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Ikwetta's Sandals & Belts are handcrafted using Genuine African Leather by Artisans in slums. Together we can End Poverty.
Ikwetta's Sandals & Belts are handcrafted using Genuine African Leather by Artisans in slums. Together we can End Poverty.
84 backers pledged $21,357 to help bring this project to life.

About

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  • All our Products are 100% Handmade!
  • Authentic African Leather Sourced from the Leather Working Group's Highest Rated Tannery in Africa!
  • Leather Crafted using the Greenest Technologies in the Industry - Solvent-Free Finishing, Salt-Free Treatment, 100% Recycling of Byproducts and Solar Heating for Energy!
 
  • Intricate & Colorful Maasai Beadwork!
  • Made using Sisal that is Eco-Friendly & Bio-Degradable!
  • Sisal Plants have Low Water and High Carbon Dioxide Absorption -  Ideal for Small-Scale Farmers and Great for our Environment!
  • Sleek & Modern Designs that add Flair to any Outfit or Occassion!

Ikwetta’s journey began in 2014 when my wife - Sheeni - and I were in my home country Kenya on our honeymoon. Having married into a Kenyan family, she was intrigued and excited about exploring the intricacies of her newly adopted nation.

Every Thursday morning, over 200 local artisans would gather in the parking lot of the Junction Shopping Mall in Nairobi and would put on display their week’s worth of efforts. Wooden animal carvings, soapstone engravings, papyrus paintings, hand-stitched skirts & blouses and many more. It was however the handmade sandals that stole Sheeni’s attention; the base of the sandals were made with leather and the design on the sandals were so colorful and eye-catching that when she picked up one of them she was in awe - those intricate designs were entirely made using small beads!!! She had fallen in love!!!

She bought four pairs in a heartbeat, but further research revealed the harsh reality behind the prettiest sandals she had ever worn in her life. A pair of handmade beaded Maasai sandals takes one person approximately 4 hours to make, and they do so using nothing but needles, scissors, hammers and a whole lot of focus. Yet despite all that, they make only $1 profit each pair they sold!

Things did not add up! She did not understand how something so amazing was so unfairly valued! She brought me on board and as we spoke with these artisans, we understood that the root cause behind this problem was the lack of a proper consumer market. The only consumers these local artisans could target were tourists who come to Kenya for a safari and have one afternoon in Nairobi, and even with them they had to drive down prices to be able to compete with other sandal makers.

Such meager prices have led to even the most talented artisans to constrict themselves and still operate from the slums of Kenya in the most adverse conditions. In fact, the photos you see above were shot in black & white because there was not enough light in the workshop.

Even on rare occasions when they get an order, they are not able to fulfil it due to insufficient supply of electricity, lack of raw material and inadequate basic necessities

While my wife and I fell in love with the products, it was the people behind them that we feel the most for. We realised that African artisans definitely have the talent and their passion shows in the products they make, but what they lack is an avenue through which they could make a decent living through their skills and hard work. We want your support to help us create that avenue …. we want your help to build Ikwetta.

Through Ikwetta, hard workers like Alex will finally be able to fetch a price that their products deserve.

With every purchase you make on Ikwetta, you will directly better the lives of an African Artisan and in turn build the economy of their community and people
.

So go ahead...don’t hesitate to add life to your wardrobe and spoil yourself with authentic and unique accessories from Ikwetta! Remember that even while doing so, you are truly making a difference in someone’s life....you are feeding a family, fuelling a person with passion, and moving people out of slums!

Welcome to the fight against poverty...Welcome to Ikwetta!

The war against poverty has been going on for ages, but hardly any progress has been taking place. Trillions of dollars have been sent to Africa alone, but slums continue to expand and the number of people living in poverty continues to increase.

Ikwetta's mission is not about giving support to Africans...it's about making them self-supportive. We are promoting Africa's talented artisans and building a bridge for them to be able to sell their beautiful products directly to you. This campaign seeks to raise the funds required to build a new workshop for these artisans!

Every purchase you make not only changes the life of one artisan, but also helps the African economy flourish, thereby letting Africa stand on it's own two feet!

