Top 10 Beads Shops in Nairobi

Beads are a way of life in Africa and every visitor encounters beads sooner or later. Beads are an integral part of African history from time immemorial. Beads were worn during rituals, traditional ceremonies, for beautification, status symbols, for talisman purposes and for trade.

  1. Kazuri Beads (Clay Beads)

KAZURI, which means small and beautiful in Swahili, began as a tiny workshop experimenting on making ceramic beads made by hand. At Kazuri you can get this unique opportunity to tour the workshop and watch at first glance the entire process where each bead is shaped from clay by hand, kiln fired, hand glazed, fired again and strung to make a necklace or bracelet. Founded by the late Lady Susan Wood back in 1975 to create employment for struggling single mothers, Kazuri now employs 350 local women. The workshop has a shop that offers a diverse range of ceramic beaded products including; jewelry, cups, plates, vases, key chains, and so much more.

  1. Kitengela Glass (Glass Beads)

Kitengela Glass has a magical ambiance filled with glass sculptures and mosaic pathways. You’ll get to learn more about the art of glass blowing and glass bead making where scrap windows and bottle glasses are renewed, refashioned into stylish pieces of functional art and design. From their workshop, you can purchase a wide range of finished products including, stained glass mural, vase, mirror, soap dish and a whole lot more.

  1. Marula Studios – Ocean Sole (Plastic Beads)

Thousands of flip flops wash up on Kenyan beaches and waterways, Ocean Sole offers practical and sustainable solutions towards recycling plastics through social enterprise. Their shop Marula Studios is located in Karen that sells products made from plastic and rubber marine waste. Every single Ocean Sole product is handcrafted to protect the oceans and teach the world about the threats of marine debris. Marula studios has diverse flip flop animal souvenirs on sale that vary in size and design. Become a part of the solution donating towards their cause while visiting the shop.

  1. Banana Box: (Paper Beads)

Banana box has two shops in Nairobi, one at The Junction and the other at Sarit Centre Shopping Mall. The shops offer a wide range of gift items by working with Kenyan craftsmen for more than twenty years. They offer exclusive fairtrade products, only made for Banana Box made from recycled scrap metal, plastic and glass products and also offer unique paper products made from elephant dung.

  1. MatBronze Wildlife Art (Bronze Beads)

Located on the leafy suburbs of Karen, Matbronze offers a wide selection bronze gifts, souvenirs and sculptures which are hand-made. The gallery is one of the largest displays of wildlife art bronze collection in Africa. The sculptures are cast in bronze and are tasteful finished, some of the pieces include; birds, small footprints, lion track trays to life size leopards and so much more. Matbronze have a cafe set in their gardens that offers refreshments and light lunches.

  1. Maro Designs (Horn Beads)

Maro Designs is an all women company lead by Marie-Rose Iberl, she designs contemporary African jewellery from natural cowhorn and cowbone as the main material and includes recycled cotton, glass and metal. Each piece of jewelry is of high quality as each bead is hand-made to make unique pieces of bracelets, earrings and necklaces with a dramatic off centre.

  1. APDK Store – Bombolulu (Wood Beads)

Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK) is a Kenyan charitable organization that has a store along Waiyaki Way that provides employment and numerous other benefits to adults who are physically challenged. The artisans are renowned to produce recycled products especially from wood that includes; cutlery, nativity sets, animal sculptures and much more jewelery, wood, leather and soft furnishings. They offer appealing and useful wood items made from FSC wood.

  1. Taste of Turkana (Grass Beads)

Located in Westlands at Viking House, Taste of Turkana is a shop that supports a Turkana Women’s Group in Lodwar. The shop primarily focuses on selling baskets of all sizes, from small pencil holders, fruit baskets, to large laundry baskets. The baskets are simple and have patterns that can match your taste.

  1. Utamaduni Karen (Diverse Beads):

Utamaduni was established more than 20 years ago and offers an unparalleled shopping experience for its visitors with over 19 shops showcasing different cultural and ethnic communities in Kenya. The main entrance hall comprises of wood carvings, antique furniture and jewelry items. Other shops include themed shops representing some ethnic communities in Kenya including the coastal communities, maasai, kisii amongst others, there is also a children’s shop where visitors can buy souvenirs and other related items. Utamaduni makes a perfect stopover where you can indulge in some seafood or grab a snack lunch enroute to other attractions in the area including; Giraffe Centre, Nairobi National Park, Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Mamba Village, further up to Karen Blixen or Ololua Forest.

  1. Maasai Market (Diverse Beads):

The maasai market brings together an array of different artists and craftsmen to showcase their products. There is a diverse selection of arts and crafts, beadwork, musical instruments, wooden carvings and so much more. The market is located at different locations in Nairobi on the following days;

  • Tuesday – Westgate Shopping Mall (Westlands)

  • Wednesday – Uchumi Capital Centre (Mombasa Road)

  • Thursday – Nakumatt Junction (Ngong Road)

  • Friday – Village Market (Gigiri)

  • Saturday – High Court (Nairobi CBD)

  • Sunday – Yaya Centre (Agwings Kodhek Rd, Hurlingham)

In case you came across a beads shop please keep us posted. We shall be delighted to feature the enterprise on our blog.