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PROUDLY INTRODUCING: FABRIC BY THE YARD!

We're thrilled to be able to finally offer our fabrics by the YARD! We LOVED the ideas you came up with for how to use these fabrics in our recent survey, including: multimedia artwork, backgrounds for video calls, bags, skirts, and our favorite write-in response, "What wouldn't I use them for?"

As you know, our production is based in Kenya and all the fabrics on offer are from our 100% Made in Kenya collection, which means that they're produced using 100% locally grown cotton and printed right here in Thika. They're light(ish) weight and unwaxed, so they're soft and ready for your next project! 

Here's how this will work:

1. Every 4-6 weeks, we'll list on our website the fabrics that are available for purchase by the yard. (Don't worry, we'll let you know here when they go online!) 

2. The fabrics will be available for preorder for 1 week.

3. Once the preorder window closes, we'll get cutting! 

4. We'll ship out your order 3-4 weeks after preorders close.

Some notes: we're still figuring out this system, so it is subject to change! For now, we don't expect to have the same fabrics every cycle, but that will depend on how this first round goes! Lastly, of course, these are final sale.

BY THE WAY: For those of you who are curious about the new prints you see here, we'll also be cutting these fabrics into dresses and shirts for you this month!

So, without further ado these fabrics are online now! We'll be closing the preorders on March 2nd, and you should receive your fabric by April 1!

*Artwork above by: Shadé Akanbi, Angela Muritu, and Joanne Kalute.  See individual products for more detailed info!

INSTA CORNER // WHO WE'RE FOLLOWING: @babatreebaskets

These gorgeous baskets from Ghana are truly next level. We especially love these Pakurigo Wave baskets, which are named after the two men who created this signature technique, Palash Singh and Master Weaver Mr John Akurigo, during a field trip to Ahmedabad, India in 2013.

 

 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Eclipse by Lura

If you enjoy the musical stylings of Cesaria Evora as much as we do, we think you'll absolutely love this album! Born to Cape Verdean parents, Portuguese singer Lura has a voice that you'll fall head-over-heels for. Whether you're sitting by the fire or cooking up a storm, this album is HOT!

 

 

WHAT WE'RE READING // The City We Became

“People who say change is impossible are usually pretty happy with things just as they are.”

Originally developed from her short story "The City Born Great," this urban fantasy novel by N.K. Jemisin is set in modern day New York City, and imagines that the city itself has come alive, in the form of a rough and tumble street kid. Described as a love letter to the city, it's a book about standing up for each other, and it feels especially relevant right now.

 

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING // Marcia Chatelain: Creativity, Art and the History of (in)equality

We think you'll truly enjoy this short talk by one of our favorite historians and professors, author Marcia Chatelain. Not just because she's a hilarious and engaging speaker, or looks so good in that dress (!) but because it's a topic that touches us all. 

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Sneak Peek: Fiddleheads, Flamingos and Florals, Oh My!

It's sampling time! We've been working with several very talented textile designers to develop prints that we hope will bring joy, whimsy and color to your life.  Each one of these beauties will be part of our 100% Made in Kenya textile line, using cotton that is grown, spun, woven, and printed right here in Kenya. Shown below are designs by the fabulously talented Lulu Kitololo, Shadé Akanbi and Phathu Nembilwi. We can't wait for you to see the final product and hear the inspiration behind these gorgeous, wearable works of art! 

WHAT WE'RE READING// Lot by Bryan Washington

“Your eyes will show you what they want to, or whatever they think you should see.”

An insight into love in all of its forms, this is a collection of short stories written in a vibrant, conversational style has been compared to that of Junot Díaz. Set in Houston, these stories (many of which are interlinked and some of which are not) explore themes of bravery, adversity and heartbreak through the eyes of a young, gay BIPOC man.

 

 

INSTA CORNER! WHO WE'RE FOLLOWING: @quokkahub

On brand? Nope. Weirdly adorable? Yes. Devoted entirely to an Australian quokka named Daxon and the greater short-tailed wallaby community of Instagram, this may just be the last bastion of goodness and truth coursing through these hallowed interwebs. Also, it's practically Valentine's Day; let's indulge ourselves with a little extra cuteness, shan't we?

