Marisa Fick Jordaan
37 Frere Rd.
T: +27 31 201 0002
F: + 27 31 201 0145
ZENZULU™ is a design led craft business, renowned for the fusion of contemporary design with traditional craft skills and the creation of innovative, premium quality hand made South African products. Initiated 12 years ago by designer Marisa Fick-Jordaan, under the auspices of the BAT SHOP, a retail and wholesale outlet which has from the outset focused on innovative product development, intensive skills training of crafters, and the targeted marketing of craft and craft-art products from the KwaZulu-Natal province.
Marisa’s interest in transitional craft forms led to the start of a telephone wire weaving project in an informal settlement outside Durban. Initially, mentoring a growing group of master weavers using a coiled basket technique, she saw the possibilities of fusing traditional techniques with cutting edge design and modern industrial materials, with the aim to grow local and international markets for high-end, hand made décor products. Challenges presented themselves, with only two skilled weavers in the required technique, one basket mold, limited material supply and design concepts that proved to challenge even the most masterful of weavers. Funding for skills development was secured, a mold manufacturer sourced, a wire manufacturer coerced into making shades of fashion colours to specifications. This culminated in a series of workshops to teach unemployed women from both urban and rural areas how to weave these new designs. Turning the attention to growing the ZENZULU™ product line, by utilizing the skills of a group of skilled Zulu beaders and a handful of young Zimbabwean refugees. This led to the expansion of the product range to include fashion accessories, and an extensive range of holiday ornaments, combining glass beads, wire and telephone wire.