News Blog

Meet the designer Dom who is working on our latest collection

Meet the designer Dom who is working on our latest collection

Feb 06, 2018 - 0 comments

My name is Dominique or Domi as they call me here in Tanzania. I am originally French but have lived and worked in the UK for 12 years. I first came to work  at Neema Crafts in 2015 to help set up the new screen-printing department and design some new prints. I then came back a second time in 2016 for 6months to work on a newer collection of prints and products. This time, I am here for a year with a lot more ideas to freshen up the Neema Crafts collections and to make work easier for the staff. 

My main job consists of helping Alfred, Shaha and Sergio in the screen-printing department to find better ways of printing and improving the quality of their work. We work on a lot on colours as well as coming up with new designs. I have just worked on some new block prints which meant spending quite a few hours in the carpentry department carving wood - a first for me! 

I also do a lot of work with the tailoring department developing new products as well as with the shop team helping them with the displays.

I was responsible for designing the rays, diamond and the gate prints for the first collection. aThnis time I have designed  the childrens prints on bunting, dresses, shorts and pencil cases, the baby grows (Simba, twiga and mamba)  which are all coming to the UK this Spring/Summer. Ive also  designed the block prints and all the leafy prints (madoa - that's the dotty leaf, jungle and  flame tree prints). found on our totebags, travel purses, weekend bags and cushions.

The journey has been such an interesting and rewarding one. I am so pleased to be able to help here at Neema Crafts but above all, I am doing what I love - designing and making new products so I am very grateful I managed to find such an interesting job. 

See More from Susan Tomes

Artisan Market in Dar es Salaam

Artisan Market in Dar es Salaam

Jan 12, 2018 - 0 comments

The  Christmas Artisan Market in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania is the biggest exhibition of the year for Neema Crafts.  Their workshops and designers pulled out all the stops to create new and exciting products for the season including their ever popular lampshades and lamp stands.  Almost 50 boxes were packed to the brim and taken to Dar.  Nearly all the stock was sold and despite having an eight-strong selling team they still had the crowds gathering and long queues of people desperate to buy their goods. The stall was popular with both expats and locals as well as people visiting from all over East Africa.  The takings from the market exceeded all expectations and that means we can now buy houses for more of our disabled employees. Several of the items that were especially popular at the market are now available from our online shop with plans to increase lines on the website from Spring 2018. Heres hoping they include those colourful screen printed lampshades! 

A trip to Neema Crafts in Iringa, Tanzania

A trip to Neema Crafts in Iringa, Tanzania

Dec 24, 2017 - 0 comments
Last month I was lucky enough to make the trip to Tanzania to visit Neema Crafts and see meet many of the 120 artisans who hand make all our lovely products for our online shop. My aim was to record their stories so that you will know exactly who has made each product and the difference working at Neema Crafts has made to them. 

"Tuko Pamoja" - we are together

May 03, 2017 - 0 comments

The start of 2017 has been an exciting one at Neema Crafts, Tanzania. We have been granted permits to build 8 more specially adapted homes for our staff. This week we cleared the ground together with pangas and jemes ready to start building. The plan is to build a total of 18 new houses in 2017 on top of the 15 that we have already built. 

100% of the profit from the online shop which is based in the UK goes back to Neema Crafts, Tanzania. We are staffed by volunteers and pay no storage fees which enables us to maximise our profit.

Fairtrade at Neema Crafts

Fairtrade at Neema Crafts

Feb 27, 2017 - 0 comments

Fairtrade at Neema

Neema Crafts would like to thank all our customers for their support by offering  20% off all items online during Fairtrade Fortnight 27th February – 12th March.

Fairtrade Fortnight is an annual campaign organised by the Fairtrade Foundation to increase the awareness of fair trade products and the people who produce them. Artisans like those trained and employed by Neema in Tanzania.

However at Neema we don’t treat being “Fair Trade” as simply being some sort of marketing ploy for a couple of weeks a year.  Instead it’s the way we aim to be in every aspect of our business dealings.  We always aim to treat our workers, customers and suppliers in the same way we would like to be treated.

We strive  to ensure that every product we supply is produced in accordance with the following World Fair Trade Organization principles:

1.  We create opportunities for the most economically disadvantaged workers. Currently we employ over 120 people with disabilities in Tanzania.

2.  We aim to act with transparency and accountability in all our dealings.

3.  We follow fair trade practices in our dealings.  For example, we purchase as many raw materials locally as possible and make payment to our suppliers as soon as they are due (if not sooner).  We build long-term relations with suppliers, ensuing they have a dependable source of income.

4.  We pay a fair price for our raw material and other costs. 

5.  We do not tolerate child labour or forced labour in any way.

6.  We do not tolerate discrimination of any type including faith and actively promote equality for people with disabilities. 

7.  We ensure good working conditions.  This includes Health and Safety issues, working hours and general working conditions. We provide additional services for our staff including physiotherapy, mobility aides, and more recently have introduced a staff house building project. Being at Neema doesn’t just provide our staff with employment but also social activities like our staff football team.

8. We help our employes to build capacity.  This means we work with employees to develop management skills, productions capabilities and provide business training for those seeking to progress to self-employment.

9.  We promote fair trade generally.  In the UK our online shop plays an active part as a member of the  British Association of Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers. 

10.  We also respect the environment.  Many of our products use recycled materials (such as our recycled paper) and we  reuse packing materials wherever possible. Our wooden goods are made from sustainable teak grown locally.

We are offering the 20% off as a way of thanking all our customers for their continuing support (the more we sell the more disabled artisans we can employ) and to highlight Fairtrade Fortnight and the important message behind it.