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All you ever wanted to know about Lov’edu - An interview with founder Anna Boettcher November 06 2014, 0 Comments

As you know, Lov’edu is an ethical business based on the belief that trade is a force for good if done in a joyous and generous spirit, and that an item can only be beautiful when created with respect for the planet, it's environment and it's people.
Today we want you too meet the mind behind this beautiful concept: An Interview with Lov'edu Founder and Director, Anna Boettcher.
 
 
 Anna Boettcher
 
Anna, what inspired the name Lov’edu, and what does it mean to you?
“Choosing a name for your business is always a tricky affair, it took me a while to find the right name, but when I found it, I knew it was perfect. ‘Lovedu’ is actually a South African tribe. The particularity of this tribe, is that it’s always been ruled by a Queen, rather than a King. She is known as The Lovedu Rain Queen, so called because she brings rain to her people, allowing for a good harvest. The last Rain Queen sadly died in 2007 and there is still no heir and so, at the moment, the Lovedu tribe are ‘Queenless’. Since Lov’edu Living is an ethical business that wishes to promote fair trade and sustainable products, the metaphor of the Rain Queen making the crops grow and sustaining the tribe fits very well; Lov’edu, with the apostrophe, stands for ‘Love Education’. It is about growing awareness and consciousness around the subject of trade, products and consumption – who makes the things we buy, where do they come from, how are they made, what happens to them afterwards, and so on. Love Education is an all encompassing term to describe what I wish Lov’edu will bring to our customers, apart from beautifully designed and crafted products.”
 
Why do you think it’s so important to represent ethnic designers and products?
“‘Ethnic’ has become a very fashionable word in recent years but it’s origin comes from the word ethnicity, which is something to describe people’s heritage. It represents the uniqueness of people’s culture and traditions, but also their commonality of all being a part of the bigger picture which is our shared humanity and the planet we all live on. Ethnic designs and products on the one hand remind us about the differences between us, and on the other, that we are all the same. They accentuate the distinct beauty and skills of each culture which make them so special and one of a kind.”
 
Out of all the places in London to set up shop, Why Camden?
“That’s what I’ve been asking myself too, haha! To be honest, Lov’edu was set up out of a strong conviction, but with little time and little financial backing. I had been working in Camden for five years, so it was a very natural step for me to set up my first base here. We have started looking into alternative locations though, so if you hear of anything interesting, let us know! ;)”
  
   
 Lovedu Gallery
 
What do you look for in the designers and pieces you sell?
“I look for designers that have a similar vision to mine and for pieces that are skilfully made, with designs that are aesthetically pleasing and unique. Overall, since all our products are handmade using natural materials, they all share a certain sense of history. I guess what I’m most interested in, are pieces that have character, and whose presence can be felt in a pleasant and warm way.”
 
What have you learnt from your travels and experiences since starting this venture?
 “A lot! But in a nutshell, I’d say that I have learnt that you never know what will happen, so you just have to trust your gut instinct; keep adapting, remain flexible and open to alternatives. Things often don’t happen the way you hoped they would, but just as in life, the most beautiful things happen when you least expect them. So keep your faith in the road you’re travelling on, and be prepared to be surprised!”
 
 
What was the thinking behind Lov’edu before it got started; what was the driving force behind it?
 “After graduating from King's College London with a Masters degree in International Development and Politics I came to the conclusion that Aid in the traditional sense is not the way forward. To me, the most effective way to get people out of poverty is to support them in the work they do. By buying from designers in Developing countries, you are encouraging and supporting traditional craft, local communities and individuals by helping them to build sustainable livelihoods based on their skills.
Lov’edu is the idea that owning a piece that has been hand made by someone who has mastered his/her craft is a beautiful thing -  someone who has had creative independence and time, thus enjoyed themselves whilst supporting their families through their skills. Lov'edu enables you to own a piece that is unique due to the way it’s made, and there being none other like it; to own a piece that was made from natural materials, so it will decompose naturally in the end, and not add more to the ever growing waste on this planet; or even a piece that has been made of recycled materials, thereby getting rid of some of the already existing waste.
This is the idea behind Lov’edu: allowing you to be conscious, aware, and express your individuality through unique products that will last. In the age of mass production and mass consumption, this, in my mind, is the highest form of luxury.”
 
 
Are there any up and coming designers you’ve discovered recently?
 “There are always new designers that I discover, and whose work I showcase at Lov’edu. Two of my recent favourites are Miss Josephine, who is a basket weaver in Nairobi. She designs the most beautiful bags and baskets out of dyed wool.
   
  
 Hand woven bag Lovedu
 
The other is a Thai lady, who studied Jewellery making at London’s Art College, Central Saint Martins. She now lives and works in Thailand, where she designs the most beautiful brass and stone jewellery. This new brass collection has been quite a departure from Lov’edu’s initial emphasis on African design, but I am very excited to have this unusual collection amongst my selection, and look forward to travelling again soon in search of other such treasures."
 
