Tell us a little bit about your journey of becoming a jewelry designer?
My journey started as a wire-craft artist trading in town, close to Greenmarket Square where I met a jeweler from Argentina who was intrigued by my skills and encouraged me to explore them into jewelry-making. Years later, as my friend had gone I met another jeweler who was looking for someone to teach and would be working for him. I took that opportunity as I recalled my Argentinian friend. I was given the space to play around with my creativity and that’s when Kasimbi was born and I’m enjoying every moment.
Tell us about the team you employ?
We have a team of four, two are on the production side and we have our social media manager and one other person who’s focused on marketing administration.
Can you tell us how you choose the materials of your jewelry and what is their environmental impact?
We buy our metals at local companies who are environmentally conscious. We mainly use brass and silver.
What are some of the challenges that you face as a jewelry designer and artist in South Africa?
The biggest challenge that I have is having everything I need to be able to create more. It would be ideal to have all the equipment I need. It’s also been challenging to have a platform that supports local businesses.
What do you want your jewelry to represent on the woman who wears it?
Her complete beauty and the Kasimbi artistry worn together, makes it an amazing combination.
Which piece of jewelry is your favourite and why?
Neck pieces are my favourite because they bring my wire creativity to life.
Take us a little bit through your design and production process from sourcing the materials to sales.
The process is quite a journey. After sourcing materials, we start by cutting the wire depending on the size of the piece that we’re making. Thereafter, we will solder it, if needed. Then we clean and buff it and check for any scratches and marks. Then it is ready to be taken to the market and sold.
How can other aspiring African jewelers get started in the jewelry-making business?
I think when you have the idea to become a jeweler, go for it and be patient with the process.
The Africa-shaped earrings are such a classic piece and every African woman should have a pair! What was the inspiration behind them?
I always liked the shape of our continent and this was the first thing I learned to cut by hand. After that, I got obsessed with it!
Lastly, what does biodiversity mean to you?
Well, I’m always inspired by our nature and everything in it. I believe we’re all connected. Every living thing on earth has a purpose and we need to do everything we can to save our planet.
"Every living thing on earth has a purpose and we need to do everything we can to save our planet."
Tendai on Biodiversity