As Rarity reflects on the joys of designing and making a new handbag, I am reminded of the Tanzanian Proverb- Do not forget what is to be a sailor because of being a captain yourself. A wise African proverb played out in our modern culture through concepts such as back to the floor. For me, the joys of making are in back to the floor as this is where I find my happy respite from meetings, planning, computers and all that never-ending stuff that a ‘captain’ must do. The initial design process is still one of my favourite parts of the job, it feeds my creative mind and reminds me of the level of labour and skill required to make our beautiful handcrafted products.
So how does the process work?
Each Artisan who assists me with tasks during this design process enjoys sharing their experience and skills, as well as their thoughts on my now rather sub-standard production skills! Believe me, while I may have started this company hand making handbag samples in the spare room of a rented apartment, as the years have progressed I need all the advice on manufacture I can get! For me, these interactions are important, as respecting the handbag production processes allows for a smooth fabrication process in production. Acknowledging the artisans growth in skills and problem solving is also an excellent way to keep their focus on our commitment to the growth of our company, its design processes and quality artisanship.
How do these collaborations build our team?
Unique and progressive techniques come, in part, from understanding the challenges created when pushing handbag design boundaries, and applying the solutions realised through collective problem-solving. What sometimes seems impossible, becomes an interactive and exciting process, and the groaning that accompanies the many changes that are needed to implement seemingly impossible production processes, are replaced by celebration when we finally get it right.
The best part is.
Our best joy of making and design a handbag come from these collaborative and charged situations, because as the old Kenyan proverb goes- A leader who does not take advice is not a leader, and when it comes to the floor, this lady is in need of lots of advice!
Read up on a few more of our continent’s proverbs