UA was started out of a love for heritage, craftsmanship and travel. A self taught designer our Creative Director, Nicola left behind a marketing career in London to move with her husband to Kenya. The story of Urban Artefacts, is as much a love story between a Canadian and a Kenyan; as the unfolding of a creative tension between seemingly disparate cultures and values.
Recognizing a challenge many local craftspeople face to create and sell their products outside of the local tourist markets, Urban Artefacts was founded to position African crafts competitively; thereby supporting micro-enterprise and having a positive impact on local communities. We blend our sense of contemporary style, seeking inspiration from current affairs and our life experience with local indigenous crafts to tell a story of empowerment and self-discovery.
The eclectic, romantic designs that are created in our workshop are the result of a collaboration between Nicola, our in house team and community artisans. We have a bench jeweler, and a investment casting expert in our studio. We bring together the elements of different craftmanship and material, such as bone, horn, woodwork, and beadwork into our final pieces.
Through this approach we focus on maintaining quality of craftsmanship and work opportunities for as wide a segment of the Kenya artisan sector as possible. Urban Artefacts also works on bespoke commissions; creating designs as close to a personal expression of clients vision, as possible.