Meet expert weaver Vestine, creator of Boutique Neutral Collection Kaleidoscope and Vestine Green woven bowls!
It is a challenge for most weavers to take an established pattern and weave it with perfect balance and excellence in every stitch, but Vestine sees beyond established patterns. A few years ago, she spotted her neighbor wearing a fabric with an interesting floral design. “May I borrow your fabric?” she asked.
She began, as she always does, with a small round disc, weaving the black sisal around to create rows that spiraled outward like a snail shell. Then she wove her first spot of color, then a second spot, then a third, fourth, fifth and sixth, perfectly spaced in a circle. From there, she wove outward, the fabric’s pattern emerging with the addition of each row of weave, finishing with a row of black to enclose her design as the bowl reached its full 12 inch diameter.
Her mama had a fabric which also caught her eye. Before long, Vestine had two unique bowls to bring to Azizi Life. The staff was delighted! When her new designs were adopted into Azizi Life’s new collection, Vestine sat down with the women from her weaving cooperative and taught them the new designs as well. Now they are all gaining even more fair-wage income as they weave Vestine’s designs together.
As for Vestine, she can help her family in many ways with her weaving income: buying clothes for herself and her siblings, food for the family, and paying for national health insurance, to name a few. She also is saving through several savings groups and at the bank. Her dream is to put away enough capital from weaving to start a small business selling in the city market and mostly loved by tourists visiting Rwanda and on their gorilla tours in Volcanoes National Park.
Azizi Life is honored to know and serve gifted, determined artisans like Vestine who serve their families and their communities through their craft.