How We Buy and Celebrate - Market Day and Tea Party

First Market Day Photo Feb 2018

 The first time I went to Kenya we gathered a few women in a room with product and I bought about half a suitcase worth to bring back to sell. People were doubtful anything would come of it including the women themselves. They have had many people make promises that disappeared when they returned to the US.

Tea Party

The second time I went to Kenya, before I left we had a tea party with the ladies so I could say goodbye. I had given my order ahead of time and Leila our Kenya Director had gathered the order together so we didn’t have a market day for me to buy. We had tea and Mandazi, which is an African donut. As we were eating I noticed it was very quiet. The ladies were sipping their tea and nervously looking around.

I asked if anyone wanted to share.   One of the ladies spoke up and said they had never done this before. They had never gathered together as women. Sometimes we don’t realize what we take for granted. There are women where I live in Southern California and all around the US and the world who gather often for special events, networking groups, bible studies, women’s conferences etc, This is something I have often been a part of in the US and it also happens in Kenya and other places around the world. However, there are places where it’s impossible or not the norm.

 Mud Hut Homes in Kipsongo Slum

These women were used to not trusting each other and were always relying on themselves. They didn’t have anywhere to gather like this in the slum where they live and before our group, never had the opportunity to get together and work together like they do now. Their homes aren’t big enough to fit more than a small group of maybe 3 or 4.

 Tea party

Since that first time we have made it our tradition to have our tea party to celebrate together the progress of Baskets and Beads. This year we added on have our market day where I buy the product from the group. These ladies have a great work ethic and produce amazingly beautiful and stylish products. On this last visit, I bought more than I ordered originally because there was so much I knew people would love. We shipped back 11 boxes and carried back 3 suitcases of product. You will find many beautiful things here in the online store.



  • You are doing such amazing work, and I wish you safety and health as you are so far away from your home. My friend went to Africa to help women start small businesses with their jewelry and when she returned she was changed. I still have the bracelet the women made there.

    Mary Lyn
  • Celebratory Tea Party-, What a healing and inspiring tradition! A tea party to celebrate ‘together’, the progress of ‘Baskets and Beads’ -The coming together of women who in the past, ‘we’re not used to trusting each other and we’re always relying on themselves’. They stepped up to transcend their fear to create a better life not only for themselves but also for the community. An empowering lesson we can all learn from! What a powerful culture of trust and creativity that has been nurtured, to help these amazing women step beyond their fear. Here’s to strengthening our global communities to create a better world for all!

    JulieAnn Engel
  • This message of empowerment for the women is inspirational. It’s more than a metaphor when we are all seated at the same table. It’s a grander symbolism of equality. Kudos to our global community!

    Teresa Baxter

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