The most rewarding part of my job is buying a new product from an African artist and connecting with this artist. Their is nothing quite like engaging with an artist and letting him know that you will be buying not one but many of his/her products. The elation that you see on his face and the gratitude he has is worth more than anything else I get from this job. To know that you are make a huge difference in his life is a great feeling.
One particular artist I met particulary struck a cord in me. His name was Hendry and he was from a tiny town outside the Kruger National Park in South Africa. He makes the most awesome wooden bowls out of Iron Wood. It takes two days to find the wood where he has to brave snakes and leopards. After that it takes him about a day to carve one wooden bowl where he works for 12 hours. He is the most brilliant artist and was extremely happy after I told him that I wanted ten bowls from him every month – he gave me high fives until my hand hurt. That is why I love this job!
Here are a few pics of going out in Joburg.