Women’s Beadwork Cooperative
SupaMaasai creates and distributes Maasai beadwork directly to customers around the world while educating them about the Maasai people. SupaMaasai sells authentic, fair trade and fair wage Maasai jewellery and other artisanal items that have been sourced, produced and handcrafted by the Maasai women of the village of Loodariak in Kenya. This economically empowers the women by allowing them to fairly access the market, eliminating the need of a middleman and facilitate the upward trek to maximum profitability. Products range from jewellery, to clothing and other works of art. Proceeds go directly to a Loodariak women’s co-operative, empowering them to become self-sufficient and better provide for their families while giving back to the community.
Maasai WomenThe beadwork project creates a revenue generation tool for Maasai women that incorporates their traditional culture and allows them to bring their artisan creativity and handcrafts to the global market. Maasai beadwork has been an established craft since the 1850′s. It encompasses materials brought by European traders and the ingenuity of the Maasai to create unique items that have become a signature of their culture.
Currently, this industry has seen an evolution of moving from the conventional distribution mode where Maasai women produce beadwork for local buyers who do not usually provide fair wages. The SupaMaasai model however provides the women with fair wages and direct access to the market. It does so by setting up a Coop for the Maasai women where they can employ the economies of scale in the purchase of supplies. Land is available for the Maasai women to build workshops where they can create their products and access literacy services and social support. The community is willing to provide labor to facilitate any projects it perceives necessary. The only resources that will require expenditure include the raw materials for the beadwork and the educational campaign through various mediums that will be used to educate the public and potential sponsors on the importance of supporting the SupaMaasai model which guarantees equitable returns for the women of Loodariak.