Welcome to our global maker-to-market movement where, together with 20,000 artisans, we ignite social change. We create opportunities for individuals, families, and communities in developing countries to thrive through strong relationships, fair wages, safe working conditions, and sustainable practices.
This hand-carved kisii stone statue depicts two figures, moving as one, in a moment of graceful dance. Native to Kenya, kisii is a soft soapstone well-suited to carving. Its satiny finish is achieved through multiple stages of sanding, followed by waxing. This kisii stone statue was created by carvers working with the SMOLart Self Help group, creating job opportunities for artisans in rural Kenya.
HANDCRAFTED IN KENYA
Smolart is a self-help organization in the Western Kenyan community of Kisii, near Lake Victoria. As a unique source of kisii soapstone, this area is home to many artisans who make their living through carving. Smolart seeks to improve the lives of member carvers through marketing and logistical supports. Smolart works with 200 producer members, each of whom is a stakeholder. Each member works with several home-based artisans, for a total of some 1,000 carvers, thus creating job opportunities while also allowing artisans to be closer to their families.The group's mission goes beyond providing a fair wage to artisans; they seek to eradicate poverty among their members, promote fair trade, oppose discrimination, to support community efforts and to manage resources sustainably. Ten Thousand Villages has purchased products from Smolart since 2008.