Risks and challenges

Building A Relation:
Over the last six months we have built a strong working relationship with several talented artisans in Kenya. The biggest challenge came in trying to help the artisans understand the difference between selling a single pair of sandals versus planning for larger orders!

Manufacturing:
All of our products are handmade by our artisans, and while that’s our biggest asset, it does present certain limitations. Limited to basic tools such as needles, scissors and hammers, 10 hardworking artisans can make up to 20 pairs of sandals a day.

Air Freight:
Our backer orders will be flown into the United States by early August. We do not anticipate any delays in general, however, if there are poor weather conditions or a transportation strike of any kind, it could delay the arrival of the freight.

Fulfilment:
As per our schedule, we are expecting to receive, pack and ship all our products to you by the 3rd or 4th week of August (depending on the destination). There are however chances that a delay may occur at any stage of the process, and if such a case arises we shall update you on the new fulfilment date.

Shipping:
We will ship all orders via USPS Mail or USPS Priority International, depending on destination. If there is any error in what you receive (size/color/model), please inform us and we will immediately make sure we undo our error :) In the rare case where a package is lost, stolen, or destroyed, we will file an insurance claim with USPS on your behalf, but we will not cover the cost of replacement.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    ★★★ EMPOWERMENT BRACELET ★★★
    Show off your American Spirit and get an Ikwetta Empowerment Bracelet at this SPECIAL KICKSTARTER PRICE!

    With July 4th coming up you can showcase your patriotism with the American flag on your wrist with our Handmade Beaded Bracelet.

    Ships Free within the United States.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    ★★★ CLASSIC CLUTCH ★★★
    EARLYBIRD SPECIALS (3 options)
    Ikwetta’s clutches are designed to add flair and fun to any outfit or occasion. Using age-old techniques, our artisans design and handcraft these modern day masterpieces just for you.

    This option allows you to choose from our three favorites: Ruby Red, Maasai Amber, or The Pink Diamond!

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    Pledge $29 or more About $29

    ★★★ FLIP FLOPS ★★★
    You're a giver and you care. Thank you!

    This option allows you to own a beautiful pair of beaded handmade Leather sandals, while supporting the training of underprivileged youth. Kudos on investing in their future.

    This option allows you to choose either our Color Burst or American Inspired Flip Flops.

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    Pledge $39 or more About $39

    ★★★ CROSSBODY BUDDY★★★
    Switch out your laptop bag with something more fun and colorful! Ikwetta’s Crossbody Bags come in two sweet options - The Brownie & The Blueberry Pie.

    These crossbody bags are designed to hold 13-inch macbooks, laptops, notebooks and ipads. These bags are handmade using eco-friendly sisal, making the bag light, sturdy and SUPERFUN!!

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    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    ★★★ COLORS OF HOPE COLLECTION ★★★
    Ikwetta is driven by HOPE, and so we used that as inspiration and designed this collection for you. Intricate beadwork is at the center of our sandals, with our artisans using skills passed onto them from their ancestors to create such artworks.

    This option allows you to choose from four fantastic sandals: Circles of Life, Modern Love, Flower Power or Savannah Safari Slides!

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    Pledge $59 or more About $59

    ★★★ KIKOY BEACH BAG ★★★
    Ikwetta’s iconic bag!
    Our Beach Bag is made using hand-woven sisal grown in Malindi, and is paired with the right amount of beadwork to add brightness to your day at the beach. The lining of the bag is made using African traditional Kikoy cloth, making this the perfect bag for you to rock the beach!!!

    You also get a special hand-written note from the artisan that made your bag, thanking you for bringing hope and empowering them to do and be much more :)

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    Pledge $59 or more About $59

    ★★★ THE ELITE COLLECTION ★★★
    Our artisans hand picked their favorite sandal designs to create Ikwetta’s Elite Collection.

    Support these talented artisans and help build their new workshop where they can come up with new mind-blowing designs.

    This option allows you to choose from four fantastic sandals: Jewelled Peacocks, Star Spangled Beads, Dose of Daisies or AfriCali Vacay Sandals!

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    Pledge $69 or more About $69

    ★★★ MAASAI GLADIATOR COLLECTION ★★★
    Not every sandal is a game-changer, but not every sandal is a part of the Gladiator Collection.

