Mulli is one of the fantastic artisans we work with in Kenya. He leads the group of weavers who make some of our Kenyan Baskets, as well as our Kenyan Brooms. We have worked with Mulli for many years now, and his expertise in weaving has been invaluable! We asked Mulli a few questions about his craft, his team & his life in Kenya.
How did you begin working with AARVEN?
It must be more than ten years ago when Bee visited me, accidentally I would rather say! It was a chance meeting.
Do you enjoy working with us?
How long have you been doing your craft?
Tell us a bit about yourself (Mulli is pictured above with his wife and daughter)I am a mature and honest person, a Kenyan citizen. I am married with 3 children. Two sons and a daughter. My wife is a Primary School Teacher. With my personality I can endure harsh business conditions as handcrafts are very tasking in nature. For instance sometimes one can lose everything if things go wrong and baskets are rejected. Sisal producers often have no feeling for the future and hike prices annually once demand on sisal keeps on going up without thinking about artisans like us. (Sisal is the natural material used to make our Kenyan Baskets. It is grown abundantly but farmers in some areas overcharge in order to make the most profit possible.)
The weavers lay out their baskets they have woven and Bee hand picks her favourites to bring back to sell in our store
Do you enjoy working on new designs?
Tell us about your life in KenyaI won't say life in Kenya is good relatively. It is a bit challenging, almost on everything, because here there are no price controls and inflation has sky-rocketed over the years mostly because of corruption. Thus for small scale business person like me about 90% of all my income is spent on basic needs and the rest to the expensive education system. The ugly head of absolute poverty is everywhere as Bee who has been here can attest to.
What are your favourite things to make?
Tell us about your team
Do you enjoy working with the international market?
How do you see your future?My future is not certain because a time might come when weavers will be very few since the youth might not wish to learn weaving any more. And to some extent, rendering themselves jobless or switch to a new trend / trade that we are not used to.