Kusuka is a women-led business, founded by Felicia Siegrist and Rim Melake with the mission to introduce the world to unique handmade design pieces, encourage sustainable consumption and empower women artisans.
Rim and Felica are connected through their passion for design, art and innovation. Both share a strong desire for social change and their professional and private commitment to women’s empowerment. While living and working in Nairobi, Kenya, they were inspired by the vibrant art and artisanal culture of the country and developed the first concepts for their future business endeavor. And this was the moment Kusuka was born.
THE MEANING OF THE BRAND
Connection through craft and innovation
In Swahili, Kusuka, the inspiration of our name, means woven or connected. We want to weave new futures and connect people, especially women, from different continents.
Kusuka envisions a world where consumers appreciate and connect to the products around them and artisan-made home decor turns into art pieces and heirlooms which are given from family to family. Kusuka connects old and new by using cutting-edge technology to archive old artisanal techniques through tokenization.
We believe that transparency, accountability, and integrity are the norm. As a business, we strive to keep social impact and sustainability at the forefront of all we do.
We care deeply about building relationships rooted in mutual respect and nurturing an inclusive community. We recognize that the artisans we work with designers of the baskets and we are honored to co-create unique design collections with them. We depend on each other to be successful.
We dare to do things differently. We bring old generational techniques into the digital world to avoid them being forgotten. Using the power of technology allows us to archive these art forms, bring together old and new, and preserve them for the future.
The artisan sector is the world's second-largest employer
Our work would not be possible without the incredible skills of artisans, combining traditional art forms with novel techniques - constantly reassessing the relationship between shape and material to create items of enduring beauty.
Our weavers are the spirit and talent behind every basket we sell - the true beating hearts of Kusuka. We’re proud and privileged to regularly spend time with them - getting to know the people, the raw materials and the harvesting, dyeing and weaving processes.
The artisan sector is the second-largest employer globally after agriculture, employing hundreds of thousands of people, mostly women. Crafting handmade products provides a vital employment option for rural African women in particular. In general, weavers have grown up as farmers, but basket-weaving has become an alternative income for these women and their families since impacts of climate change like drought and rising temperatures causes crops to fail.
By bringing baskets to the global market, we ensure that artisans are receiving a fair wage, receive consistent orders, and can build up sustainable small businesses.