KEENTU handpicks pieces from across Africa that beautifully combine contemporary style, personality, and impeccable craftsmanship – made sustainably and ethically with premium materials by talented, masterful artisans.
We directly source from more than forty small businesses that collectively employ more than four thousand people across the continent. All are for-profit entrepreneurs (except one outstanding NGO), and are either women-owned or women-led.
Some of the small businesses are designers who make the products themselves or with just a few assistants. Others work with artisan cooperatives or employ artisans in-house full-time. Most of the small business owners are women who were born in Africa while others have chosen to live and work there. A few travel back and forth to manage their businesses.
These companies create well-paying, skilled jobs. In most cases we provide working capital to produce the items by paying in full when we place an order.
The products are made in small batches, rarely more than twenty pieces at a time. Our online store offers select pieces from more than half of the businesses we work with; our New York City boutique carries all of these and more – including many one-of-a-kind and very limited-quantity pieces.
KEENTU is the creation of Eliza Richman who lived and worked in East Africa for eight years. She cofounded tour companies in Ethiopia and Rwanda before opening three boutiques in luxury hotels and lodges.
KEENTU carries a contemporary selection of jewelry, handbags, accessories, clothing and home decor made across Africa. In addition to the products from the website, the boutique carries one-of-a-kind items and limited run pieces that sell out before making it online.
Interior photography by emily gilbert