Buy African: baby gift ideas, made in Africa

African Baby Gift Ideas

A baby gift list is something I had to put together recently, ahead of my baby shower-ish thing.

My little one is due any moment now and the Google and Instagram algorithms clearly know this as, I’m constantly coming across posts and pages to do with pregnancy and all things babies and motherhood (of course this is a reflection of my browsing history!).

If you’re looking for a beautiful and unique baby gift, here are just a few ideas, made in Africa, from some interesting brands…

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Buy African: Stitch Sainte Luce Embroidered Fashion and Home Furnishings

I managed to escape my stand at the Women of the World festival marketplace last weekend, to have a look at all the other beautiful crafts on offer. I was particularly mesmerised by one incredibly vibrant table – the photo above represents merely a quarter of the space!

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Stitch Sainte Luce produces hand-embroidered belts, bracelets, cushion covers, tablet and e-reader cases, bags, purses, cards and more.

 

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Interview with Screenprinter, Lusungu Chikamata of Creativity and Noise

Today’s interview features screenprinter, Lusungu Chikamata, founder of Creativity and Noise. It’s a great story of persistence and resourcefulness – I think sometimes we think everything has to be perfect before we can begin when actually, just getting started gets you to perfection faster! Find out how Lusungu learned a brand new skill and launched a creative enterprise, all alongside his day job.

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Buy African: Last-minute Christmas Gift Ideas

It’s less than a week to go until Christmas so, ordering your gifts online is now pretty much a gamble. If the thought of braving the madness shops this weekend makes you want to crawl into a dark hole, fear not – I’ve got some ideas that will hopefully keep you in the festive spirit.

The gifts here are all things that you can buy, right up until Christmas Day. They are organised by interest so, hopefully you’ll be able to find something appropriate for all the people on your list – whatever they fancy!

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In Pictures: The Road to Renegade (+ An Epic Giveaway)

The Renegade Craft Fair London is 3 days away and Lusungu and I have been busy getting our ‘Fly South For Winter’ collection ready! It’s inspired by our motherland love and a yearning for the tropics in these wintry times. All the designs are hand-drawn by me and then hand screen printed by Lusungu (aka Creativity and Noise).

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New Designs – Your Thoughts Please

Market research - cards7

 

Following the great response I’ve been getting to my ‘African Cities’ greetings cards, I’m working on a new set of greeting card designs and would love your input.

I’ve put together a questionnaire which, you can complete in 10 minutes here. As a thank you, I will send you a free piece of art to download for your personal use.

If you’re in the UK and have 20 minutes to spare before or on November 1st, I’d love to take you through the questions, over the phone or via Skype. As a thank you, I will post you a limited edition art print. Simply email me on lulu [@] weareasilia [dot] com with three times that work for you.

Your information
The information that you share will be used to help me determine which greeting card designs to produce and, how best to get them to people who will find delight in them. This information will not be used for any other purpose and will not be shared with anybody outside my company, Asilia Ltd.

Spreading the Joy
Please submit your responses before the 1st of November and, do feel free to share the questionnaire with others who, might enjoy looking at some colourful images and giving feedback too.

Here’s the link to view the designs and complete the questionnaire: http://goo.gl/forms/10B26zBiyt

 

Thank you in advance!

View more work in progress on Instagram.

All images copyright Lulu Kitololo/Asilia Ltd.

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Buy African: Statement Necklaces

Accessories are this girl’s best friend. Drawing them, making them (way back in the day), working with people who design them and of course, wearing them! I love a good pair of dramatic earrings but, when it comes to really making a statement, nothing beats a fabulously bold necklace. These are a few on my wishlist (from top): Pichulik; Nyumbani Design; Mikuti; Pichulik; Dannijo; Christie Brown.

 

Images via the various online shops linked to above.

