“Bigger than barbie”… that is the wish for three South African women that have changed the lives of over 450 women. This is healthy planet, healthy people, healthy home in action with this community taking steps to a better life for themselves. These gorgeous beaded pieces are just one of the ranges available via Zambella Gifts & Homewares. Australian owned Zambella Gifts & Homewares started with founder Ria’s love of all things creative, hand made and unique and began with Monkeybiz.
Many of the women making the beaded artworks are the sole breadwinners within their households and this project has transformed the beaded arts market in South Africa. Each Monkeybiz artwork is unique and is signed by the artist, ensuring that individual artists receive recognition for their work. In addition to Monkeybiz, the Zambella collection also includes creations from Yum Yum & Simple Intrigue pictured below.
Monkeybiz started with a handful of artists over 10 years ago and since beginning their beaded art has been taking the world by storm – with numerous international exhibitions, sell out sales at Sotheby’s and collaboration with the University of the Arts London (Chelsea). The bead artists produce quirky, one-of-a-kind bead art pieces suffused with the vivid colours, textures, and expressions from the townships of Cape Town – African culture is at its uninhibited best. If you have been there you will totally get what this means.
When I travelled to Cape Town a few years ago with my Mum, it was one of the most breathtaking experiences of our lives and the beaded art is a large part of the experience, along with the beautiful people and the safaris of course! Absolutely one of my best times of my life. There are still so many tragic things you see there, but alongside this is great beauty and spirit of a beautiful country and her people.
Their unique bead creations simply reflect the experience and reality of each artist. The Monkeybiz diversity finds expression in a huge variety of shapes and sizes – from gorgeous beaded dolls to multicoloured animals.
The cost of the Monkeybiz artworks cover much more than the outstanding quality and individual expression of each piece of beaded artwork. Buyers know that they are also providing fair compensation to the artist, and that any additional profit is for desperately needed community services.
“Our wish is for Monkeybiz dolls to be bigger than barbie” says Co-founder Barbara Jackson. Sounds like a wonderful goal to me and a far better role model for any little girl!
Available via www.zambella.com.au at Down That Little Lane