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Caranda Soothing Speciality Teas Inspired By Africa

A longing for the familiar tastes of home led Liberian entrepreneur, Doughba Caranda-Martin to set up Caranda Fine Foods, a business that specialises in creating a range of premium beverages and condiments inspired by the diverse regions of the African continent. Residing in the USA, Doughba recalls childhood memories of evening walks collecting the leaves and herbs that were then boiled with Lemongrass. Doughba started out blending teas inspired by Africa and the product range has since expanded to include coffees, cocoas and condiments like flavoured salts and meat rubs.

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Clinton Friedman Umbrella Accessories Inspired By Nature

April showers having seen off a quick succession of umbrellas, has meant the hunt for yet another replacement that can hopefully withstand the wind and on and of downpours. Every time it rains here in the UK I can not help but notice how dark and dull the majority of umbrellas that get put up are…no doubt chosen for practicality they don’t do much to cheer one up! I have always made it a habit to choose one as blindingly bright as I possibly can. Having previously featured the bold nature inspired prints of South African photographer and designer Clinton Friedman, […]

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Shanga Lamps Modern African Home Decor Accessories

Hurricane Lamps can be both decorative and functional when used as part of contemporary interior decor accents, especially when it comes to outdoor use, where the subdued light emitted is ideal for evenings spent on the verandah on a warm summers night and with some styles allowing for the insertion of mosquito repellant oils comes the added bonus of helping to keep the bugs at bay. Hurricane lamps were adapted from oil lamps used by sailors and comprise a glass chimney with a perforated metal lid that lets air escape whilst protecting the internal flame from being blown out. [Image […]

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Schier Shoes Herero Vellies Advertising Campaign

Lately, the unique style of Namibia’s Herero Women has been the inspiration for several fashion collections, and a recent advertising campaign for a range of vellies by Namibian footwear maker, Schier Shoes brought a smile to my face, its embracement of this spirit of individuality and enjoyment of life whatever your age and wherever you are. Based in Swakopmund, Namibia, the company Herbert Schier has been manufacturing Velskoen shoes since 1938. Although mainly associated with Namibia and South Africa, those from the Southern African region will be familiar with Veldskoen’s or ‘Vellies’ as they are more commonly known, a type of rugged […]

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Bruno Sserunkuuma Contemporary African Ceramics

Rather like the illustrations from a storybook, the distinctive imagery adorning Ugandan ceramicist, Bruno Sserunkuuma’s work depict a social and cultural commentary of Ugandan life in the form of stylised figures and shapes, enhanced with elaborate patterns. [Image credit: Bruno Sserunkuuma, Ceramic Vessel – Afro Art]

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Contemporary South African Architecture And Interior Design

Happily sitting with the curtains or blinds open long into the night I find lingering by a window gazing at the twinkling lights of the city at night, or snatching glimpses of the world going about its day is one of life’s simple pleasures. And is probably the reason that when it comes to contemporary architectural features; an expanse of glass giving the illusion of having no walls, just floor to ceiling windows in the form of movable glass doors is a dream feature. Opened or closed as you wish, glass walls are a stunning feature that work to seamlessly […]

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Carolyn Roumeguere Global Culture And Maasai Inspired Jewellery

Jewellery designer Carolyn Roumeguere is a nomad at heart, a sentiment that is reflected in her eclectic global and Maasai inspired jewellery creations such as the Swahili Choker, a stunning piece that is handmade using the precious gems diamond, sapphire or emerald, and coral. Taking a month to complete the Swahili Choker incorporates traditional Maasai beading, and features an enamel pendant and the beads sourced from Jaipur, India. [Image credit: Carolyn Roumeguere Swahili Choker – CoutureLab]

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Comfort & Samuel Homage To West African Textiles Heritage

