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Christmas Wishes From Atelier Fifty-Five

[Image credit: Glittering Angel Christmas Card – Kipepeo] What a busy year it has been, and with the Christmas holidays just around the corner, once again I find myself mentally shutting down. I will not be posting between now and the New Year, so would like to take this time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year. I hope the holidays will be a time of joy and togetherness for you and your loved ones, and may 2013 shower you with blessings of good health, happiness, success and seeing your dreams come true. Until the New Year, take […]

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Thuthuka Modern South African Jewellery Development Programme

In September I visited International Jewellery London to see what was happening in the world of jewellery. It was dazzling to say the least with a range of businesses from precious gem dealers to independent emerging designers. Several countries had trade exhibition stands showcasing the designs and opportunities with their various sectors, and stopping by the South African pavilion, I got chatting with several of the individual designers and business representatives. Amongst them was Thuthuka, a South African jewellery development programme that was founded in 2009, and is an initiative of South African based organisation Jewellery Africa.

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Safari Fusion Traditional African Design Colourful Batonga Stools

Bursting with colours that are right up my street, Australian retailer Safari Fusion is always guaranteed to lift my spirits, and yesterday as the view outside my window gradually disappeared under a rather depressing blanket of mist and fog, unexpectedly finding myself on the site provided the perfect antidote. I love joyous happy colours and the brighter the better, so was instantly taken with some colourful Batonga stools, a traditional icon example of African design that are hand carved in Zimbabwe by the Tonga peoples, who historically reside in the Zambezi Valley region to the West and North West of the country.

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Bundu Bags South African Made Fashion Accessories

I do like messenger bags for their practical functionality, given they are usually roomy enough to store a laptop or iPad, and the South African made fashion accessories by Bundu Bags offer a trendy range sporting a cool retro vibe, one that calls to mind Graphic Art, specifically the ’60s trends of Op Art and Mod style. Bundu Bags’ collections also include beach bags, totes and cute bags for kids. Employing traditional basket weaving techniques, Bundu Bags are made from commercial recycled cargo strapping, upcycling a product that would most likely end up in landfills.

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Artlantique Contemporary African Furniture From Senegal

Weathered by the elements, wood salvaged from old or discarded fishing boats is given a new lease of life as contemporary furniture collections, whilst retaining the hallmarks of its former life. Along the coasts of West Africa fishermen have long been a common sight, making daily trips into the ocean in brightly coloured narrow boats crafted by highly skilled craftsmen; and it is this connection between fishing and carpentry that inspired Artlantique to produce its distinctive and colourful contemporary African furniture, which design in Spain by Ramón Llonch and handcrafted in Senegal by a team of master craftsmen. [Image credit: Commode Thies – Artlantique]

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African Inspired Interior Accessories Decléor Scented Candle 

Premium aromatherapy skin care specialists Decléor introduce a relaxing candle infused with 100% natural essential oils, whose scent and packaging evoke the rich and diverse eco-system found in Madagascar. Tonka Bean, Vetiver, Vanilla, Ylang Ylang, and Grapefruit are combined in the African inspired interior accessories to create a blissful luxurious fragrance that naturally perfumes your living space whilst contributing to your wellbeing. Free of Palm oil, the Decléor Voyage – Madagascar Scented Candle has a sixty-hour burn time. [Image credit:  Decléor Voyage – Madagascar Scented Candle]

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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