Kenya is a nation comprised of more than forty different ethnic groups, each with a distinct artisan tradition. Though ripe with creative potential, Kenya is burdened with devastating and widespread poverty that leaves more than half of the population struggling to feed entire families on less than one dollar each day.
Five years ago, in partnership with luxury fashion brand Maiyet, Nest met Anton and Benta, a husband and wife pair with talent for brass cast jewelry making. At the time of our meeting, Anton and Benta were producing gorgeous brass cast bracelets for Maiyet (their signature bangles remain a best-selling item today). However, working out of their tiny home, and utilizing outdated tools and equipment in close proximity to family life., the couple was encountering safety and health concerns, and experiencing trouble ensuring consistent product quality.
Given the widespread AIDS epidemic in Kenya, Anton and Benta, are parents not only to seven of their own children, but also to three children from the community who have lost their parents to the disease. The fuzzy delineation between work and family life compounded Nest’s concerns about improper working conditions. Utilizing Nest’s Strategic Growth Assessment in partnership with our Ethical Compliance Assessment as our roadmap, we helped to construct a nearby workshop for Anton and Benta in which they could work safely and productively. To make sure they had the means to continue meeting rigorous quality standards of the luxury market, we also sourced and secured upgraded tools and equipment with which to outfit the new space.
Five years later, Sara from the Nest team returned to Kenya and had the joy of visiting with Anton and Benta once again. Their workshop is thriving and they have taken on new clients. Sara beamed with pride as Anton likened Nest to a place where all the artisans, like birds can come and grow. He said that with Nest’s help, his business is flying…