Kazuri Beads Factory

The factory is located in Nairobi and started its business activities in 1975 in a tiny hut of Susan Wood’s back garden with just two Kenyan women. The initial idea was to employ disadvantaged women by making handmade beads so that they can earn a living. These beads are described by the Swahili word ‘kazuri’ and means ‘small and beautiful’.

Since this business became very successful and due to the recognition that many other women in the villages around Nairobi are in need of a regular employment Susan Wood decided to expand the business of Kazuri Beads and started employing more disadvantaged women, mostly single mothers, in the following years. In 1988 the factory building was constructed where today more than 400 women are trained and apply their skills in producing handmade and hand-painted jewellery and pottery. Kazuri Beads produces over five million beads a year and sells them on the national and international market by exporting them to over 30 countries worldwide. The famous Kazuri beads are made of ceramic which is made of clay from the Mount Kenya area thus giving them authenticity to their craft.

Susan Wood did not only create employment opportunities but also a social gathering for the women. A hospital that belongs to the factory provides health services to the employees and their families for free. Furthermore, 80% of medical bills for treatments received outside the factory clinic are paid by Kazuri.

Since 2001 the factory is owned by Mark and Regina Newman maintaining the mission of the company – to provide and sustain employment opportunities for disadvantaged members of Kenyan society.

The Kazuri Beads Factory is a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation, an internationally recognized organisation which authenticates fair wages and safe working conditions at production facilities worldwide.

Papa Musili Safaris Ltd. supports the Kazuri Beads Factory by providing well-directed excursions to create awareness to clients for this project.