Gladys grew up in Northern Kenya, It was there she encountered the concept of craft for the first time, and clearly honed a skill for noticing beauty in the little things. Her first jewelry project? Drilling holes in maize and beans to string a necklace. Later she graduated to forming clay beads. Fast forward a few years, and she was taking a beading course on a back street in Florence, Italy, while studying fashion design at university. Italy held great fascination for Gladys as her late grandfather was Italian. After graduation, Macharia worked for internationally recognized designer Ermanno Scervino before returning to school to study fine jewelry and gemology. “This was my eye opener,” she recalls, “when I finally felt I had found that missing equation in my life.” The budding jeweler returned home to begin her own bespoke jewelry line, Loyangalani, made 100% in Kenya with locally sourced materials. A stint consulting with Ethical Fashion (supported by ITC, a branch of the UN) followed, her first proper introduction to working closely with artisan groups across the continent.
Working with artisans opened up her eyes to the Kenyan textile industry. It was a sad realisation that once a thriving industry was now on its knees, bringing centuries of history and skills with it. This brought along the idea of reviving an almost lost art. The idea is to expose Kenyans and the rest of the world the beautiful fabrics that can be created in Kenya. With an idea in mind the creation of the textile workshop took place.
Today Siafu Home is home to group of weavers in our workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. With a small but growing team we create a range of beautiful fabrics made from organic cotton, all done on hand looms.
Our mission is to grow Siafu Home into a leading handloom textile manufacturer, by training up new generations of weavers and transferring the knowledge of our experienced weavers. By offering a unique style and a product of highest quality we will reach markets way beyond our borders.
Our vision is to inspire the younger generation to pursue the art of weaving and thus regrow the textile industry into something that all Kenyan can be proud of.