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It will take over 2 hours to produce your handmade belt. Along the way a Kenyan artisan gets paid a living wage.
It will take over 2 hours to produce your handmade belt. Along the way a Kenyan artisan gets paid a living wage.
It will take over 2 hours to produce your handmade belt. Along the way a Kenyan artisan gets paid a living wage.
263 backers pledged $18,655 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Bora Wear: Belts that matter

$18,655

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Bora is a swahili word meaning: first-rate, excellent, better, or best.

The whole idea was that we were going to both make great products and support Kenyan artisans.

Each belt is....

1) Handmade by local artisans in Kenya

2) Uses the highest quality local Kenyan leather

3) Each mold is destroyed after the belt is made, making each belt one-of-a-kind.

I grew up in Kenya, but moved to the States when I was eleven.

Notice the flamingoes in the background?
Notice the flamingoes in the background?

After graduating from Cornell University, I decided to come back to Kenya. I wanted to do something that mattered. I thought I'd just hit the ground making a difference and start making stuff...I was wrong.

Farewell, Cornell
Farewell, Cornell

Originally, I wanted to make shirts with seamstresses in Kibera, an informal housing settlement here in Nairobi. Since I didn't know anything about shirts, I sat in a tailor's workshop and learned how to sew.

Got introduced to a group of HIV+ women trained by a local church to sew.

Then we made some shirts.

 And we couldn't sell anything.

Which sucked.

Buttons kept falling off. Sizes were consistently inconsistent. And the stitching was never straight.

But I didn't give up.

I realized that I had to find artisans who could do an excellent job and then figure out what products we could make together.

I went searching for new artisans and found our current group who are a perfect match for our ambition.

 and a few touches later you can wear it!

We tested three different designs. And everyone loved the Madaraka design above all the others. So we decided to work with the same design in different styles: Pilipili, Tamu, and Safi

The manufacturing process means every single belt you get has a human touch. Each belt won't be the same as the last.

This process also means that you are directly supporting artisans here in Kenya.

Step 1) Pick your style

PiliPili

After the brass is shined and polished, it is finished off with a hammer. This process creates a series of dimples over the surface of the metal. It is truly a unique and elegant design.

Tamu

 This style retains the character of the mold that created it. Every shift and contour makes its way into the brass. Since each mold is destroyed, each piece is unique and cannot be replicated in the exact same way.

Safi

 Ground and polished to a shine. The Safi  has an immaculate feel and shines through in its own way.

Step 2) Pick your leather 

So you can get the belts in black and....

Brown
Brown

Each belt is 1.25'' inches wide and is available in sizes:

Just like your pant's waist size
Just like your pant's waist size

For sizes 40'' - 50'' , add an additional $4. 

So if you get a size 30" belt, this is how the size is determined

 Updates

1) Backer Submitted Stickers

2)New Sizes

3)Super Duper Packaging

Each postcard will be mailed from Kenya to you with a handwritten message.

Just like our belts, these bracelets are handmade here in Kenya. A lovely piece to adorn your wrist. Bracelets are one size fits all. 

 Come to Kenya for a week. Visit our manufacturers. and then you decide what to do next. Want to go to the elephant orphanage? Want to go feed giraffes? Want to see the sights? Let's plan an awesome week!  We cover everything while you are in Kenya (Flight not included).

Cost Breakdown

Risks and challenges

I've worked with a couple different artisan groups and can say for sure that it's not that things can go wrong, but when, to what degree, and how you respond.

List of potential setbacks

Leather delays (Likelihood: 35%)
We have to order our leather from the tannery and they have a tendency to under quote how long it will take. Luckily, the metal can be worked on independent of the arrival of the leather, but if the delay is significant enough it can impact our ship time.

Production delays(Likelihood: 25%)
We aren't the only group that are working with this manufacturer. They take orders as they come. In anticipation of any production overload, we have factored in extra time as a buffer.

Packaging delays(Likelihood:20%)
We have this super cool, funky coloured packaging going on. It will take a little longer than your average box, but it will definitely get done.

Unknown Unknowns(Likelihood: ??)
Defined as things you don't know, you don't know. So we don't know what they are.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Handwritten postcard from us to you! Designed by a local artist!

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Handcrafted Bracelet! Pick the color for the leather strap.

    Plus a postcard!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $69 or more About $69

    **Early Bird Special**Your very own Madaraka belt. Pick your finish, pick the leather color, and you get a price break!

    Plus a postcard and bracelet!

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    Pledge $79 or more About $79

    Your very own Madaraka belt. You pick the finish and pick the leather color. Plus a postcard and bracelet!

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    Pledge $129 or more About $129

    Two Madaraka belts. You pick the finishes you want and pick the leather colors.

    Plus a postcard and bracelet!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $189 or more About $189

    Yote!
    You get every finish on offer! 3 belts!You are gonna be super stylish! Also pick the leather colors

    Plus a postcard and bracelet!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $4,999 or more About $4,999

    Safari Njema!

    Come to Kenya for a jam packed week of fun and exploration. We cover all the costs while you are here. (Does not include flight)

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Funding period

- (30 days)