Kazuri, Swahili for "small and beautiful," is the name of this distinctive and beautifully designed and hand-crafted ceramic jewelry and kitchenware.  Each piece is the result of an intricate process that includes the acquisition of the red buff clay of North Western Kenya, water and air extraction from the clay, molding of the moist clay into various and unique shapes, sun-drying, hand-painting and glazing.  Then each bead is strung to create exquisite pieces of wearable art in the form of necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, or into pottery.

Kazuri jewelry was born in 1975 on a coffee plantation on the Karen Blixen estate, made famous by the award winning movie "Out of Africa," about 30 minutes from Nairobi.  It was here that Lady Susan Wood, daughter of missionaries to Kenya, set up a bead-making business, hiring two disadvantaged Kikuyu tribal women in need of jobs.  Since this cottage industry provided opportunity for these women to support themselves and their families, sometimes numbering as many as twenty, it was inevitable that Lady Susan expand the business to include many more.  Today, the industry boasts hand-made and hand-painted beauty created by over 300 women. "Now, Kazuri appeals to a worldwide market and is recognized as a member of the International Fair Trade Association and the Fair Trade Federation.  It is loved and worn by such well-known personages as Meryl Streep and it was presented on a segment of one of the recent "Oprah" shows.

Kazuri honors single women, widows, and those with special needs.  They are provided health care, childcare, three times the average salary of other workers in Kenya, training and authenticity as artisans of ceramic bead jewelry.  In return, these highly motivated women create beauty and finished products that meet international standards and grace the bodies of women worldwide.

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