10:00 am on the Monday after the Easter holiday. Bugo, Crystal and I were running around doing our last minute errands. We were due to leave Kigali at midday. Teta Isibo, the brains behind Inzuki and I were to have met on Saturday, but because it was the Easter weekend things came up and we were unable to.
Because the street which Inzuki is located on is a no parking zone,we had to jump out of the car we were in and ran into the store. For those of you that might not know Inzuki stands for “bee” in Kinyarwanda.
Inzuki is bright and colourful. In fact it is predominantly yellow. The colour you would certainly think about if you were thinking of bees. There is a honey comb set up on one side of the shop and nested inside it are all sorts of colourful necklaces. Some of them are loud, and some are subtle, but there is no denying the amount of work you can see that went into every single one. Looking at the placement of beads on these necklaces makes me think of a swarm of bees, busy working away at creating masterpieces.
Just like the colour scheme in her shop, Teta is warm. She is welcoming and knows a good number of the people who walk into her store by name. She is also hands on, and will ably show you what colour scheme of necklace you should go for, for the occasion you might have in mind.
Eight years ago, this is not where Teta imagined herself being. She was working a 9 to 5 job and going about her business with her passion in her pocket. I say pocket because Teta knew that she loved art and specifically had talent in designing ear pins and necklaces. She started out by getting orders from her friends and family and slowly it grew into something much bigger than that. “I knew it was time to leave my job when I would catch myself sitting in meetings drawing necklace designs.”
Inzuki is a brand well known for its colour, its attention to detail, and the feeling of uttermost satisfaction by the women to own pieces from Inzuki. Mark you, they do not just stock up on necklaces, but they also have ear pins, bracelets, bags, shoes and home décor.
Teta’s job includes conceptualizing everything. The necklace designs, the earpins designs, what the shoes should look like, how to come up with stunning home décor pieces, finding the talent in Rwanda to get her concept made, making sure that talent gets paid their worth for the jobs they do, checking that the accounts and sales tally…*deep breath* and a lot more. In a nutshell. Teta is a busy bee. But she loves her work and has tirelessly built her brand to where it is today, and is certainly not about to stop. Infact, she plans to expand and make sure that her products are accessible to the world through her up-coming online store.
Talk about being a power woman!