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Sneak Peek: Fiddleheads, Flamingos and Florals, Oh My!

It's sampling time! We've been working with several very talented textile designers to develop prints that we hope will bring joy, whimsy and color to your life.  Each one of these beauties will be part of our 100% Made in Kenya textile line, using cotton that is grown, spun, woven, and printed right here in Kenya. Shown below are designs by the fabulously talented Lulu Kitololo, Shadé Akanbi and Phathu Nembilwi. We can't wait for you to see the final product and hear the inspiration behind these gorgeous, wearable works of art! 

WHAT WE'RE READING// Lot by Bryan Washington

“Your eyes will show you what they want to, or whatever they think you should see.”

An insight into love in all of its forms, this is a collection of short stories written in a vibrant, conversational style has been compared to that of Junot Díaz. Set in Houston, these stories (many of which are interlinked and some of which are not) explore themes of bravery, adversity and heartbreak through the eyes of a young, gay BIPOC man.

 

 

INSTA CORNER! WHO WE'RE FOLLOWING: @quokkahub

On brand? Nope. Weirdly adorable? Yes. Devoted entirely to an Australian quokka named Daxon and the greater short-tailed wallaby community of Instagram, this may just be the last bastion of goodness and truth coursing through these hallowed interwebs. Also, it's practically Valentine's Day; let's indulge ourselves with a little extra cuteness, shan't we?

 

 

 

BUSINESSES WE LOVE // Bolé Road Textiles

Originally from Addis Ababa, Brooklyn-based designer Hana Getachew has a fabulous aesthetic that we think you'll really love!  Whether you're looking for a stand-out rug or an eye-catching cushion cover, her textiles will bring joy and happiness into your home. (I have her Bana Rugs beside my bed in Nairobi, and trust me--I'm a happier person because of them!)

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // ZURI FEBRUARY PLAYLIST -- LOVE SONGS!

To our nearest and dearest (however far it may seem), we made you a playlist with a Valentine's theme! We hope you'll enjoy this group of love songs which we've been listening to all day long.  Share it, send it or save it for later, we hope that it'll make your day a bit greater:) 

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Holiday Print Sale!

The holidays will soon be upon us, and we've been slowly putting together a selection of products that we absolutely love to share with you! First up, as many of you know, we are devoted fans of artist Dennis Muraguri, and we're super excited to be able to share his prints with you! These signed 11 3/4" x 16 1/2" posters depict matatus, public transit vehicles that roam the streets of Nairobi transporting people, goods, culture and dreams. This is the first time that they've been sold outside of Kenya, and we hope that you'll love them as much as we do!

Those of you who've visited us on Fillmore have spotted these prints hanging on our wall! We have these available in-store at Bleecker right now and will have them in SF (hopefully) next week!

 

 

 

 

We made this video to introduce the Ma3 textile print that we created with Dennis! Learn more about his process and inspirations here:

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING // Matwana Matatu Culture

Curious to learn more about matatu culture? Check out this video!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Afracanah with Nomusa June and Adedana Ashebir

We love this podcast hosted by Nomusa and Adenana! Referring to themselves as diaspora squared, these two women were raised in the US and Canada and currently live in Nairobi. They discuss everything from pop culture to professional challenges to tech and development and we can't get enough!

 

 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // MATATU PLAYLIST

Music is a huge part of matatu culture, and we've put together a selection of some of our favorite songs that you might hear booming out the window of any Nairobi matatu. This mix will definitely put you in motion, so throw on your sneakers, put in your headphones, and get ready to run!

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NEW BATIKS ARE HERE! 💓// (So is Our Fall Playlist!) 🎵

Batiks are BACK!

They're finally here! We're so excited to present our latest collection of hand-dyed batiks from Edwina and her collective in Accra, Ghana. We started working on these at the beginning of the year, and after pausing for a few months and reconfiguring for increased safety measures, Edwina and her team resumed work in mid-summer and we couldn't be more excited to finally share these beautiful textiles with you!

