If you’ve been with us since the beginning, you know that I had a partner early on. A beautiful Ugandan friend and of the two of us, she was the fashionista. She loved fabrics and prints, dressing up and accessorizing. And at times, don’t we all? On the other hand, I was always the artistic one. I’m drawn to color, shapes, and vessels, and the culture behind African craftsmanship. When my partner left the company, I continued offering both home decor and bags/jewelry. And despite my best efforts, I’ve always felt there was a divide between the craftsmanship/art and fashion/accessories aspects of Expedition Subsahara.
As we’ve grown, I’ve also grown closer to the craftsmanship side. The truth is, I don’t feel drawn to the fashion side, and it’s caused me to fall short in designing, manufacturing, and marketing this part of the business. It’s separated our business into two distinct categories, making the growth we want to see challenging.
Other barriers have presented themselves, too. In addition to the detachment, we’ve written about the challenges of sourcing authentic African wax print created by African craftswomen. Wax print any other way isn’t African, nor is it tribal, and we won’t compromise authenticity in our products. Additionally, finding and keeping a female leather smith on staff continues to be a major struggle.
In 2021 we’re pivoting. That said, once our current stock sells out, we will no longer carry purses or jewelry, and we will move forward as your favorite place to buy handcrafted home goods.
We plan to introduce exciting new products for your home, including a collection of hand carved wooden items that we promise will wow you. Soon come. We also will extend our woven collection with pieces so unique that you won’t be able to pass them up. We will create with love and intention and we will revolutionize the way African home design is consumed around the world, with radical respect. We hope that you will continue this journey along with us.
We love you.