Thursday, February 5, 2009

Africa Direct: Online Store

About Us

Africa Direct, Inc. is owned by Elizabeth Bennett and Sara Luther. This is our twelfth anniversary in business!

African art, trade beads, and ethnic jewelry are both business and passion for Sara and me. Dr. Niangi Batulukisi, Lori Hamilton, Hiram Yates, Adam Line and Sean VanderVliet work with us. The artists, co-operatives, and African traders who supply us are an integral part of our company. We have a very large inventory of African art, trade beads, Ethnic jewelry, baskets, beadwork, masks, carvings, Shona sculpture, textiles, Tibetan, artifacts.

Sara and I started buying African art twenty years ago as gifts for our children, four of whom are adopted and are African American.

We had been active in anti-apartheid politics for some time. In 1994, when Mandela was elected, we took the three still-at-home kids out of school and moved to southern Africa for eight months. We bought a used food panel van, converted it into a camper, and traveled 15,000 miles through South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Swaziland.

We go on six week buying trips to Africa every three years, and bring back containers. We also have African traders in our driveway almost daily. We buy from more than 100 traders (including two women!) who come from both coasts, fly in from France, and send shipments from Africa. We care about supporting living artists, and buy from co-ops in South Africa, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda, Swaziland, and other places.