Meet the Makers: Say hello to... Paulino!

It has been a busy week for Swahili Coast! We've been excitedly preparing for Tony, one-half of our founder duo, to make his way back to the co-op in Tanzania to catch up with the crew. Join us in wishing him a bon voyage!


As you can probably tell, we love and value that awesome crew--our artisans. They're both our working partners and friends, and we totally treasure their stories.

We believe in nurturing the power of connection--bringing the world a little closer while making it a whole lot kinder. We feel it's important that you know exactly where the goods you purchase are crafted, and most importantly, by whom! That's why we're launching our "Meet the Makers" series. We'll be chatting with our artisans and asking them to share a little with you about their lives, memories of the past, and hopes for the future.

Without further ado, let's make some introductions.

This week, say hello to... Paulino!


Tribe: Makonde

Age: 42

Primary Language: Kiswahili

How many children do you have? 4

How many years have you been beading? 6 years

What would you do if you were not beading? I would do anything that is available.

What is your favorite thing about your life? I love working.

What is the biggest challenge of your life? I gave birth when I was still young and that's when I started facing a hard life.

How would you make things different at the Co-Op? I will help those who don't know how to make bead work and are willing to reach their goals.

What's your favorite memory from being a child? My favorite childhood memory is when I celebrated my 10th birthday. I enjoy that a lot.

What is it like to be a woman in Tanzania? I am proud of being a Tanzanian woman because I've got energy and am working hard to fight against poverty.

What message do you have for Americans buying your shoes? I urge people who are buying our shoes, especially Americans, to continue buying our products because they are of good quality of international standard.

What do you spend your money on? I spend my money on paying house rent, buying food, and clothes.

If you had more money, what would you spend it on? I will build a house for my children.

What do you think about Americans trying to help your business grow? They are creating jobs for Tanzanian women to fight against poverty.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? I will fight against women and children's deaths in any way.

Lily Catlin Garcia