Meet the Artist: Sidai Designs
We're thrilled to carry Sidai Designs in the shop and online! Here's the story behind their beautiful, traditional, sustainable pieces:
Founded in 2013, Sidai Designs collaborates with Maasai women to produce and market unique, hand-made, high-end beaded jewelry using traditional techniques. By bringing these products to international markets, we drive the demand that preserves the beading traditions and helps to economically sustain the women and their families.
The rich heritage of the Maasai culture is a strong influence for many of Sidai’s collections. Their pieces reflect the uniqueness of the culture while maintaining a contemporary aesthetic appeal. This synergy is realized by drawing upon traditional artistry in combination with Sidai’s creative design team.
From conception to finished product, Sidai instills the highest level of attention to detail and quality control to their jewelry. They use recycled materials for many of their pieces, and incorporate high quality components to create unique necklaces, earrings, and more.
Sidai Designs is built on strong ethical principles and guiding values. By using traditional craftsmanship, Sidai aims to empower Maasai women and build a foundation for continued development.
Sidai’s Core Values are:
- EMPOWERING WOMEN: Empowering and supporting women in their community creates a sense of purpose and hope through sustainable employment.
- THE POWER OF ART AND CREATIVITY: Creativity increases opportunities for self-expression and enjoyment, increases a sense of self-esteem, and builds social capital.
- EDUCATING A WOMAN IS EDUCATING A VILLAGE: When a woman is educated, it’s more likely that she will educate her children, which in turn benefits the community as a whole.
- PRESERVING TRADITIONS: Preserving the rich cultural heritage and beading skills of the Maasai, which have been their mark of beauty and prosperity for centuries.
- FAIR WAGES: Paying a fair income allows the women to cover not only their basic needs and medical expenses but also education for their children and savings for their families.
- ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS: Limiting the impact of production by using mostly recycled materials and educating our women about the importance of preserving the land.
- SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Employment opportunities mean a long-term solution to poverty.
Sidai’s jewelry is created entirely by hand using a combination of upcycled products. Traditional glass beads are joined using thread salvaged from old grain bags and enhanced with recycled metal beads, old canisters and yogurt pots to create the boning. The jewelry is then finished with luxury soft leather, sterling silver and gold plated beads.