MonkeyBiz: Elevating South Africa’s Beaded Arts
Have you heard of MonkeyBiz? They are one of our favourite organizations to support. There aren’t many North American suppliers and we are so proud to be one of them. Not only do they create the most exquisite beaded figures and animals, they are also a not for profit themselves, generating income and skills training for women in South Africa. Did you know these were even one of Oprah’s favourite things? There is a strong tradition of beaded arts in South Africa, but in recent years it began to fall away. Not as many artisans were practising the beaded arts and the global marketplace wasn’t recognizing South Africa’s significant history and skill with this art-form. Enter MonkeyBiz founders Barbara Jackson and Shirley Fintz, ceramic artists in their own rite, who partnered to develop and showcase this amazing trade among women artists who have never had the opportunity to express themselves through their art. A few years later and MonkeyBiz and their amazing team of talented artisans have once again elevated the art and burst onto the international scene. Each piece is made entirely by hand and totally unique. Wire sculptures are created and then beaded with hundreds or thousands of seed beads, depending on the piece’s size. Each piece comes signed by the artist, making these works of art the perfect conversation piece in your home or to give as gifts. Check out our current selection here. So pleased some new ones are arriving shortly! If there is a particular colour scheme or size you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to email us or give us a shout and we’ll let you know what we anticipate to have in stock. And for those of you, totally smitten with the MonkeyBiz project, watch this lovely interview for more insight into their project and purpose.