 
What’s next for Lov’edu, and where can we find out more?
 “We have recently confirmed our space at this years St Albans Christmas Market, which is very exciting! So if you are in the Christmas mood and want to escape the business of the big city, come up to St Albans to get your ethical, handmade Christmas presents! We will be there from the 27th November - 10th December and from the 15th December - 22nd December 2014. For more news, updates and special offers you can also find us on Facebook, InstagramPinterest and Twitter, as well as sign up to our newsletter. I also want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all who have supported the Lov'edu project so far and have enabled great things to happen. Nothing would be possible without the support of every single one of you - so Thank You!"

African Artists - Sokari Douglas Camp October 14 2014, 0 Comments

This week we would like to introduce you to one of our favourite African sculptors Sokari Douglas Camp. Born in 1958 in the Kalabari town of Buguma, Nigeria, Sokari has lived in London since 1983 and studied at the London Royal College of Art. 

She finds her sculpture inspirations in her Nigerian origins but also in the relationship between Europe and Africa and the different issues it can generate. She is one of the first female African artists to pierce into the European art market because, in Nigeria, women can’t create objects unless they have a functional or religious purpose. It was thanks to her travels to England and Italy during her formation that she could disassociate herself from her culture and started to become the artist she is today. She uses mostly steel, a symbol for her career choice and independence, as it is traditionally an exclusive male material to use in Africa.

The Kalabari Masquerade in which water spirits join their worshippers among the world of men is one of her main subject. She was not allowed to participate at these festivals in Nigeria as it was reserved to men. She chose to represent the all-traditional outfit, dressing up her character with ritual clothing, and not only the masks.

She gives life to her sculptures and makes them as representative as possible: they are life-sized, able to move and to produce sounds.

She won the memorial for Ken Saro-Wiwa in London and collaborated with Ground Force to create an African Garden for the British Museum. Today you can see her exhibits all over the world in Japan, New Zealand, Europe, New York.

Purge : woman (2011), Steel, Oil Drum

Afro Rock (2011) Steel, Perspex

We were strong (2012)

'All the World is now Richer' is to commemorate the abolition of slavery. 

More information here: http://www.sokari.co.uk/

 


Ethical Fashion - Meet Ada Zanditon September 21 2014, 0 Comments

Ada Zanditon is a London born and based designer and illustrator that we absolutely adore not just for her unique style but also for her ethical business principles. Her designs are inspired by her illustrations, as you can see below in her Spring-Summer 2014 Collection:

 

Her aim is to be a truly ethical and sustainable business. In the workshops they use sustainable materials, eco-friendly, fair trade products and AZO-free dyes. Within the studio, eco friendly light bulbs, eco friendly cleaning products and recycled stationary are used. She collaborates with local, ethical manufacturers with whom she creates personal relationship. The goal is to look for energy conscious solutions while creating fashionable, elegant and desirable design as ethical as possible. 

The Zanditon woman inspires intelligence, passion and elegance. She is a modern and conscious woman.

Apart from being a designer, Ada Zanditon also hosts and presents eco fashion events, works with artist, musician and stylists. She is now available in high-street boutiques and online in the UK, Europe, America and Asia.

Why not check her out on: http://www.adazanditon.com/

 


A One-of-a-Kind Accessory - The Josephine Bag September 04 2014, 0 Comments

 

 

Kenya is famous for its high quality handmade goods, but one that we are totally and utterly in love with is the Josephine Bag! Being hand made, each bag is a beautifully crafted product with a completely unique design

The bags are hand woven and designed by Miss Josephine, a lovely lady Lov'edu's founder Anna met on her trip to Kenya last year. They are made out of dyed wool and leather. She uses a multitude of natural dyes to create beautiful colourful bags. The straps are made out of quality leather.

Our Josephine bags all have a round shape but come in different sizes so you can choose them depending on how you want to use them. The big basket style ones a perfect for a day at the beach or for a trip to the market. In Kenya they are in fact used as a shopping basket for groceries and shopping. The smaller bags have a zipper and make the perfect accessory to wear in the city centre as they add a colourful touch to your street style!

 

 

Kenyan Bags are often hand made by women on the edge of poverty and the production of products such as these gives women in Kenya an opportunity to build a better life for themselves and their families.

Lov’edu is an ethical fashion company who source hand made materials directly from the artisans to support African local economy. We promote fair trade, consciousness and individuality to our customers all over the world.

Thanks to Josephine and her hard work (it takes between one to two weeks to complete a bag of this size), you can be sure that your bag will last for years and years. Enjoy! 

