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.
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!