Katie Ray in Tanzania, East Africa.

Aisha at work.

Alumni Katie Ray’s career…

I’ve been working at Neema Crafts as the Design Director for 4 years now.

Neema crafts is an incredible center based in the heartland of Tanzania, which works specifically with people with disabilities.We employ around 110 people with disabilities at our centre, most of whom have been trained to make high quality crafts.

There are so many aspects that I love about my job, but I’ll try and just mention a few.

Firstly I love the design side of my role. At the centre the options are almost endless, we have 8 different departments from weaving, tailoring, screen printing and carpentry.
When you combine all these skills in one place the creative potential is enormous and it’s my job to funnel this into new and exciting designs.

Secondly I’ve loved the challenge of creating a successful business.
Although we are primarily a charity, we believe in order to be sustainable long term we must run as a competitive business. Over the last few years we’ve worked on expanding our markets and building a good reputation across Tanzania based on the quality of our goods.

Finally I love what I do as I am using the skills that I gained on my degree course(BA Hons Textile Design for Fashion and Interiors at Bath Spa University) in a positive way.
We’re working with people that otherwise would most likely be begging on the streets for a living, instead of which they are now making beautiful crafts that are appreciated by the many people that pass through our doors each day.

1016578_478325492252101_1842546120_n 1011216_478324918918825_477970830_n 1003845_478324398918877_1727629369_n

1014367_478325332252117_2029575905_n 562371_451276498290334_1265722296_n


1012636_478324575585526_893766988_n 1003987_478324515585532_1633971120_n 1010772_478324428918874_475088701_n 6756_478324412252209_2017439575_n 993589_478324278918889_307102582_n 1002428_478324255585558_50495390_n 999018_478324238918893_524860582_n 525273_451276478290336_1287595663_n 3652_451276614956989_664443411_n 319925_451276734956977_1537175479_n 644470_451276634956987_10417773_n 549048_448871015197549_303571564_n 547330_448870985197552_778642494_n 20795_451276274957023_1822888696_n

This year we’ll be opening our online store in the UK and therefore start increasing our international market.

If you would like to know more about our centre check out our website http://www.neemacrafts.com

Best of luck with all you do and every success with the shop Katie.We can’t wait for it to go live.I have my eyes on a pair of shoes!

Sharing skills

How lucky we have been to welcome Carol James from the U.S.A
With her boundless enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge Carol introduced the 1st year students to ancient textile techniques.
Using available and found materials the students adapted what they had to construct replicas and developments of these wonderful skills.

photo 1photo 3s
Thank you Carol for your generous sharing of your craft.We enjoyed having you with us in the UK.

Showing in London during the Design Festival

We are always keen and excited to show our work.Here we ‘lifted’ the studio and transplanted it into the heart of London during London Design Festival.
The students worked on projects and displayed finished outcomes.Talking to potential employers and purchasers is great experience as they launch their careers.


Best Kept Secret

Here we see Tim tucked away in one of our best kept secrets;the wonderful plastics workshop. Full of colour,materials and exciting equipment this area sees some of the most incredible outcomes.
Every department uses this space to create responses to their ideas and concepts.
Watch this blog to see a fascinating textile outcome revealed next month.

Our next open day will be on June 6th,when you will be able to see the workshops and degree shows for yourself.
Come along if you can.You are more than welcome.