By Jana-Mari Smith
The duo that owns the Rustic Wire and Beads stall at the Namibia Craft Centre teamed up to create a selection of unique, 100% Namibian products to sell.
Angelika Eichas and Petra Namuses sell hand-made jewellery and decorative pieces for the home, using recycled materials such as beer-bottle tops, wire, bicycle tyres, makalani shells and old zinc sheets.
These creations – lampshades, mobiles– are given added true Namibian flair with the use inter alia of beads, wire mesh and feathers resulting in truly singular-looking decorative pieces. They also produce something unique for the table – table runners created from intricately interwoven pieces of wire and a variety of beads – which take about two weeks to complete. And, in a fun twist, the women make individual serviette holders with mesh wire in their own flower designs.
Angelika is a fully qualified goldsmith, so her talents extend beyond making lampshades and mobiles to fashioning unusual jewellery ranging from everyday pieces of matching earrings, necklaces and beaded bangles, to more upscale jewellery hand-crafted from aluminum. Chic matching necklaces and earrings also feature semi-precious stones.
Angelika says her job requires inspiration daily and she enjoys translating her latest ideas – whether they take shape as jewellery, leather skirts decorated with beads, or the lampshades and mobiles.
She is constantly on the lookout for new materials, from recycled artifacts brought to her by children who know they can sell what they have found here to new types of beads, feathers, wire or anything else that can be used in her latest creations. “Our products are always unique. We never make the same thing twice. Everything comes from our imagination,” Angelika says proudly.
The Namibia Craft Centre is a good place to be, Angelika says, as it is a hub for tourists who are drawn to the handmade creations that can be found here. On occasion, customers request orders to be sent overseas.
Angelika and Petra opened their business at the Namibia Craft Centre in 2005 and have since become fully-fledged businesswomen.
Angelika says the most valuable lesson she has learnt to date is the virtue of patience. “We experience all kinds of ups and downs in this business. I have learnt to be patient. But even in the quiet times, I enjoy my work.”