Meet David. He is from Zimbabwe but left for South Africa because he couldn’t make enough of a living to support his family working in his home country. When he arrived in Cape Town, he started making traditional wire and bead products to sell on the side of the road, as so many Africans do. Where he sat himself was along Jackie Burge’s route to work at her Rarity Handbag design studio. She noticed that he was really an excellent artist, and one day asked him if he would like to come to work for her and use his skills to produce the fine hide and leather accessories in the Rarity line.
David has been a part of her team ever since, though introducing a man into the all-woman workforce did come with some tension, which Jackie quickly worked to negate, and there are now two men who work with her team of ten women. David is the sole provider for his brother, wife, and two young children who are now with him in Cape Town, as well as his older daughter who remained in Zimbabwe with his mother so she could continue her education. He is a joy to be around, always offering a broad smile and gracious spirit. And David makes the soft, sumptuous hide cuffs that are now available through Africa Curated.
When I first started Karoo Collection, I was introduced to Jackie, who started Rarity Handbags in 2001. Rarity Handbags is a 100%-woman owned design shop that produces beautiful accessories out of responsibly sourced hides and leather. I knew I wanted to work with Jackie and her team instantly, and now Rarity Handbags produces some of the Karoo Collection ostrich leather accessories. The Rarity Handbags studio at the foot of Table Mountain, was the first of its kind in developing hide leather manufacturing in Cape Town, and has been creating meaningful employment and training dedicated artisans since its inception. Jackie’s team of artisans are passionate, inspiring, and wonderful to be around.
I wanted to incorporate other products that Rarity Handbags produced into Africa Curated as a way of supporting their philanthropic programs necessary for their Fair Trade demarcation. Jackie and the Rarity Handbags team share my belief that supporting education is a high priority. And so with that, in 2016 I brought back 20 Nguni hide cuffs that David made; there are only three still available. For 2017 I brought back 30 Springbok hide cuffs in total, in an assortment of bright, cheerful colors because they make me smile as broadly as David does.