Yesterday was International Women's Day, and while we like to think that we celebrate women everyday here at Zuri, we wanted to take some time to highlight a few of the incredible women in our ecosystem whose contributions are at the core of all we do!
A member of the Navaho nation, Danielle Geller unpacks the story of her mother's life and eventual death to alcohol withdrawal, in this extremely intimate memoir. Exploring loss and inheritance, beauty and balance, Danielle Geller pays homage to our pasts, traditions, and heritage, to the families we are given and the families we choose.
Madison McFerrin, the daughter of one our all time favorite scat masters, Bobby McFerrin, is a musical force in her own right. Described by Pitchfork as "making a cappella cool again", I think you'll LOVE the rich and smooth sound on her recent 2019 album, You + I.
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 our100% Made in Kenyacollection, 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!
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.
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!
“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.
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!
“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 JunotDíaz. 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.
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?
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!)
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:)
We've been having SO MUCH FUN working with several very talented textile designers over the last few months to develop designs we think you'll really fall for. 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 all right here in Kenya. Production this localized is both rare and special, as it allows us to tell our story from beginning to end. What we especially love about these fabrics is the intimacy we have with the origin of the designs, and the fact that the women who created them will be able to share the inspiration and significance of each directly with you! This year you'll be meeting artists Shadé Akanbi, Angela Muritu, Jo Kalute, Phathu Nembilwi, and Lulu Kitololo. We can't wait for you to see their final work, and hear their thoughts about these functional, wearable works of art!
And now, a bit about the PROCESS!
VOTE in Zuri // GEORGIA!
Today is Runoff Election Day in Georgia for two Senate seats that will determine the scope of Congress's work over the next four years so it couldn't be a more important day to VOTE! If you are a Georgia voter, follow these steps for a 10% off code on any upcoming order!
1) Throw on your favorite Zuri. 2) VOTE! 3) Take a selfie of yourself at the polls, with your ballot or with an "I VOTED" sticker on your dress. 4) Post the pic on Instagram + tag @zurikenya, send us a DM or email us a pic! 5) Check your Instagram DMs or email for a code for 10% off any purchase!
A creative and a photojournalist living in Accra, Ghana, Francis Kokoroko takes the most whimsical and beautiful pictures, with an eye toward documenting the ever-evolving cultures and everyday life of people on the African continent. An intimate and relatable glimpse into the lives of others, you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll love.
Singer, songwriter and guitarist, Lianne La Havas deserves all the accolades she's been getting lately. Born to a Jamaican mother and a Greek father, her sound is a mostly acoustic hybrid of funk and soul, inspired by Nina Simone and Lauryn Hill. (Oh, and did I mention that she performed a fabulous Tiny Desk Concert for NPR?)
If you haven't read Jacqueline Woodson's recent novel, Red at the Bone, we can't recommend it enough! Moving forward and backward in time, Jacqueline Woodson's taut and powerful novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of families, and in the life of the new child. This story is told so beautifully, her writing has been compared to the legendary Toni Morrison; we couldn't agree more.
I recently heard WNYC podcast journalist Ngofeen Mputubwele interviewed by Gregory Warner in his Rough Translation episode, "We Don't Say That". As one of the only Congolese families within a hundred miles of his childhood home in West Tennessee, Mputubwele found that storytelling was a way for him to relate to the world around him, and to help others do the same. Listen to his portraits told through story on The Power is Out.
This June, we were thrilled to release our first line of solid-colored hand-loomed linens, produced in collaboration with team Sasha (pictured above)! Woven by India's oldest certified fair-trade artisanal weaving cooperative, these textiles turned out so beautifully, we decided to expand this partnership with new colors, textures and techniques!
Over the last several months, we've been working together on some gorgeous textiles, starting with the colorfully rich (and super cozy) beauties below. Each of these fabrics is a hand-loomed blend of cotton and linen, and takes about 4 months to complete. (While the fabric was produced in India, the dresses were all proudly stitched in Kenya by our team.) This fabulous 70% linen/30% cotton blend both creates subtle texture and movement within the weave, and also ensures that your dresses will be super easy to wash and wear -- they're wrinkle resistant, durable, and as an added bonus, will drape a bit more gracefully when worn.
We hope that you will love them as much as we do, and that they'll bring both joy and color to your world!
Holiday Reading List
We're book lovers here at Zuri, and we love that so many of you in our community are, too! This holiday season, what better gift to share than a really good read? We've compiled a list of Zuri writers that we'd love you to join us in supporting and celebrating, and we're highlighting local women and/or BIPOC owned bookstores, where you can find these books and many more! We'd also love your recommendations, so if you're an author or have a bookstore that you'd love us to include, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Pictured above, clockwise from top left: Edwidge Danticat, Monique Truong, Tracy K. Smith and Zadie Smith.)
Started in Burkina Faso in 1964 by Kone Idrissa, Volta Jazz became a symbol of global inspriation, fusing Cuban influences with west African funk. This all-star compilation album is a nostalgic must-listen--it's an especially perfect soundtrack for an evening spent cooking, as it will definitely turn up the heat!
Set in Red Hook, Brooklyn in 1969, Deacon King Kong reminds us what we love about New York, and about humanity itself. The story details the tailspin of Deacon Cuffy ("Sportcoat") after the loss of his wife, through his interactions with an ensemble cast of truly memorable characters, and is told in way that is quick, witty and humorous. It is absolutely worth the read!
We're going deep in the archives for this interview with one of our favorite authors, Edwidge Danticat. If you're a fan of her novels, you'll love watching this conversation with Marlene Racine-Toussaint, the founder of the Multicultural Women's Press.