    This option gives you two choices: The Fighter Olympus is made using Caramel leather and colored beads with a lace-up lattice design, calf high length, and open toe.

    The Tukana Tieback is made using Chocolate brown leather and colored beads with a wedge heel and ankle tie backs.

    Killer with a floral mini dress, cutoffs, a sheer maxi-dress —you name it.

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    Pledge $79 or more About $79

    ★★★ AFRICAN BELTS ★★★
    Our belts are made using premium hand-cut Kenyan leather, and will surely add color and flair to your shorts, jeans, capris or any outfit you strap them into.

    This option allows you to choose from two drastically different belts: Show off your fun side with our Maasai Beaded Belt, or your wild side with our Hair-On Ikwetta Belt! Either way, you will be making a difference in the lives of the talented artisans who craft these belts. #EmpowerTalent

    Warning: Your Friends will be Jealous!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    ★★★ TIME FOR A THREESOME ★★★
    Our specially designed bundles were made for those of you who wanted the complete look!
    We’ve found the perfect matching clutch to your favorite Ikwetta bag, and have also thrown in a pair of super awesome sandals!

    This option gives you two choices: You can choose to Paint The Town Red or make your friends turn Green With Envy!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    ★★★ LIMITED EDITION: ALL-STAR AMERICAN COLLECTION ★★★
    Ikwetta’s limited edition All-Star Collection is specifically designed for those who believe in the American Dream!

    An exclusive American Beach Bag that represents Honor, our All-American Clutch that symbolizes Freedom, a pair of Star Spangled Sandals that stands for Hope, and our Ikwetta American Bracelet that shouts out Empowerment!!!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ★★★ HIGH FIVE ★★★
    At Ikwetta, we realize that your Friends & Family are important to you, and we don’t want to be the reason you fight over a pair of sandals or bags. Therefore, we have created a package for you to share with your loved ones.

    5 pairs of Ikwetta Sandals, 5 Clutches, 5 Bracelets, 5 Necklaces and 5 Hand-written Thank You Postcards from us to you...for being one of our most generous patrons :)

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    ★★★ GENEROSITY UNLIMITED ★★★
    Show off your altruism with pride and make a huge difference in the lives of our artisans by being one of our most generous patrons :) In return for your kindness, you will receive our entire collection of products:

    12 pairs of Sandals, 6 Clutches, 4 Bags, 2 Belts, 2 Crossbodies, 1 Necklace & 1 Empowerment Bracelet!!!! That’s 28 Products that you can gift to yourself and to your loved ones!!!

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    ★★★ JUST FOR YOU: PERSONALIZED COLLECTION ★★★
    For being such an awesome human being and supporting us, we would like to honor you by spoiling you with your very own Monogrammed Collection designed by our talented artisans.

    Tell us your favorite colors and we will design a unique never-before-seen line of products exclusively just for you!

    You will get our iconic Beach Bag, Sandals, a cute little clutch, laptop bag, keychain, bracelet and necklace made just for you!!! We will also be sending you a hand-written Thank You note and video message from all our artisans, just to tell you how grateful we are to you.

    Thank You for helping us #EmpowerTalent

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    ★★★ TRIP FOR 2 TO KENYA ★★★
    Enjoy the ultimate experience!!! Single handedly help us reach our goal and be responsible for building a new workshop for our talented artisans!!!

    In recognition of your dedication to making the world a better place, we want you to experience the best of our world firsthand. You will receive 2 flight tickets from any where in the world to Kenya, where we will take you on an unforgettable adventure. Get in touch with your wild side when you go on a Safari in the world-famous Maasai Mara, relax on the white sand beaches of Malindi & Mombasa, and dive into the sights, sounds and tastes of the place we call Home! On this trip, you will also get to meet our talented artisans, see first hand how they go about creating masterpieces, and watch them design something special for you.

    We will also be hosting an honorary dinner in your name during this 7-day holiday, thanking you for being Ikwetta’s biggest contributor and our favorite person :)

    Explore Africa…#EmpowerTalent

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Funding period

- (31 days)