NEW! Boostani Bags and Baskets
New in store are beautiful handwoven baskets, bags and small beaded basket sets from Boostani! We brought in a selection of earth-friendly sisal (leaves from an agave plant) and wool handwoven baskets in natural and hand-dyed colour combination. These bags are so much more than beautiful. Each bag and basket from Boostani is handcrafted by women in rural Kenya who are paid fair wages for their work, and are made from environmentally friendly biodegradable materials.
Handwoven tote bags from Boostani. Great for every day use with room to bring your WIPs with you wherever you go.
Our selection of Boostani bags and baskets come to us from Lois Okello, a Surrey-based entrepreneur, who was born and raised in Kenya. Boostani (‘bustani’) is a Swahili word which translates to ‘garden’ in English and Lois was inspired to name the business Boostani because gardens are places where life is nurtured and she believes “that beauty is represented in diverse forms and handmade items capture this beauty at its peak”.
Meet Lois Okello, owner of Boostani. Photo courtesy of Lois Okello.
Lois’s grandmother, widowed at a young age, struggled to raise her six children as a single parent. Her source of income was found through the local women’s talent and skill, weaving basketry, that then was sold at local markets. Inspired by watching her grandmother weave baskets to create a source of income, Boostani was born.
A large Boostani bag displayed with some of our Wollmeise yarn. A great pairing!
Lois aims to have Boostani reach beyond the typical business transaction between the seller and the customer. It is a way of supporting a community and a way of life for rural Kenyan women and their families. Fair-trade prices and practices are a large part of that, giving women financial empowerment and freedom. Each bag is also crafted from environmentally friendly biodegradable materials like banana fibres, jute, and sisal which reduce waste.
Large Boostani baskets which will fit larger works in progress as well as other household items.
Our love of Boostani bags and baskets also comes from the experience of using them. We first met Lois at Fibres West this year, right after the show was cancelled due to the pandemic. One of our staff can be seen slinging her black and white shoulder bag that she purchased there every day since. It is comfy to carry and fits everything a fibre artist would regularly carry plus a good sized fibre arts project. The bag construction is strong and well made and it looks the same as the first day it was purchased.
Small beaded nesting baskets from Boostani. Perfect to hold all your notions while crafting and to use around the house!
Now that we are carrying them in store we know that a few more Boostani baskets and bags are going to make their way into our homes and we are thrilled about that! We hope you consider making them part of your home or gifting them to a deserving person in your life. They are truly special.
Large Boostani baskets with a selection of bulky yarn from the store.
You can follow Lois and Boostani on Instagram @boostanicrafts and read more about the bags and the process of making them on the Boostani website. Don’t forget to tag @boostanicrafts and @baaadannas to show us how you’re using your new Boostani bag or basket!
Please note that some content in this post comes directly from Lois and the Boostani website. We are grateful that Lois gave us permission to use it.