Artisanne was set up in 2014 by two sisters, Elizabeth, based in London, and Emma, who lived in Senegal for six years, after they fell in love with traditional Senegalese baskets.
'I began by bringing baskets home as presents every time I visited Emma. People loved them so we were inspired to find ways to bring the work of these talented weavers to European homes.'
Artisanne baskets are handwoven by highly skilled women in villages near Thiès in Senegal. At Artisanne we go directly to the weavers – there are no middlemen - and we now work with over 75 women having started with 3. The lack of middlemen helps ensure the women earn a regular, fair and secure income for their products. Elizabeth and Emma visit the villages several times a year and have a strong relationship with the weavers. Communicating directly with the artisans during these visits enables everyone to discuss concerns and challenges, which is a much-valued priority by all involved and helps ensure our quality is maintained.
Artisanne blends traditional Senegalese weaving techniques with modern designs to create household storage that is stylish and practical. The weaving skill is passed from grand-mother to grand-daughter and the larger baskets take several days to create. They are made using sustainable ndiorokh grasses and long strips of plastic traditionally used for making bazin mats similar to prayer mats.