Swahili African Modern


Discover our Standards

What They’re About

Their Story

More than 20 years ago, Leslie Mittelberg walked Nairobi’s vibrant city markets and fell in love with East African crafts and the men and women who create them. Over the past two decades, her team has helped that love blossom into an extended family of creative artisans across Africa and appreciative individuals around the world.

Since their earliest days in Kenya, they have expanded their network to Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, South Sudan, Mali, Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Senegal. Each of Africa’s 54 nations offers a unique array of beautiful crafting traditions and working alongside the artisans that keep these traditions alive helps Swahili African Modern grow into the company it is today.

Their Mission

Crafting handmade products provides a particularly vital employment option for rural African women. Creating products from home around daily responsibilities empowers rural women as earners, while working together on orders brings communities together and highlights the power of teamwork.

Swahili African Modern feel that by following fair trade principles, they can offer their partners across Africa the means to build stronger homes and communities with their own design. They seek to build reliable partnerships so that talented artisans can sell their handmade creations beyond their local markets.

Their Values

They believe that adaptation helps traditional African craft forms thrive. Each artisan working with Swahili African Modern can earn a living from the comfort of home by doing creative work. Such skills are inherited through generations continue to bring meaning, stability, and a sense of pride to entire communities


How we partner

By working with Swahili African Modern, we can provide a new range of wooden bowls, servers and other dining table staples. We love how each item provides signature elements from the artisans who make them. No one item is the same, so we try source out and curate a small yet wonderfully ethical made collection for you.


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