Give your bedroom an instant makeover with a refreshing range of colourful bed linens from Comfort & Samuel. Based in the UK, Comfort & Samuel’s elegant collections, which also include cushions and personal accessories, draw inspiration from West African textiles, designs and prints by tapping into the Continent’s diverse textile heritage. [Image credits: left, Ododo; and right, Osun, Samuel and Alabi Cushions – Comfort & Samuel]

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Made.com Morocco Table Designer African Inspired Furniture

I couldn’t help but be transported to alfresco dining on a sun-drenched patio when I saw some simple yet striking coffee tables on Made.com a UK-based furniture and interiors e-tailer that works with select designers to create original furniture designs that are sold directly to customers at affordable prices by cutting out the middle man. Amongst the products the Morocco Coffee Table, an African inspired furniture design sporting a bold diamond cut-out pattern that runs a ring close to the table edge. The Morocco Coffee Table sits on hexagonal legs and was inspired by traditional Moroccan tray tables.

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Contemporary African Design Tavie Co-operative Tuareg Baskets

The beauty of this woven dish radiates from its core, which features a beautifully engraved silver disc at the centre, which is said to symbolise the sun and is characteristic of Tuareg pattens. Framed with an indigo halo, the addition of the disc adds a contemporary African design edge, elevating the humble woven basket to a stunning decorative object, that would work well hung on the wall or placed on a plate stand.

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José Hendo Bark Cloth Sustainable Fashion Brand

An ancient craft performed by the Baganda people of the Buganda Kingdom in South Uganda Bark cloth is a unique material, made from beaten tree bark in a centuries old technique, and is considered to be the oldest manmade fabric resulting in it being declared a World Heritage Material in 2005. Bark cloth is the fabric of choice for sustainable fashion brand and Ugandan fashion designer José Hendo whose award-winning collection entitled Resonance was made entirely of the material. In a deep hued colour palette, the Resonance collection is quite futuristic, and features strong sculpted forms rather like Japanese origami, apt given […]

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African Baskets Woven Bolgatanga Baskets From Ghana

Last week the EU announced the potential banning of plastic bags as it outlined proposals to reduce the number of plastic bags used in Europe each year, after a public consultation revealed that more than four billion were thrown away each year. After massive campaign a few years ago lately I have noticed fewer people using the jute and other alternative shopping bags whilst doing their shopping, myself included and so was not surprised to find out that after four years of decline the use of carrier bags in the UK actually rose by 5% in 2010.

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Oprah Store Hand Picked South African Ceramics And Design

You can never have enough bowls, and they can look so good as a design feature displayed on cabinet shelves or along counters. My sister recently showed me a gorgeous image of some stacked brightly coloured, patterned bowls; and whenever I walk into a place like Anthropologie I can’t help but be drawn to the sections with stacks of bowls piled high upon the shelves radiating pattern, colour and texture. I think small bowls are my latest interiors crush… One of my searches led me to Storm in a Teacup who have such pretty ones; some readers may recognise the bowls from […]

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Beyond Daydreams Help Running A Creative Business

Since starting the blog I have been contacted by readers; some of whom are designer makers, others business owners or students looking to take their first steps in the world of running a creative business; all have reached out for help and advice with growing their business’, and it is great to know that the site is actively being used as a creative resource. Every now and then everyone needs a little help be it a word of encouragement or a place to recharge. The blog has been my place to recharge, and is ever-evolving… …today I am so pleased […]

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African Wood Furniture From Master Carver Daniel Omondi

A few weeks ago I featured a beautifully carved wooden table adorned with East African inspired motifs, courtesy of Vermont Wood Studios a community of local carvers. The Africa Sofa Table as I have now found out is a piece of African wood furniture carved by Daniel Omondi, a master carver from Kenya who was raised in a family of woodcarvers, learning his trade at age thirteen in his father’s award-winning workshop in Mombasa, Kenya. Following in the steps of his father and grandfather Daniel inherited the workshop, moving to the USA in 2001 where he established his workshop in the artisanal community […]

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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