 

 


Ethnic Tribal jewellery : A little Introduction August 22 2014, 0 Comments

Ethnic jewellery, or specifically African jewellery, is embedded in African culture and history in its own beautiful form. And even if there is a history and a meaning behind each piece, it's the often simply the art of each piece that grabs the attention.

It is an ancient art form that reflects the African heritage. Each unique piece represents several artistic, religious, spiritual and cultural elements.

The jewels created by the skilled craftsmen and women are complex, for example: bronze pieces are often decorated with ivory, bone or precious stones, and the beaded jewellery used in religious rituals are of intricate patterns and layers.


African tribal jewelry is worn by both men and women of African tribes. It is a very important part of cultural life. Different types of materials are used by the different tribes. In West Africa they use brass, the Akan people use gold, and a lot of other regions use copper. Skilful combinations of stones, glass and metal results in the most beautiful ethnic bracelet, necklaces, bangles and other forms of body adornments.

All over Africa, tribal jewellery is not only a social indicator of power and wealth, but it is also a way to celebrate the identity and the diversity of the different tribes. 

 See above a Maasai woman decorating a pumpkin shell with the traditional Maasai glass beads.

 

 


The Art of Olive Wood August 08 2014, 0 Comments

Lovedu olive wood collection

Olive wood is not rare or especially precious but it has a beauty that can be held and touched. Its contrasting grains and warm tones make it different from any other woods. Olive trees take so long to grow that finding pieces large enough and of the highest quality is not that easy. Much of the olive wood you will find elsewhere is made of glued or laminated pieces. At Lov'edu all our olive wood pieces are hand carved in Africa from solid blocks by talented artists.

handmade wooden bowl with bone decoration

 

We have a wide variety of items such as salad servers, spoons and wooden bowls. Most of our products are made from olive wood and decorated with some pieces of cow bone that is a bi-product of the local meat industry. The bone makes them look even more traditional and gives your table a beautiful organic and ethnic look.

beautiful olive wood salad servers

Each of our product is unique and has been fairly purchased in Africa. You won’t find this quality of olive wood or bone anywhere else easily, here you can have a look at our full collection!


Camden Fringe Festival 2014 at the Lov'edu Gallery July 30 2014, 0 Comments

Lovely people!

As you might know, or not know, this Friday marks the start of the 9th Camden Fringe Festival! It is the biggest art festival taking place in Camden with over 200 different productions being performed in 26 venues in and around the borough of Camden. Like all Fringe festivals, it's founded on the idea that all artists should have the chance to perform, so it's a place for new talents to be discovered!

Camden Fringe

At Lov’edu we are very proud to be part of it and hope you’ll come and bring your friends along to see the artists and their shows (presented below) performing in our beautiful and unique Gallery located in the heart of the Stables Market. Directions of how to get there: click here.

 

Kicking Horizons - Cut Into Pieces

Fame. Pressure. Manipulation. Emma (Zoe Hutmacher) is an actress, who desperately wants to get a part in a movie. She attends the casting of the devilish director July (Esrah Ugurlu) without having a clue what it's about. What first seems to be a nice casting, ends differently…

 

  • Fri 1 August 2014 at 6:00pm

  • Sat 2 August 2014 at 8:00pm

  • Sun 3 August 2014 at 7:00pm

Buy your tickets (£8.00 ) here

 

Stephanie Claire - Love Letters & Other Pointless Scribbles

Stephanie Claire has never received a love letter, although she has fallen in and out of love with people, things and places and there may or may not be a song or two about her on youtube. Join her in celebrating the drama that comes with relationships, the memories that shape us and the heartbreak we can never forget. Oh and there will be cake!

  • Sat 2 August 2014 at 5:00pm

  • Sun 3 August 2014 at 4:00pm

Buy your tickets £6.00 (concessions: £5.00) here


Kate Farrow presents - A Moment In Time

What if in a single moment your whole life changed forever? How would you live with the consequences? And how would they effect the people nearest to you? For Rob and Clare that one moment turns their lives upside-down. Where do they go from here? That is for you to decide. How their story unravels from this point on is your choice to make.

  • Tue 5 August 2014 at 6:30pm

  • Wed 6 August 2014 at 6:30pm

  • Thu 7 August 2014 at 6:30pm

  • Fri 8 August 2014 at 6:30pm

  • Sat 9 August 2014 at 6:30pm

Buy tickets £7.50 (concessions: £5.00) here


Closing The Gap Theatre - Chances

Life or Death?

Coke or Diet Coke?

Sometimes in life you just want someone to make the decision for you.

Meet four strangers each at a crucial point in their life. Decisions have to be made and consequences have to be lived with; however hilarious or tragic they may be. And this is where you come in. Take a seat, make a choice & watch what happens!

