mind beyond a quick note of the headlines until, by coincidence a search for ‘Madagascan Silk’ brought them up again causing me to read on in depth. The week of Monday 23rd January saw a cape hand woven from the silk of more than a million spiders […]

Read More

Africology Urban Spa African Beauty And Skin Care

Can you believe, the New Year is not so new anymore and today is already the 1st of Feb! Keeping busy has made the time fly by, however the combined effects of a sudden cold snap and central heating on a full blast is causing me to feel extremely sluggish making it time for rejuvenation; and what better than to head to the spa for a few hours of self indulgent me time. London has no shortage of spa spots to choose from, but I’m looking to African beauty and skin care inspiration. In early September 2011 Africology, brought their brand of natural […]

Read More
  • 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.⁣
.⁣
.⁣
.⁣
.⁣
.⁣
.⁣
.  #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
  • Instagram Image

Instagram @ atelierfiftyfive