Each artisan supports on average 12 people | Most are single Mothers | Every purchase impacts these artisans and those they support
Kapula Handcrafted Candles
Kapula Candles is located in Bredasdorp, a small farm community in the southernmost region of South Africa. Started in 1993, the business employed local women of the community, many of whom are single mothers. Today 90% of their employees are women taught to be the crafters of the beautiful Kapula candles, which in turn provides them with sustainable employment to help them take care of themselves and their families.
Using traditional methods, these handcrafted candles are hand poured, painted, and packaged! Only non-toxic pigment and fully refined wax are used for candle production, creating a long burn time. The beauty of the candle gets better when lit, showing the delicate artistry of the candle from within. The many designs and colors used on these candles are all influenced by the warmth and deep richness of the African landscape. No patterns or stencils are used in painting these beautiful products, so each is a unique price of art!
SoyLites Moisturizing Soy Wax Candles
The artisans of SoyLites hand craft a range of natural soy-based aromatherapy body candles. The candles are much more than just a soy candle - hey are also a very effective non-greasy moisturizer that keeps your skin nourished. The candle burns at a very low heat that allows you to ‘dip in’ to the wax and allow it to sink into your skin – great for the hand and feet!
The soy is guaranteed not to contain genetically modified materials, and no raw materials that contribute to deforestation are used in the production. Based near Johannesburg, South Africa, the company is family run and loved! They reach out to the local community to find and train their artisans. SoyLites is also proud to be a product sponsor for the Home of Hope orphanage for girls. They provide product on a donation basis for the Home of Hope to sell, generating income to support their wonderful girls.
Godfrey's Handmade Animals
Godfrey started his creative career making animals and cars out of coke cans in 2006. Now he has a small team that work with him in his workshop located in Salt River, just outside Cape Town, South Africa. Here he designs and makes a range of character animals out of recycled metal, tin, wire and beads – each screaming with personality – ranging in size from small key chains to life-size animals.
Godfrey’s team members consists of 'brothers' (dear friends) from Zimbabwe. They all have the ability to use a long nose wire cutter as a second hand. Godfrey recently moved into his new workshop and gives credit to the support he has received from Thumbprint Artifacts. His message is that 'this would not have been possible if I had not had the orders from your customers in America!'. We hope to continue to help Godfrey and his team grow their business.
The Pewter Factory
The Pewter Factory was founded in Cape Town, 20 years ago by the father of the current owner, Alain Solomon. Alain grew up learning his skills under the tutorial of his late father and is working to drive the company from strength to strength. Their pieces can be found in the homes of many well-known individuals, such as the Nelson Mandela family as well as Bill Clinton! The workshop is now located in Milnerton, a small community just outside Cape Town, where the team designs and manufactures their own exclusive range of beautifully handmade African pewter collectables. Each piece is lovingly hand crafted using traditional techniques. They use only 100% lead free, food safe pewter. Alain and his team work to creates jobs for those less fortunate by training unskilled locals in the community of Milnerton their trade.
Closer to home, Bob Batchik has a Fine Arts Degree from Northern Michigan University and a background as a professional graphic designer. Wood carving started as a hobby 25 years ago and grew into a full-time occupation and the establishment of Sunfish Woodworks.
Bob specializes in realistic trophy fish carving, custom carved signs, and wood furniture. A traditionalist at heart, his one-of-a-kind carvings are created using only hand tools such as draw knives, spoke shaves, gouges, and chisels. The planes and facets left behind by the tools show that the art is indeed a bespoke hand carved item. Bob makes our wooden taper holders and candle display boxes.
Heritage Home Fragrances
A 100% female owned company, the Heritage home fragrance collection is a celebration of South Africa’s diverse cultures and a chance to share the deep & meaningful history of the continent through the sense of smell. The patterns of each collection represent the symbols and traditions for self-expression and an opportunity to understand and celebrate their colorful heritage as well as advocate for social harmony. The artisans at Heritage pride themselves in having strong roots in the local communities. The products are made of the finest materials with a focus on quality, care, and the creation of unique products. An environmentally and socially responsible company, Heritage recognizes that simply telling the story is not enough. They have a mission to be a force for positive change!
Potterswork is a world of color!
After taking up pottery classes as a hobby, Chris Silverston fell in love with the medium because of its balance of beauty and functionality. In 1986 Chris founded the Potter’s Shop in her hometown of Kalk Bay, a seaside village on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, where she sold glazes, contemporary ceramics and held bi-annual exhibitions.
In 1991 she opened the Potter’s Studio above the shop, where people could come and paint their own plates. As the business grew, it morphed into Potter’s Workshop and moved to a larger warehouse nearby. Here Chris hired artisans from the local community and trained them in the art of ceramics painting. These artisans developed their tactile, bead-like style of painting for which the company became renowned. Many of the artisans that Chris has trained have gone on to be highly recognized for their pieces in the world of ceramics!
iThemba Labantu Ceramics
Mfuneko Dingiswayo is the Ceramics Designer at iThemba Labantu Ceramics, located at the Lutheran Community Centre in one of Cape Town’s poorest townships. The center has a mission to improve the social and economic conditions of the greatly disadvantaged people who live in this township by offering them free access to nutrition, education, and income generating skills development.
iThemba Labantu Ceramics studio creates one of these employment opportunities. Here Mfuneko trains people, primarily women, to assist him with this work. A portion of the ceramics that they produce is sold to help support the center. The mission of the Centre is to ‘Preach the gospel at all times and only if necessary use words!’ (Francis of Assisi)
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