  • Mon 4 August 2014 at 7:30pm

  • Tue 5 August 2014 at 7:30pm

  • Wed 6 August 2014 at 7:30pm

  • Thu 7 August 2014 at 7:30pm

  • Thu 7 August 2014 at 9:00pm

  • Fri 8 August 2014 at 9:00pm

  • Sat 9 August 2014 at 7:30pm

  • Sat 9 August 2014 at 9:00pm

Buy tickets (£9.50) here

 

Angry Bairds - EAT

One gastronome, one highly strung host and a table full of guests that appear to have underlying dark issues with food (and even darker issues with each other). Come to Harriet's dinner party and share an Octo-pop and feign artificial sophistication at menus designed to isolate you. Eat is an immersive, fun theatre experience. RSVP below.

  • Tue 12 August 2014 at 8:00pm

  • Wed 13 August 2014 at 8:00pm

  • Thu 14 August 2014 at 8:00pm

  • Fri 15 August 2014 at 9:15pm

  • Sat 16 August 2014 at 7:30pm

  • Sun 17 August 2014 at 7:30pm

Buy tickets (£12) here

 

Welcome to Vaudeville - Charleston Dancing on the Moon

This show explores adapting silent films for the stage. It will be split into three twenty minute sections, having an overall glamorous 1920's feel! Each of these sections will showcase a theatre piece based around one of the following silent pictures: Piccadilly (1929), A Trip to the Moon (1902) and Tilly The Tomboy Visits The Poor (1910)

  • Fri 15 August 2014 at 6:00pm

  • Sat 16 August 2014 at 6:00pm

Buy tickets £10.00 (concessions: £8.00) here

 

Charles Howe - Detached 

In this intimate show, Charles examines his own life experiences in feeling detached from society in a materialistic reality. He believes we’ve all gone insane in trying to fulfil our basic human instincts. He discusses his own personal, painfully honest and funny experiences of loneliness, finding a connection with others and pursuing happiness.

  • Fri 15 August 2014 at 8:00pm

  • Fri 22 August 2014 at 8:00pm

Find tickets (£5.00) here

 

See, something for everyone! ;) Pick your show and we hope to see you all in the audience soon!

In case you don’t know how to find the Lov'edu Gallery:

Address:

99e Stables Market
(Up the Stairs by the Cuban Bar)

Chalk Farm Road
Camden
London
NW1 8AH   

 

Contact details: 

Email: info@lovedu.co.uk
Tel: 0044 - (0)7778230236

 

 



Intern's Pick: This Summer's Best Beach Accessories! July 20 2014, 0 Comments

July is in full blast, the thermometer has started to go crazy in London and we are really considering to run away to the closest beach as soon as possible! So we want to share with you our best accessories for this hot hot season!

To begin, we have to think of the most beautiful summer spot we can imagine and, of course, we end up in one of the best Ibiza beaches: Cala Sant Vicente, in the north of the Island.

Now that we are there we need something to lie on and that’s why we took our beautiful Kenyan Kikoy with us! This handwoven cotton scarf is so comfy and practical, that even when the wind starts to blow it can be put around your neck or on your shoulder and warm you up! 

Hopefully the sand won't burn our feet, but if it does no problem! As luckily we took with us our lovely mumbai leather sandals. The quality and softness of the leather make these shoes perfect to walk around on the beach but be careful not to get surprised by the waves, they wouldn't enjoy the bath much!

The last thing we need is something to put our sun cream, books, sunglasses... and so we found our gorgeous and practical handwoven summer bag waiting for us. The fact that it is made from sheep wool and dyed with natural colorants make it perfectly able to handle all this sun! 

What we are missing now, is the perfect drink so we'll share with you our perfect recipe cocktail to refresh us while we get our lovely tan: the delicious and easy to make sweet strawberry and lime Mojito!

What you need:

  • 2 large strawberries
  • 1/2 juiced lime
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of super fine sugar
  • 2 shots of white rum
  • 1 cup of ice
  • Schweppes Club soda 

What to do:

Put into a cockail shaker strawberries, fresh lime juice, mint and sugar and shake shake shake until the strawberries are broken and the mint leaves are torn apart.

Put some rum and ice and shake vigorously again. Finally you pour the cocktail with ice into a glass and add a splash of club soda. 

 

And if you can't go that far, to Ibiza and to the beach, come by our lovely boutique in Camden and we will show you our favourite and best Mojito and Caipirinha bar in Camden: The Spiritual Caipirinha Bar! ;) Happy Summer!

 


Our One-Year Anniversary Party July 10 2014, 0 Comments

Dear Friends,

Can you believe it has been a year already since we had our awesome opening party?

Help us believe it ourselves by coming to celebrate our 1st year in business the 27th of July at the Lov’edu Gallery from 5p.m. to 9p.m.!!! 

Please RSVP here!

