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Made With Love | Meet Husband & Wife Artisans, Anton & Benta
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Made With Love | Meet Husband & Wife Artisans, Anton & Benta

When you shop with us, you are buying a product that has been created with the utmost care and attention. From the designing process to the craftsmanship to landing in our stores, all AARVEN products really are made with love! That is why this Valentine's Day we wanted to celebrate the story of Anton and Benta, who pour their heart into every product they make...

 

Anton and Benta are the talented husband and wife team behind our collection of Kenyan jewellery. They have been married for 33 years and have nine children together. Benta loves gardening with her children and grandchildren, and the garden surrounding their workshop always looks beautiful! Their eldest children, Dominic and Bruno, work with Anton and Benta as part of the family business. They also employ 5 members of staff who Anton trained from scratch and have been working with the pair from six to ten years. Their dream is to move to a larger home in the countryside and expand their workshop at its current location, creating more job opportunities as well as accommodation for their staff. 

 

During a recent trip to Kenya, our designer, Amy, sat down with Benta for a heart to heart about life, love and what it takes to run a successful family business.

 

Anton & Benta with their grandchildren and Bee (left) and with Amy (right)

 

How and when did you meet? I was a friend of Anton's sister, we dated for one year before Anton got down on one knee in Nairobi and proposed with a rose flower. I was sixteen and Anton was twenty three. At the time Anton was working at Kitengela Glass. After being married for fourteen years we decided to start our own jewellery business. We still love working together every day from the workshop we've built at the back of our home.

 

What's your favourite part of running your own business? My main role is quality control and pricing which I really enjoy but my favourite job is pouring the brass and I also know how to grind and buff the jewellery after its been cast.

 

How many children do you and Anton have?  We have nine children in total! Seven are our biological and two we adopted from Anton's sister who sadly passed away eleven years ago. Seven out of the nine still live with us here and two years ago I became a grandmother to Anton and Benta Junior who live in a cosy out-house that we built for their dad, our son Dominic and his wife Perez. Dominic also works with us casting jewellery as does his younger brother Bruno who is currently studying for a certificate in casting at a college in Nairobi.

 

Anton and Benta with their children

 

What are your future plans and dreams? I love nature and gardening and my dream is to afford a car and a bigger house in the countryside with lots of trees and flowers around. That sounds like our dream too. So would you move the workshop there? No, moving out of this house would allow us to expand our workshop at its current location and provide on site accommodation for our staff. 

 

I know you both work really hard so how do you relax in your spare time? I really like to go to the salon for manicures [laughs], I also own a sheep that I like to visit in the evenings and I enjoy cooking for myself with vegetables that I grow in my garden a the back of our house. What's your favourite dish? Sukuma Wiki! [a traditional African dish made with collard greens, known as sukuma, cooked with onions and spices.]

 

Out of everything you have made for AARVEN, which design of ours is your favourite? My favourite is the Mamba Bangle.

 

Click here to shop our full collection of handmade jewellery by Anton and Benta here.

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