 

 

 

BUSINESSES WE LOVE // Bolé Road Textiles

Originally from Addis Ababa, Brooklyn-based designer Hana Getachew has a fabulous aesthetic that we think you'll really love!  Whether you're looking for a stand-out rug or an eye-catching cushion cover, her textiles will bring joy and happiness into your home. (I have her Bana Rugs beside my bed in Nairobi, and trust me--I'm a happier person because of them!)

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // ZURI FEBRUARY PLAYLIST -- LOVE SONGS!

To our nearest and dearest (however far it may seem), we made you a playlist with a Valentine's theme! We hope you'll enjoy this group of love songs which we've been listening to all day long.  Share it, send it or save it for later, we hope that it'll make your day a bit greater:) 

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Meet the Team Who Makes Our Masks!

Fun fact: when Sandra and I first met, she had a bakery! She made the most DELICIOUS cassava flour chocolate cookies, and given just how delicious they were, it was not altogether inconvenient that she happened to be located next to a tailoring shop which could produce the flattering yet loose-fitting dresses we've all come to love!

It turns out that this tailoring shop would be not only one of the best in Nairobi, but that it would be run a truly inspiring woman. When we started Zuri, Flo helped us produce our first collection of dresses, and has produced ALL of the thousands of masks that you've bought this past year. This has kept her shop literally buzzing with production during an otherwise tough year, and we feel VERY lucky to bee 🐝 in this queen's hive!  

We truly want to thank you all for your support through your mask purchases, which have kept Flo's staff rocking and rolling, and have allowed us to donate more than $42,300 to Give Directly's Kenya Covid-19 Fund, the Equal Justice Initiative, the Voter Participation Center and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and more than 15,000 masks donated to Penda Health and Jacaranda Health in Nairobi.  

We hope that you've been loving them as much as we do, and that they'll bring both joy and color to your world! (P.S. Tushone means "Let's stitch" in Kiswahili!)

ARTIST CORNER // MAINA BONIFACE

Restricted Area II, 2020

Acrylic on Papr19 7/10 × 25 2/5 in50 × 64.5 cm

Waiting, Watching and Wishing series.

Maina Boniface has blown us away with his latest 2020 series, aptly entitled: "Waiting, Watching, and Wishing". In these works, Maina reflects on the voluntary and involuntary changes to everyday life brought about by events of this surreal year.  The series is mostly sold out, but you can still find five paintings available through Circle Art Gallery in Nairobi, here!

INSTA CORNER // WHO WE'RE FOLLOWING: @HILLHOUSEVINTAGE

If you like English country interiors, nostalgic fireside vignettes, and the smell of homemade chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven *(not necessarily YOUR oven, but AN oven), hop on to the @hillhousevintage feed and cozy up to a bucolic world that exists in Paula Sutton's Instagram reality, even if nowhere else.

 

 

 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Hey Ya! By Outkast

We're throwing it back to 2003 because this song is a timeless classic, just like the man who wrote it. Now, pop quiz: What's cooler than being cool?

A) When you have to get out of bed and your slippies are all the way across the room.

B) Wearing sunglasses inside. 

C) Ice cold.

You guys, it's C).

WHAT WE'RE READING // Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi

It's rare that I pick up a book and finish it in one day, but on Saturday, when I started this novel, I found that I could NOT put it down. Set in Pune, India, this gorgeously told story is about betrayal between a once reckless, irreverent mother and the adult daughter who now must care for her as she both convalesces and loses her memory of the things she has done.

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Bookstyle Nairobi!

Meet Ubax, the owner of our new favorite Nairobi bookshop! Born in London to Kenyan-Somali parents, she's created a truly incredible space and community around her thoughtfully curated collection of books and publications. It's more important now than ever that we support our independent booksellers, wherever in the world they may be! We're always thinking of creative ways to connect world-wide, so here's a little glimpse inside Cheche, and we hope you'll enjoy the tour!  In the meantime, you can find our crowd-sourced list of bookshops we love on our Community Reading List HERE!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Afros and Knives Podcast

Afros and Knives, hosted by Chef Tiffani, is a culinary, culture and lifestyle podcast that has hosted conversations with black women who work, lead and create in the food, wine, and hospitality industries. We've found these conversations to be super inspiring, and we especially love the intimate way they play out, bringing the listener into the fold, so to speak:)  We hope you'll check it out!