Much has changed in a year and we are now opening a new shop in the Camden Stables Market! Come and bring all your friends to join us for this celebration! 

 

For the ones who don’t remember or never had the chance to come yet you can find us here:

99e Stables Market (Upstairs by the Cuban Bar)
Chalk Farm Road
Camden
London
NW1 8AH 

 

If you have any further questions about the event send us an email or contact us on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Email: info@lovedu.co.uk

Tel: 0044 - (0)7778230236

Looking forward to seeing you at our Gallery! 

Anna and the Lov'edu Team! xxx


African Artists - Samuel Fosso July 03 2014, 0 Comments

African Art is one of our big loves at Lov’edu and we would love to share some of our favourite Artist's histories with you. They are all talented, society oriented and create beautiful pieces of art!

Samuel Fosso, born in 1968, is a photographer from Cameroon, and is famous for his colourful self-portraits in which he depicts himself as anything from an African chief to a classy 70's American woman, all a photographic commentary on the culture, history and the politics of his time. His self-portraits are all linked by their subject's full character analysis through the use of props and make-up. Not just mere self-portraits or identity pictures, Fosso's portraits are characterised by his talent for self-mockery and his brilliant sense of sarcasm. His work has been exhibited in Paris, New York and in London at the Photographers' Gallery.

La Femme américaine liberée des annees 70  (1997) 

 

 The Golf Player  (1997) 

 

 Samuel Fosso African Chief

The Chief who sold Africa to the Colonialists  (1997)

"I am all the African chiefs who have sold their continent to the white men. This picture... It really sums up what I am trying to say about African-ness, about western cliches. And it's ironic."  Samuel Fosso.

 

All Images © Samuel Fosso, Image Courtesy of Jean Marc Patras/Falgerie, Paris.


The Art of Kenyan Soapstone June 22 2014, 0 Comments

Kenyan Soapstone is starting to become famous in the UK but there are still some uncertainties about what it is exactly; for example, you can’t use them to take a shower unless you want to decorate your bathroom! However this misunderstanding has a reason: as the talc in the soapstone is soft to the touch, it gives a smooth feeling similar to rubbing a piece of dry soap. So the name was derived as “soap” stone. Kenyan soapstone or "kisii" is found only in the Tabaka Hills of Western Kenya, it is a metamorphic rock of mostly mineral talc, a calcium carbonate quite soft with a variety of colours: white would be the softest, peach pink and black the hardest and rarest, although they are all very tactile.

The artistic soapstone has become one of the speciality of Kenya's market most appreciated by foreign visitors. Here a little bit about the journey of the stone from the rock to your dinner table!

Hand carved Kenyan Soapstone

 

First step: Mining

As most Kenyan soapstone is mined in the Kisii area, the stone is known as “Kisii stone”. A vibrant town of approximately 180,000 people located in the Nyanza region of the country. The town is 192 miles to the west of Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi.  Kisii stone can range from 300 to 400 million years old. The mining activity is mostly carried out by men. When they mine the soapstone they essentially dig a big pit in the ground (maybe 50-75 feet in diameter) using picks and shovels. The earth isn't gouged by heavy machinery, it's all done by hand using hammers, picks and chisels. The raw quarry stones are excavated by hand and carried to workshops that are up to 8 miles away.

The local workers retain all of the fill, so when they have extracted the stone, they refill the pit. After 5-10 years the soapstone begins to re-form, and new soapstone is available.

 Mining Kenyan soapstone

How does the stone become a piece of Art?

Carving

The carving takes place in the Tabaka region where it is a major economic activity! Carving is a highly skilled job: the carvers are specialised in one or two types of items and the young generations learn by watching their elderlies.

The stones are hand carved with improvised tools from recycled metals. The first one is the machete to break the stones into a handy size and get a rough shape. Then, the soapstone are immersed into water to make it is easier to carve with hammer, chisel, knife...

 Hand carved Kenyan soapstone

Sanding

After it has dried it gets its final form and needs to be washed with sand paper to get smoother and erase the chisel marks.  

Decoration and Polishing

A stone can be left “natural” or decorated with natural pigments or by sketching and incision.

To be ready for the market, the soapstone has to be polished and waxed with the right kind of oil and the proper techniques so it can shine. The used wax common name would be cobra wax, which will underline the subtle details, its natural colours and its shape.

Usually, men are in charge of the carving and the mining process when women are doing the sanding, washing and polishing.

Kenyan Soapstone Polishing 

 

The owner of the soapstone mines are local people who actually live on it with their houses really close to the mining pits and who are paid per removed kilo of stones they sell. Their property is passed from generation to generation because it is very valuable and they put a lot of effort into preserving the soil and keeping it in good conditions.

