Hadeda owner Kate has been passionate about African design since her teens. “I love the traditional craft of Africa and the resourcefulness of its artisans, who use what they have to create masterpieces,” she says. “I try to convey this in my style while also combining it with femininity. I love the juxtaposition of the two together – it makes for a more interesting space.”
Having studied interior design and worked in the industry in various roles, Kate has always wanted to champion artisans and suppliers from the continent. “It was in my teens that I had the concept of Hadeda,” Kate explains. “My mum (who is South African) and I did a charity sale with South African design products which was very well received. We discussed then that we should start something, but it never happened. However, in my late 20s it started to take form. I was living in Tanzania and had come across so many inspiring artists, I thought how much I would love to show their work and make it into a business. But it wasn’t until after I had my three boys that I had the courage to take the plunge, and Hadeda was born.”
Kate works with small trusted groups or single artisans who share her values. “I have found my suppliers through a number of different avenues – some I have known for years since living in SA or Tanzania and working on interior projects, some through recommendations and word of mouth, and I’ve come across a couple via Instagram, too. It’s amazing what you can do remotely these days – I can now talk to artisans in rural Malawi via video call, chatting about specific orders.”
Some of the products featured in Hadeda are the result of a specific collaboration between the artist and Kate. There is a strong social conscious to the business as well. For example, the baskets are made by Babatree in Ghana, which offers training and support to artisans to encourage them to run their own enterprises and support their communities. “Then there are the NGOs I work with, such as MADWA, which also work with women in rural communities,” adds Kate.
While Hadeda is primarily an online business, there is a pop-up shop due to launch this summer in the Cotswolds. “My Mission for Hadeda is to support as many artisans and communities as possible by selling things we love,” explains Kate. “One day, a permanent shop would be a dream, but we won’t rush into that.”
For now, everyone can access Kate’s stunning edit via the website. We have our eye on the vintage-style cane loungers, but there’s plenty more to tempt you. “I love the Lucie de Moyencourt ceramic shells, but I'm also obsessed with the new collection from AAKS, in particular, the Hana Pom Pom bag. Anything pink always catches my eye!”
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