Since setting up my Etsy shop, I've been spending a lot of time on the global handmade marketplace. Abundant with creativity, it's a great place for inspiration. Recently, I came across Etsy shop, AfricaDirect, specialising in trade beads, jewellery, carvings, masks, textiles and more.
The 15 year-old business is run by Elizabeth Bennett and Sara Luther who are passionate about African art, trade beads and ethnic jewellery. They insist on supporting living artists through soucing items from co-ops across Africa and they also buy from African traders in the US and Europe. Theirs is an interesting story which you can read more about here.
Visit their Etsy store to see more of the beautiful items they stock. Each item has a substantial description explaining its origin and history (often not what you'd expect!).
If you design jewellery or other crafts, or if you simply seek outlets for creative expression by making things with your hands, AfricaDirect is a great place to stock up on beautiful beads.
Images via the AfricaDirect Etsy shop. From top: Painted glass Kiffa beads from Mauritania, Ethiopian trade beads, Fulani seed trade beads, Greenheart Venetian trade beads, Green Talhakimt glass trade bead, British West African coins from Nigeria