As this area is still considerably poor it is not common to have stable electricity. The carving business brings an essential income to several families in the area and it is still a vey traditional work done without any mechanical devices.

The stones are excavated by hand, carried to the workshops by feet (even when they are 10 kilometers away sometimes), carved with machete or knives and polished with sand papers. This lack of modern materials turns the people taking part in this fabrication process into highly skilled artists!

Kenyan Soapstone

See some of Lov'edu's beautiful red love hearts made from Kenyan Soapstone (and now you even know what it is! ;)) Click Here.

O


Recycled Glass Bead Jewellery - Why it's good for the planet and it's people! June 16 2014, 0 Comments

One of the beautiful products Anna brought back from Africa are these Recycled Glass Bead Necklaces from Ghana! They are the produce of a culture and an ethic, a way of thinking eco-friendly and fair trade oriented, a combination of modernity and tradition

  
  
Ghana is famous for Recycled Glass bead jewellery, also known as Powder or Crushed Glass, and the fabrication process is still very traditional to preserve the bead quality! The creation of this handmade jewellery is done in 4 steps. 
    
The first step is to collect old and used glass bottles, sort them by their colours and to crush the glass.  
For the second step the glass is placed in handmade forms which are then baked with traditional kilns and later hand shaped and perforated while they are still hot.
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Then, some of the beads are painted with a wooden stick and a paste made from coloured glass powder dissolved in water. For the final step, the beads are baked one last time to make sure they stay like this forever!
O
   
But which materials are used to make these beads?
As you may have guessed, basically every glass material is used to make these handmade jewellery but the designers prefer some as they can give the beads an extended palette of colours!
   
Coca Cola bottles and but also the Green ones are very popular because they have a different nuance of glass from the original ones and give sea-grass green beads.
Another material is the traditional beer and wine bottle! They can give beads from earthy ambers to toffee brown colours or emerald and pale green colour.
   
The blue beads are obtained from the glass of Vanity and Cold Cream Jars are they are produced from a mix of different elements such as potash, lime, and sodium which turn the glass blue.
   
Last but nonetheless important are the Television screens. Their scarcity in Africa because of their price makes the subtle blue-grey beads created from their smoky grey screen valuable!
    
 
Another important aspect of these necklaces is the eco-friendly and fair trade ethics that surround them!
 
The eco-friendly essence of the beads resides in two facts: first, the use of recycled glass is saving the planet from waste that doesn’t decompose, and then it’s also an energy-saver because moulding new glass is a huge energy consumer.
     
    
What is Fair Trade?
The fair-trade concept is to pay everybody the fair amount for their work and to create benefits that for once don’t go to international traders but into the right hands, namely, to the producers themselves.
O
How to make sure everybody gets what they deserve:
Traders can go straight to the source and buy the beads themselves from the manufacturer so they make sure nobody is exploited, which is what Lov'edu does. Another route is to go through non-profit organizations, such as Bead For Life, which look after the working conditions of the bead-making co-operatives.
 
Where does the money go?
Money can’t buy happiness but it may be the solution to a lot of issues! One of the main issues in Africa at the moment and especially in Ghana is the fast spread of deadly diseases such as HIV, Aids and Malaria. Unfortunately, people can’t fight them effectively because they don’t have any money to pay for basic healthcare. So by buying from local bead makers you help villages to improve their health thanks to their regular income.
 
How to make this money grow and give better social prospects to a whole country?
Everything is a matter of perspective. Improving the economy of a region is having an impact on a State, money attracts money, bead making is a main financial resource of Ghana and it helps improving the conditions of teaching and healthcare. For example, in the Manya region, since it became profitable in their bead trading, the Sate has started to give funds to schools so that also children whose families are too poor to pay the fees get an education.
O
See some of Lov'edu's recycled glass bead necklaces here.
O

Festival Season in Europe 2014 - June & July June 05 2014, 0 Comments

Music festivals are one of the highlights of the summer, attracting hundreds of thousands of people of all ages from all over the world! Here is a selection of some of the best European festivals we think you may be interested in because of their really good program and their perfect summer location!

4th  – 8th of June

ONLY 3 DAYS LEFT - BE QUICK! Distortion (Copenhagen-Denmark) is a middle-size festival celebrating the party/club culture, upfront dance music, street life, contemporary and social art in one of the most creative cities of Europe. It’s taking place in the beautiful streets of Copenhagen moving through a different neighbourhood everyday and bringing exciting surprises at every corner.

http://www.cphdistortion.dk/

 

6th  – 9th of June

STARTS TOMORROW! Weather festival (Paris) is the first international techno and house festival ever organized in Paris and its suburbs. Nearly 30,000 people are expected because it takes advantage of the central location of Paris, the irresistible and charming French capital, located less than 2 hours from all major European cities!

