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Mutapo Ceramics Inspired by Zimbabwe’s Basket Weaving Traditions

Tucked away in Harare’s Miombo Woodland you will find Mutapo, a ceramic studio producing one-of-a-kind collectable crockery. Owned by Zimbabwean ceramicist, Marjorie Wallace, Mutapo has gained international recognition for its intricately decorated porcelain ceramics often coloured with the studio’s signature blue and white glaze. The patterns adorning each product are inspired by the patterns found in Africa’s basket weaving traditions. Marjorie’s love for baskets stems from childhood and her memories of being surrounded by baskets.

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Skinny laMinx Fabrics Take You To The SunnySide

South African textile brand Skinny laMinx turns up the heat with their latest collection. The SunnySide is a feelgood collection that encourages us to bring a little sunshine and positive energy into our everyday lives. The collection of dining and kitchen textiles features bold patterns and colour prints in the Skinny laMinx signature style, which blends midcentury style, pattern and colour, with African chic.

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Tour of Black Rock Senegal Artist Residency By Kehinde Wiley

American artist Kehinde Wiley has opened the doors to Black Rock in Dakar Senegal, a multi-disciplinary artists residency program designed to bring together an international group of visual artists, writers, and filmmakers for a period of self-reflection, practice development and cultural exploration and cross-cultural collaboration. For Kehinde, who’s fame reached new heights with his portrait of Barack Obama, Black Rock is more than just a residency it is also home to his personal studio as he seeks to divide his time between New York and West Africa. 

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The Stool An African Design Classic

The stool is an African design classic, an iconic example of Africa’s woodcarving traditions. Its iconic shape has, and continues to inspire designers the world over who are drawn to the simplicity of the form. Stools were created for personal, and ceremonial use, whereby elaborately carved and decorated designs were used to signify status, wealth, and prestige. Here’s a look at four designers from across the continent who are taking inspiration from the traditional stool to create elegant furniture collections designed with comforts of modern living in mind.

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Manage Your Energy Levels To Get More Done In Less Time

I have a question for you- Do you make listening to your body during your working day a habit, in particular paying attention to your energy levels? If not here’s why you should be doing this. Structuring your day around your energy levels has the benefit of making you more focused and productive. Meaning you get more done in less time. Who wouldn’t want that!!! It makes sense really, but how many of us do this. I certainly didn’t!

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7 Designers and Artists Inspired by Scarification

Contemporary African designers and artists inspired by scarification and referencing the ancient African tradition in their work. Scarification is the process of superficially cutting, scratching, etching or burning permanent designs into the skin. This form of body decoration is a practice common to West Africa where for centuries the resultant markings expressed a form of unspoken communication such as rank, tribe, beauty, and strength. Patterns in the form of scars would range from simple markings to those more elaborate and intricate adorning the face, chest, torso arms and legs. Scarification is not for the faint-hearted, undergoing the practice was said […]

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World-Class Design Made In Africa

An ever-increasing list of projects, collaborations, and exhibitions are bringing world-class design made in Africa to the centre-stage of the global design industry. Long overlooked for either being the bargain buy creations churned out for local tourists markets or merely as a source of inspiration for designers around the world, design from Africa was something that was not seen to exist in the definition of developed western design industries. But the fact is that design in its most fundamental form has been an integral part of African societies for centuries, bringing forth iconic creations such as the reclining beds and […]

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A Guide To Turning Your Creative Hobby Into A Thriving Business

You’ve been developing your creative hobby for a while and are now seriously thinking about turning it into a thriving business. Maybe friends and family have been encouraging you to sell your creations. Perhaps you have enquires coming from recommendations. Or you want to create an additional income stream. Whatever the reason turning your hobby into a business is a big step, one that requires a shift in mindset from making for pleasure as and when you feel like it to creating for profit and putting routines in place. Here are the things you will need to consider to get […]

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Successful Goal Planning For The Entrepreneur Who Wants To Achieve Their Goals

It is a scientific fact that repetition helps to reinforce things in our minds, in turn influencing our habits and actions. So imagine what you could achieve by regularly writing down your goals and having them to hand as you go about your workday. By constantly having to write out your goals and having them in front of you every day you will start to affirm, and truly believe in them because they will become embedded into your subconsciousness. But in order for goals to work, you need to set the right ones. So how do you set goals that […]

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Traditional African Art Referenced In David Adjaye Architectural Designs

