Akamba Handcraft Industry Co-operative Society
Akamba Handcraft Industry Co-operative Society is a Kenyan organization that produces high quality animal, functional and decorative carvings, masks and ornaments, human sculptures and customized goods. It was started in 1963 by about 300 carvers, since then, it has grown to a membership of about 2,785, with carving skills that are well developed and specialized. For years, sales of the carvings were good though dependent on tourists and locals when they visit the Co-operative Society occupying an area of about nine acres with basic structures. Visit to the Society, one is able to see the carvings being worked on from start to finish; selection of the best log for a particular design, rough carving, detailing, smoothening, decorating and finishing. Tourism on the Kenyan coast has declined over the years. Tourists in droves, no longer visit their on-site shop. Sales have plummeted and times have been difficult for the artisans as the shop was their only avenue for sale of their crafts. Many have left to seek alternative employment because carving no longer met their economic needs. The artisans holding on, find it very difficult as what they get is not sustainable for they are only allowed two items at a time in their on-site shop. There has been a growth of handicraft market that presents opportunities for the artisans to introduce handmade carvings with contemporary styling. The Akamba artisans have adapted traditional designs and skills to complement the broad offerings of the expanding demand. Crafts With Meaning has collaborated with Akamba Handcraft Industry Co-operative Society to promote sustainable social and economic development by providing access to information, market and comply with buyers’ requirements through our online platform. Crafts With Meaning advise on the design and style in trend, fair working practices, creative innovations, value addition, quality management, presentation and handle logistics to ensure timely delivery of the products to the buyers.