With a prestigious program mixing house and techno, the festival will host a selection of major artists, both French and international; both cult and promising talents, many European musicians but also DJs from as far away as Detroit or South Africa.

 

http://www.weatherfestival.fr/

 

11th  – 12th of July

Optimus Alive! (Portugal) is a music and art festival that takes place in the Algés riverside, in Lisbon, the perfect area to enjoy good music, summer weather and a nice ambiance! The festival has achieved considerable popularity both inside and outside of Portugal and is welcoming famous artists such as The Black Keys and Ben Howard!

 

http://www.optimusalive.com/

 

18th – 20th/ 25th – 27th of July

Tomorrowland (Belgium) is a one of the most notable global music festivals in the World and is held in Belgium. The festival takes place in the town of Boom. This festival is a major event; all the tickets are sold out at the moment even though the line-up has not been announced yet. The stage is every year a masterpiece of colour and creativity!

http://www.tomorrowland.com/global-splash/

 

22nd  - 27th of July

Paleo Festival (Switzerland) is one of Europe’s biggest open-air rock music festivals. It started very small in a local room of the municipality of Nyon but now it exists since more than 30 years. Its location is perfect; you are facing the impressive and wild Swiss mountains and still a few hours of two biggest Swiss cities Geneva and Lausanne.

 

 

http://yeah.paleo.ch/en

 

We hope you enjoyed this little trip through June's European music summer. Stay tuned so you don't miss our picks for August's hottest festivals!

And don't forget.... Ethical jewellery and handmade bags are, of course, the best accessory to have for these international, cultural event! ;) So have a look at our products here to make sure you will wear the perfect outfit!

 

 handmade kenyan woven bags

organic bone jewellery bracelets

Maasai Jewellery Inspiration May 28 2014, 0 Comments

One of the hottest trends for this summer is African design; you may have already seen pictures of model Olivia Palermo wearing these beautiful Maasai necklaces!

Lov'edu jewellery

The very colourful beads give your outfit more elegance and joie de vivre but what is less known is that these beads are the result of an enormous work effort by the women of the Maasai tribe. These women are not only in charge of most of the physical work of the village during the day, but in the evenings they are dedicated to making the colourful beads, which is why very often, if you hold a piece close to your nose you will still smell the fire around which the jewellery was made! 

traditional Maasai jewellery Lov'edu

Many pieces of jewellery are made for special events such as weddings and rite-of-passage ceremonies. Making beaded pendants corresponding to age class is another important ritual, for the Maasai every 10 years is a new age class so all the children born in a new decade will wear the same kind of pendant to indicate their generation.

Through this regular adaptation and re-invention of the patterns and shapes every Maasai beadwork is unique!

Maasai earrings and glass bead bangle at Lov'edu

In the past, the women made the beads from seeds and dried grasses, which were dyed with various compounds. Nowadays, most beads are made from glass, but the craftwork is still the same and the pieces as enchanting as ever.

See a selection of jewellery made by the Maasai’s in Kenya here at Lov’edu

Maasai earrings blue and green glass bead Lov'edu London

 


A Lov'edu Stall is coming to Camden Lock May 22 2014, 0 Comments

 

We are happy to let you know that from tomorrow, Friday 23rd May, we will have our own stall in the famous Camden Lock Market, waiting for you to come and have a look at a selection of our beautiful best selling products!

Camden Lock Market is the place where Art and Craft has been celebrated in London since 1972 and we are really happy to be part of it every week during the summer! The market will be open everyday from 10a.m. to 6p.m!              
                                                                                                  
Why don’t you come down this bank holiday weekend to visit us and enjoy this fascinating market.
                  
       
     
To find out more about the market, special events and summer festivals check out the Camden Lock Market website and its Facebook page.
            
               
See you there!
 
The Lov’edu team

 

 

 


Lov'edu new opening hours - Summer 2014 May 18 2014, 0 Comments

 

Did you enjoy the sun as much as we did this weekend?

We think it’s time Lov’edu switched into summer mode; so here are our new opening hours

 

From tomorrow Monday 19th May the Lov’edu Shop and Gallery will be open for you to come and see our beautiful products

Open Every Day 11am to 7pm

(Tuesdays Closed)

 

And because we love keeping in touch with you, why not sign up to our Newsletter today and be the first to know about special offers, returned and new stock and events – only the good stuff! ;)

And now off you go to enjoy the sun! Happy Sunday to y'all! 

 

Anna and the Lov'edu Team x

 

 


Moroccan Kilim Carpet Boots : A Love Story February 05 2014, 0 Comments

Everybody is in love with a pair of Kilim Boots!

Kilim Boots

It all began back in the 70's when the first travellers brought back these boots with their colourful and intricate patterned designs from far away mysterious lands of Northern Africa. It took just one look at them, and we fell head over heels in love.