Marrying the old with the new British/Ghanaian architect Sir David Adjaye brings the beauty and elegance of traditional African art pieces to several of his contemporary architecture designs. Born in Tanzania to Ghanaian diplomat parents Adjaye grew up in several places including Egypt, Yemen, and Lebanon before the family moved to the UK where he resides. Adjaye founded his architectural practice Adjaye Associates in London and has offices in Ghana and New York. Adjaye also cites a growing interest in Africa, arising from a need to contribute in some way to the development of the continent that began with a decade […]

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Hitting the reset button on missed goals to get you back on track

Goals help us bring our dreams to life, but sometimes we can miss the goal deadlines we have set for ourselves. If things have been a bit of a struggle and you have slipped and fallen behind don’t be too hard on yourself. It happens. In life, not everything goes to plan. But it is how you deal with the changes and setbacks that determines how successfully you pick yourself up to have another go. Simply take a deep breath, press pause to reflect on why you missed the achieving goal, then hit the reset button to start from where […]

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Africa’s Basket Weavers Telling Stories Through Basketry

Basketry is a skill that has been practiced up and down the continent for centuries with examples from the past coveted by collectors around the world. Today Africa’s basket weavers are redefining the art form employing ingenious methods to create modern functional home decor products. But whilst these baskets may appear to be merely functional or decorative products, taking the time to look beyond the aesthetics reveals the layers of stories woven into the strands; as basketry -a skill traditionally practiced by women- carries within it the stories of livelihoods, of hopes, dreams, achievements, and sacrifices. Highlighting just how powerfully […]

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Creating A Daily / Weekly / Monthly Work Schedule That Works For You

As an entrepreneur, you are in charge of your time and have a responsibility to make sure that you get the most out of your working days. Being your own boss means juggling a lot of hats as you find yourself dealing with lots of different things that demand your attention. Having a daily / weekly / monthly work schedule that works for you will help keep you on track of what you need to get done as you work towards growing your business and achieving your goals.

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The Importance and Value of Craft in Design

In the West, craft is seen as being separate from design, two distinct categories, with craft often being derided for being too cottagey, or folksy in appearance and passed over in favour of the more glamorous design. As such it can be easy to forget that craft is at the heart of many western luxury brands from fashion to automotive engineering. In recent years, however, craft has moved closer to the centre stage and is increasingly being it’s given due, resulting in a greater appreciation for what is made by hand and recoginsing the importance and value of craft in […]

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Five Reasons Why People Are Not Buying Your Product And How To Fix This

Paying customers are the lifeline of any business without them you’re simply running a hobby. Every entrepreneur dreams of creating a successful and profitable business, but for many getting those first customers through the door or to click the buy button can be challenging. People buy what they know, like and trust. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Accept that not everyone is going to buy your product because it could be that it’s the wrong colour, too big, too small and so forth for what they need. The problem though is when nothing at all is happening on the […]

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How To Make Money Blogging

Thinking of monetising your blog? You are not alone. How to make money blogging is a popular search engine topic, as bloggers (and other social media platform owners) from all walks of life seek to leave the 9-5 behind and make a full-time living online. Successful bloggers and social platform owners make it look easy, and graphics popping up in your feed telling you to follow such and such method to earn 5 / 6 figures a month further fuel the dream. But if it was as easy as it is made out to be then every blogger and social […]

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Designer and Architect Tosin Oshinowo Talks Building Creative Businesses

Bold, vibrant striped fabrics covering minimalist furniture designs announced the arrival of Ilé Ilà onto the contemporary African design scene. Handmade in Lagos, Nigeria the furniture designs echo the architectural designs of the company’s founder Tosin Oshinowo, who also runs her own practice, CM Design Atelier. Tosin chats with me about the inspirations behind her work, building two creative businesses and the lessons she’s learned.

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How To Get Your First Piece Of Press Coverage

Getting your very first piece of press coverage for your product, service or business is a very exciting moment in your business journey. I still remember my first of press. It marked a pivotal moment in how I saw and felt about my business and my potential. Someone believed in me enough to share my story. But it took me a while to gather up the courage to reach out to press outlets, so I know how daunting the process of getting your first piece of press coverage can be.

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How Much Do Bloggers/Platform Owners Charge On Average Per Post?

There comes a time when you have been blogging for a while that thoughts turn to making some money from your efforts. You’ve seen and heard of other bloggers and platform owners doing it so why can’t you? People turn to monetising their blogs and platforms for different reasons including earning a bit of extra income each month to supplement the one from the day job, whilst others dream of turning their platforms into their full-time job and being paid to do what they love. 

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