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3 Reasons Why I’m Looking Forward to Africa Utopia 2014

We’re just one week away from a special festival looking at what can be learnt and celebrated from Africa and the African diaspora. I’m looking forward to this second edition of the Africa Utopia festival for 3 main reasons:

1. The Great Line-up

My top 5 picks include:

  1. A Brief Look at Dance in Africa – a lecture/demonstration looking at the variety of dances across the continent, using performance, percussion and film.
  2. Africa Calling – work by new and established designers from Africa and the diaspora spanning furniture, fashion, graphic arts and more.
  3. Africa on the Catwalk – a selection of fashion and accessory designers who originate from or are inspired by the rich cultural heritage of Africa (including Asilia client, Adele Dejak!)
  4. Afropolis: New African Aesthetic – From the catwalk shows of Yves St Laurent to the windows of Topshop and Zara, style-wise, Africa is everywhere. What are the deeper aesthetic and socio-cultural dynamics at work behind this phenomenon and what impact does it have on African regional and cultural identities?
  5. Simply Soweto Encha – a five-piece a cappella group from Soweto township that sings gospel, soul, jazz, doo-wop, r’n’b and celebrates South African oral and dance traditions. I have a super weak spot for a cappella!

There are so many other great events throughout the weekend that I hope to check out. View the full programme here.

 

2. Asilia’s Social Media Workshop

Following my workshop at the Women of the World Festival, earlier this year, I’ve been invited back to run a special session at Africa Utopia. Come spend an hour with me to explore how to use the web and social media as tools to:

  • Celebrate and share your experience, perspective and vision with the world
  • Connect with kindred spirits
  • Monetise your activities
  • Contribute more of your passion to your community and the world

More info here.

 

Christmas-Cards-2014-Asilia

 

3. Asilia’s Stall at the Africa Utopia Marketplace

We’ll be launching the first of our brand new holiday line and we’ll also have a limited number of our Tropical Paleo, Miriam Makeba and Frida Kahlo art prints on sale. It’s also an opportunity to place your order for custom portraits. They’re great as gifts and it’s never too early to start your Christmas shopping! Creativity and Noise will be joining us too with a selection of hand screenprinted tees from our collaboration.

Follow me (@lulukitololo) and Asilia (@weareasilia) – on Instagram for a document of the long weekend. If you’re in London – come say hello!

 

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Buy African: Who Said Beige Is Boring?

‘Beige’, as an adjective, often has negative connotations – boring, plain, unimaginative. When we think of African design, we often think of the opposite – a creative kaleidoscope of prints and colours. I thought it would be interesting to find some beautiful design pieces for the home, that prove that beige can indeed delight. It’s all about texture!

 

From top, left to right: Set of 3 Ghanaian baskets from Swahili African Modern; Zig Zag Gris mud cloth pillow from Proud Mary; Ecru Fleur a Joure crochet pillow from Proud Mary; Mali bull mask from Weylandts; ceramic crockery by Imiso; Senegalese sewing basket trio from Swahili African Modern; Moroccan leather pouf from Beyond Marrakech; Slat stool by Dokter and Misses; Magnet lounge chair by Vogel Design; Beni Ouarain carpet from Beyond Marrakech.

 

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Buy African: Men’s Shorts for Summer (Yevu + Laurence Airline)

I’m not sure how I feel about this menswear trend, especially the shorter and tighter the shorts get! Lus has been threatening to get some shorts to rock this summer so, in support, I’ve collated a few, from Yevu and from Laurence Airline, that I could possibly get down with. Just maybe …

Laurence Airline African Fashion Menswear Orange Turn Up Shorts

Yevu African Print Menswear Coat Shirt Shorts

Laurence Airline African Fashion Menswear Shorts Only

Yevu African Print Shorts Bomber Menswear

Laurence Airline African Fashion Menswear Yellow Shorts

Yevu African Print Shirt Shorts

Laurence Airline African Fashion Menswear Print Shorts

Yevu African Print Menswear Womenswear Fashion

Yevu do great pieces for women too!

Which are your favourites?

 

Photos via Yevu on Tumblr (I absolutely love the photography!) and via the Laurence Airline website.

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