Enchanted not only by their beautiful aesthetics, but enchanted also by the stories they brought with them. Stories of the lands of belly dancers, snake charmers, fire artists, palm tree groves and of camel caravans through cold Sahara desert nights. 

40 years later the kilim carpet boots are celebrating a revival, and we have never been more in love. They are now the one must-have accessory for anyone in love with bohemian ethnic chic and the Ibiza hippy look. Our love knows no boundaries, neither age nor season, lovers ages range from 20 to 60 year olds, worn through Winter into Summer, with dresses, shorts, skirts, jeans, blouses or jumpers - everything is allowed, as long as the heart revels.

In this blog we want to show you how these very special boots are handmade by the most skilled cobblers in Morocco. Every pair is unique, since the carpets used are the original and traditional kilim rugs, skilfully handwoven to this day.

 

And one tip from us to you: If you see a pair you love, don't wait, declare your love immediately and hold on to them - because if you let them pass by, you might never find them again... 

 See Lov'edu's Current Collection Of Kilim Boots HERE.

 


Lov'edu New Winter 2014 Opening Hours January 20 2014, 0 Comments

The days are getting longer, a glimmer of hope that Spring is just around the corner! However, until we get there, Lov'edu has new Winter Opening Hours that you should know about!

Our small 828 Shop Unit is now closed for Winter.. BUT, don't despair! All our beautiful products are in our 99e Shop & Gallery space (upstairs by the Cuban) for you to see at any time! Please note that until Easter we are working on an appointment basis, so when you want to visit us, just drop us a line a day before with your preferred time and we will make sure to have the doors open for you! Simply email info@lovedu.co.uk.

For short notice visits always call 07778230236 to see if we're in, we very well might be!

Our Online Shop is open 24/7 as usual and orders will be dispatched within 2 working days!

Shop at www.lovedu.co.uk

Are you London based? You can also Shop Online and Collect in-Store, just email us to arrange!

We look forward to seeing many of you come and visit us!

Have a great start into the week and enjoy today's rare London sunshine! :)

 


First Week in Business July 31 2013, 0 Comments

First of all, a massive thank you to all who made it last weekend to the Opening Celebration of the Lov'edu store in Camden, especially to those who came travelling from far away lands, which meant that the Lov'edu Family was fully united for this beautiful event.

Last minute stress and minor behind the scenes catastrophes were smoothly handled and the day became a warm, sunny, joyful get together of family, friends old and new, and those just curious to see what this new addition to Camden market is all about. 

Now, people are asking, how was the first week in business? Well, I have to say that it was a good week. Occasional chaos still perching in the corners, like a new born, Lov'edu is taking in its surroundings in wonder and is trying to learn fast from what life throws at it. Slowly learning to walk, sometimes still falling, but incredibly excited by all the undiscovered wonders lying ahead. 

In real terms this means that after the high of last week, things are expected to slow down a bit, notwithstanding that the real work is only about to commence. One thing that has become clear is that Lov'edu needs to be shared more with the world, and this starts by making sure as many people as possible will find their way up those stairs to heaven and into Lov'edu - thus, banners must be made. Also, our portal to the world, this web-store is in desperate need of becoming as beautiful as it's physical counterpart, so many hours of labour are to be spent on achieving this as soon as possible.

I will be keeping you updated and if you can keep spreading the word, together we will achieve something beautiful and lasting :)

Thank you to all for making Lov'edu's first week in business a positive and exciting one. 

 

Click here to see photos of the Opening day.


Preparing for the Grand Opening July 18 2013, 0 Comments

It is now 6 months ago that the idea of Lov'edu was conceived; on the night bus to Hampi, India, to be exact. After numerous events and big decision makings, the idea that was a mere few notes jotted down on an old carton box, has now become a material reality, and will be ready to be shared with the world in no more than 3 days.

With just over 48hrs to go, things are getting busy. All the threads that were strung over the last half a year are now slowly and meticulously tied together to form a beautiful, colourful and exciting space, that is Lov'edu.

Truly a labour of love and dedication, cooperation, volunteering, travelling, dreaming and creating, from writing business plans, to meeting new people in places near and far, to setting up accounts, up to the last nail hammered into the wall as I write, Lov'edu already is, even before opening, what it was intended to be, a place of love, laughter, friendship, beauty and peace.

Not free from worldly realities however, things have been heating up (literally) and right now the key word is 'keep your cool in the chaos'. So our message to you all out there is keep your cool, don't be scared, share your love and never stop dreaming, because Lov'edu's opening this Sunday 21st July 2013 at 5pm is proof that if you truly believe in them, your dreams do come true.

A big thank you to all who have helped and supported me along the way, I am immensely indebted to you all, you make me feel so lucky to have you in my life and Lov'edu would not be without you!  

Anna x