Meet Sarah! She was the main dyer for the Effervescence print, and we thought we'd share a bit of her process! To start, she dyes plain white cotton fabric pink, which will be the base color for the design. She then applies the design with melted wax, and after it dries, it goes into a red dye bath for the second color. Finally, the fabric is soaked in hot water to melt the wax and it's taken outside to dry in the breezy sunshine!

 

 

WHAT WE'RE READING // Out There, Nobody Can Hear You Scream by Latria Graham

With the pandemic leaving many of us indoors dreaming of the outdoors, this essay by Latria Graham is a reminder of the privilege of experiencing nature and its beauty without fear or risk. Composed as a letter to Black women who have reached out to her wanting advice on navigating the risks of being Black in the outdoors, she writes about her own experiences balancing a sobering reality and hope, "But there is one thing I can continue to do: let you know that you are not alone in doing this big, monumental thing."

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // ZURI FALL PLAYLIST

Hark! We made a new playlist! We've put together a fabulous collection of songs by contemporary female artists we love, with beats that are strong, rhythmic and smooth. Throw it on one Sunday afternoon (or even tonight while making dinner)! We hope you'll love what you hear.

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Weekly Newsletter Apr 7, 2020

Kenya Mask Production Update

Following our newsletter last week, many of you asked about our mask production and distribution in Kenya, so here's an update!

We started production last week after sampling various designs, and have set an initial plan to produce and donate 15,000 masks. We are taking all precautions to maintain the health and safety of our team as they make these masks. 

We are collaborating with Penda Health, a local healthcare provider that operates clinics in low income, high density communities in Nairobi to distribute the masks, and we made our first delivery today of 2,000 masks (Salome, Jane, Dorcas and Franklin from the Penda team are showing them off in the photo above!). The team at Penda will distribute the masks at their 13 clinics to patients and their non-medical staff. They will also distribute the masks to their partners in the public transport space who will manage distribution to drivers and passengers.

We are thrilled to be working with Penda and their broader network, and are confident that our masks will be distributed safely and effectively through their channels!

We are taking donations to help increase our production, so if you are interested in contributing, please respond to this email!

No Sewing Machine? No problem!

Our very wonderful Inja from our SF team helped us to make this video explaining how to make a mask at home if you don't have a sewing machine! Using Dee Dee's instructions from last week's newsletter, she made some modifications to show how you can sew this mask by hand. 

As a reminder, these are NOT a substitute for PPE, but can help while hospitals struggle with shortages. To find out where to donate your masks, we suggest visiting findthemasks.com, which lists donation sites around the country. Additionally, we recommend contacting your local hospital to find out if they're accepting donations and have specific requests! 

As always, please share your feedback and photos!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // APRIL 2020 PLAYLIST

Ok, team, this one's for you. I know many of us have been experiencing feelings of loss--of affection, of privacy, of freedom, and just as importantly, of movement. While we can't throw our headphones in and hop on the train, we can still throw our headphones in! So don't forget: we're all in this together, and we'll be moving shortly❤️

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Weekly Newsletter Feb 18, 2020

Market DAYS!

We're in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, about once a month, and each time we go it's SUCH a pleasure to visit Rehema. Not only does she have the best snacks, but she knows what we'll love before we even see it. (For all our hypnosis lovers out there, we've got Rehema to thank!) This beauty is also hers, and should be heading your way by mid-April! 

 

 

 

Meet Emmy!  Whenever we are looking for something special, with unexpected colors or a whimsical design (see "Safety First" ⬇️⬇️⬇️!), Emmy is stop number 1.  On our last trip, we were thrilled to find this berry vine print (in the most luscious of greens)! 

 

 

 

 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // ZURI FEBRUARY PLAYLIST

What's cooler than a popsicle in February? Our newest playlist!  A collection of some of our favorite acid-rock funk from Nigeria and beyond, you'll be jamming into spring before you know it.

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