Amarasti is a small company situated in the Kingdom of Eswatini. Founded by Sue Dowding in 2003, it started out as a hobby, with only one woman making hand embroidered cushions. Today, things look quite different. The business now employs about 40 women, empowering them to become financially independent and self-sufficient.
Each week these women travel from Ezulwini, Mahlanya and as far as the Lowveld areas, to the Amarasti workshop in Malkerns to collect their assigned projects and return their creations from the previous week. Working from home allows these women to maintain their households, fetch firewood, collect water and at the same time earn an income to support their families.
Having mastered the artistry of local hand embroidery and beading, this unique group of highly skilled women form the heart and soul of the Amarasti company. Their collection of products includes a vast range of hand embroidered and beaded bags, purses, cushion covers and other homeware items. All designs are original and handmade – taking anything from an hour to 35 hours to make, depending on the intricacy of the design. Best of all each item is unique, strikingly colourful and boldly beautiful!
‘Handmade is best made’ is a growing global trend. Consumer buying behaviour is moving away from mass produced factory products. And greater value is being placed in handmade products that are one of a kind. “My dream is to produce a bag that can be worn across cultures from New York to Tokyo, proudly made in the Kingdom of Swaziland.” said Dowding. It looks like Dowding’s dream is on its way to be answered – currently Amarasti products are being sold in Swaziland, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Australia, the United Kingdom and America. Sadly, Sue Dowding passed away in 2016, but her legacy and dream is being kept alive by her family.
Lemonade is proud to support the Amarasti clan of talented women. It was easy to fall in love with their colourful range of beautiful designs. Add a splash of love and colour to your world – visit instore or online, and remember new, exciting stuff is always being added to the growing range. SHOP NOW