 

WHAT WE'RE READING// Luster (a novel)

A best book of the year according to Vanity Fair, The NYT Book Review, and NPR among others, it's safe to say that we're not the only ones who truly enjoyed this book! This story of an independent, multi-dimensional young woman trying to make sense of her life is told with such wit, skill and humor, the writing alone is worth the read. 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Mahalia Jackson

As one of the most influential gospel singers and civil rights activists in the United States, Mahalia Jackson once explained that she chose gospel over blues because "With the blues, when you finish, you still have the blues." (Fair enough.) She was given the honor of performing at Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Atlanta funeral, and in this album, she pays tribute to him once again by singing his best loved hymns. 

 

INSTA CORNER! WHO WE'RE FOLLOWING // @VELMA.ROSAI

Velma Rosai-Makhandia is a fashion and art director/photographer/(icon!) based in Kenya, and we are HUGE FANS. Founder of both the style blog 2manysiblings and also the monthly pop-up event, Thrift Social*, she epitomizes the individuality of Nairobi style.  

*Fun Fact! The photo on our 'About Us' page was taken at an early Thrift Social event

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LOVE AND GRATITUDE (and Feedback!) 🍾

As we look forward to the New Year ahead, we want to take a moment and reflect on the last. We're proud of what we were able to accomplish in 2020, from launching our 100% Made in Kenya textile line, to developing new hand-dyed batik textiles with Edwina's team in Ghana, to SOLIDS (wwwhat?!), but we also want to take time to recognize the immense struggles and challenges that have brought us closer in unplanned and rewarding ways. It's been a difficult year for everyone, and we couldn't be more grateful for your continued support and enthusiasm -- YOU are the reason why we have the privilege to do what we do, and YOU have enabled us to keep our doors open, our teams in the US, UK and Kenya safely employed, $42,300 donated to Give Directly's Kenya Covid-19 Fund, the Equal Justice Initiative, the Voter Participation Center and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and more than 15,000 masks donated to Penda Health and Jacaranda Health in Nairobi, AND countless individuals brightening our days in colorful frocks around the world! Thank you.

NOW, FOR THE FEEDBACK PART: 

As you know, we're a pretty small team, and we're lucky enough to hear all the comments and suggestions that pass our way.  We wanted to call out a few common requests and let you know the status, before we ask for your time and input below.  

First off, many of you have asked for a longer length dress option, and we ARE planning to put that into action. The reason we haven't just yet is because frankly, we're a little worried about order mix-ups!  We'll get it done, we promise, and there's a question in the survey below about the best way forward.  Secondly, we know that we're short on certain sizes, but we want to know how short--we'd love to hear how many of you have missed out on your size being available in the print that you wanted, so that we know generally how many more units to produce! Finally, for our international (non US/CAN) customers, we'll be making some changes because of Brexit and we'd love to hear from you about your shipping experience, cost and comfort level!

*If you have comments that are not included or possible to answer in full in this survey, please email us at heyzuri@shopzuri.com.

 

ZURI HOLIDAY ZOOM RECAP!

If you were ever curious who you might meet at one of our shops, here's a pretty special visual!! We had a fabulous group of women who joined us; mothers, daughters and sisters, as well friends old and new, all the way from San Francisco to Berlin!  We really loved connecting with you, and knowing that a few of you have already connected with each other!  Thank you ALL for sharing your time and spirit!  What a fabulous way to ring in 2021! ❤️

WHAT WE'RE READING // Katy: A Short Story by Bryan Washington

INSTA CORNER! WHO WE'RE FOLLOWING: @NUR_CERAMICS

We've had the pleasure of meeting Dina several times, both in Kenya and New York, and we've loved following the evolution of her work over the last few years. UM ANDDD, if you'd like to join us for tea-time on Bleecker Street, her chalices your herbal brew shall hold!  

 

 

 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // THEE LEGACY

This love song (sung in both Zulu and English by South African acapella singers Thee Legacy) is just SO GOOD. If you love Ladysmith Black Mombazo (ANDDD I'll just throw this out there: Boys to Men?!), transport yourself to a sweeter place and time with this track. Let's all go there, shall we?

 

 

ARTIST OF THE WEEK // DICKENS OTIENO

Nairobi-based artist Dickens Otieno’s tapestries both use and draw attention to the potential beauty in objects that would otherwise be dismissed as useless. His work has literally stopped me in my tracks--it's a thing of beauty, structure, and movement. I hope you'll enjoy learning about his work and his process!  

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