African Market Baskets are woven by hand by artisans in Bolgatanga, Ghana. Bolgatanga is close to the edge of the Sahara Desert. The people are traditionally farmers and herdsman, but the dry climate, with its brief rainy season when it rains constantly, makes agriculture difficult. As a result, basket weaving is the main income for this region.
Proceeds from basket sales help provide health, education and financial support to over 1,000 African villagers and their children. Recent projects include building a community weaving center to serve four villages and over 400 weavers, providing basic school supplies for all the weavers’ children in one village, and paying to register the weavers and their families to enable them to receive free health care for a whole year. Company founder Steve Karowe travels to Africa to meet with the producers and negotiate prices. He says, “When we negotiate prices we always start by asking what the artisans want to charge for a particular item. If their price is workable, we always accept it. When their price is too high for us to bring the item to market in America, we explain the situation and let the artists know that we do not want to pressure them to agree to a lower price. We explain what price we can pay for an item and we see if the artist can produce it for that price and still make a profit on the work. We always do our best to make sure the artisans are happy with the final price.”
African Market Baskets are strong, durable, colorful and entirely hand-made. Each basket is unique. You can use them for groceries and farmer’s markets, picnics, storing toys, holding magazines, and for simple home décor.
Read more at the African Market Baskets website, AfricanMarketBaskets.com.