Skip to content

OUR FOCUS ON ARTISAN DEVELOPMENT

Obakki and the Obakki Foundation

Our artisan partners are the soul of Obakki—and the reason we do what we do. Our primary objective is to help talented artists around the world build sustainable businesses that will improve the quality of life in their communities. As a company, being able to offer their incredible handcrafted, slow design pieces for sale in our international market is part of that. But in truth, nothing makes us happier than watching these talented artisans find new markets for their designs, as they innovate and grow. We are not a retail outlet with artisan products. It’s the other way around – we are an artisan incubator with a retail outlet. 

We are driven by purpose – and that purpose is to be of service when (and where) we can affect a lasting positive change. We meet individually with each artisan partner to identify their objectives – and those of the communities they live in. Only then are we able to weave those objectives into our brand. We insist that the scale and scope and pace of the project be defined by the people behind the products, not by our own quest to grow as a company. Growth is always tied to the objectives of our artisan partners.

Obakki and the Obakki Foundation

From Beginning to End

We meet with our artisans on a regular basis to review their goals and to determine how we can better help them reach their targets. We work with over half of our artists on a deeper level – we stay involved with the project from beginning to end to ensure our artisan partners’ local needs and goals are being considered and supported. 

We have authentic connections with all our producers. We know them, we know their families, we know their communities. We know that Sylvester wants to teach his craft of blacksmithing to at-risk youth in Nairobi. We know that Margaret, who has made baskets all her life in rural Africa, cried when she was finally recognized as a person instead of a basket-making machine. We know that Jose began weaving rugs in Oaxaca, Mexico at the age of nine – to help keep the rich history of his community alive. 

Our partners care deeply about the art they create and about the world they will leave behind. They care about their ancestors, who spent centuries developing the processes. They care about preserving their culture. And we care about their needs. Through our partnerships, we are able to help these artisans achieve sustainable income while promoting and protecting their indigenous artisan crafts. 

Obakki and the Obakki Foundation
Black 18
Sand 18
Slate 18
 18
 18
 18
 18
 18
Black 18
Sand 18
Slate 18
 18
 18
 18
 18
 18

18" Sisal Basket | Swirl

$145.00
Black 20
Rust 20
Sand 20
Black 20
Rust 20
Sand 20

20" Wide Sisal Basket

$125.00

We Are All Connected

Another major objective for us here at Obakki is to fund the development work of our philanthropic counterpart, The Obakki Foundation. Focusing on access to clean water and other livelihood initiatives in Africa, the foundation has helped over three million people achieve a better quality of life. And they’re just getting started. Obakki supports the foundation through profits earned from retail sales of our artisan products.  

We are connected to our artisans and so are you – through their stories, through your appreciation for their ancestral craftsmanship, and through the products they create that you buy. And each purchase gives back twice – your purchase directly supports the artisan’s business and helps support the additional livelihood initiatives of The Obakki Foundation.

At Obakki, we believe in people, we invest in potential, and we measure our success in the value our partners create for themselves through our programs. It’s not about us. It never was.

Obakki Foundation Red Scarf

SHOP ARTISAN-MADE PRODUCTS

 Specialty Hand Poured Beeswax Candle by Viviana | Gray | Obakki
 Specialty Hand Poured Beeswax Candle by Viviana | Gray | Obakki
 Specialty Hand Poured Beeswax Candle by Viviana | Gray | Obakki
 Specialty Hand Poured Beeswax Candle by Viviana | Gray | Obakki
 Specialty Hand Poured Beeswax Candle | Gray | Obakki
 Specialty Hand Poured Beeswax Candle | Gray | Obakki

Specialty Hand Poured Beeswax Candle | Grey

$68.00
Sumac 3
Sumac 3
 3
 3
 3

3" Sumac Candle | Set of 6

$45.00
Brown Cypress Broom | Short | Obakki
Brown Cypress Broom | Short | Obakki
 Cypress Broom | Short | Obakki
 Cypress Broom | Short | Obakki
 Cypress Broom | Short | Obakki
 Cypress Broom | Short | Obakki

Cypress Broom | Short

$335.00
Multi Waboku Incense Set | Obakki
Multi Waboku Incense Set | Obakki
 Waboku Incense Set | Obakki
 Waboku Incense Set | Obakki
 Waboku Incense Set | Obakki
 Waboku Incense Set | Obakki

Waboku Incense Set

$58.00

Related Posts

The History of Glassblowing

Glass blowing has been around for some time, invented by Syrian craftsmen more than 2,500 years ago. When purchasing quality glassware or art glass, you should consider the aesthetics, the origin, and the type of glasswork.

Eureka Candles: Finding Your Passion

What happens if a young man wants to propose to his love in a small town in Oaxaca, Mexico? He must first ask her parents for her hand in marriage and must present the family with what is known as a ‘marriage candle’. Doña Viviana invented these candles. And now, they are a tradition.

Hands That See: A Mexican Love Story

His workshop is Manos Que Ven (Hands That See). The artisan is Jose Garcia Antonio, a sculptor who lost his sight in the 1950s, due to glaucoma. And now, he sculpts his wife’s face, so that he will never forget what she looks like.