Thanks to your support and encouragement, Afrika Handmade is back for the 3rd edition!
From 2 – 16 October 2016, a select number of contemporary artisans and designers will be unveiling new products at Alliance Francaise Nairobi, under the theme “Homegrown Design: Inspired by Kenya for the World“.
Why do we do it?
One of the biggest challenges facing the artisan and design sector in Kenya is the inability to successfully tap into the domestic market. From our research, we have identified 3 main reasons why this is the case:
- The unflattering perception of the sector as the purveyor of cheap, mass produced, low quality souvenirs and curios
- A scant knowledge by potential consumers of the evolution that has taken place in the sector, and the artisans and designers working in the more contemporary space
- A narrow and weak distribution network comprising a handful of craft fairs and retail stores
How is Afrika Handmade Gallery a solution?
A market development initiative, the event’s objective is to identify and nurture domestic demand for locally produced home decor and home textile products.
In order to deliver on this objective, we recognize the need to re-position the sector, while drawing attention to the fact that there indeed exists a contemporary genre of artisan and design products that are trendy, available and affordable.
This re-positioning takes 3 forms
- A highly curated and niche experience: Afrika Handmade Gallery focuses exclusively on home decor and home textiles, with exhibitors selected not only based on product, but on their desire to jointly create a fantastic Gallery showcase
- A fresh perspective: Exhibitors only showcase newly developed products (never seen before), so consumers experience innovation and creativity on multiple levels. Through this requirement, exhibitors benefit from learning how to test their design concepts before going into production
- Concept theme and layout: Every year, we develop a theme and layout for exhibitors that allows for creative thinking on the part of exhibitors and an easy-on-the-eye layout for visitors. The theme for this year’s showcase is “Homegrown Design: Inspired by Kenya for the World“
Also featuring at the 2016 Gallery, is the one-of-a-kind pop up collection of home decor and home textile products from several African countries. The popup is designed to serve two objectives: acting as a market development platform for visiting exhibitors and promoting common purpose across geographical boundaries.
Who are we targeting?
During the 2-week event, we use a highly targeted approach to allow relevant stakeholders to experience the event. We host exclusive sessions with corporate buyers, design students, interior designers, the hospitality industry and the media – all in an effort to establish vibrant lines of communication.
The weekend of 15-16 October 2016 will be an Open Market weekend – an opportunity to purchase any of the products on showcase and interact with exhibitors in an easy, relaxed environment.
What is the expected outcome?
An increased domestic market awareness, interest and demand for locally produced, contemporary home decor and home textile products.
What about the exhibitor’s intellectual property rights?
Due to the Gallery’s requirement to showcase only new design concepts, we recognize the importance of having measures that protect the intellectual property rights of exhibitors. In this regard, we will work with each exhibitor to determine individual IP needs and work towards supporting them.
And the symposium?
We have always acknowledged the need for a professional forum that facilitates conversations within the sector. Over the years, the symposium has presented a unique opportunity for the exchange of ideas and resources, collaborative opportunities and networking.
Please note that although the Gallery solely focuses on home decor and home textiles, the Symposium is open to all entrepreneurs (and other stakeholders) within the sector.
We are excited that this year will see us hosting a number of international speakers! We look forward to 2 days of dynamic conversations, new networks and more importantly, fun! So save the dates (6-7 October 2016) and be on the look out for registration and program details.
How do I exhibit at the 2016 Gallery?
Click the button below for details on how you can participate.
You can also have a look at our digital catalog from 2015 via this link.