The most recent iteration of Cool Hunting's Quarterly Co. will be reaching mailboxes soon, and it's one we're especially excited about. CHQ8 is born from our 2012 trip to Africa—an experience that educated, shaped and changed us.
In Zambia the CH team met Malafian Chimungu—a now 16-year-old boy who makes animal figurines from snare wire. Not only is he creating something beautiful—it's in great contrast to the material's original use as snares for illegally poaching the wild animals that live in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park game reserve, next door to his town of Mfuwe. His designs included elephants, zebras, hippos, giraffes, frogs and other animals.Chimungu uses the profits from selling his creations to help support his family. His generous and entrepreneurial spirit and his sheer talent are what inspired CHQ8.
His orders are usually for a dozen or so pieces from gift shops in the local safari lodges, so he was a bit taken aback by our order of several hundred pieces, and it took most nights and weekends after finishing his homework for six months for him to fill our order. It was worth the wait. The money he made from our order was more than his family typically earns in a year, and with it he was able to pay for his and his siblings school fees, to weatherproof his family's home, build a small poultry farm and construct a workshop to continue creating in.
Both Quarterly Co. and we have donated 100 percent of this Quarterly shipment's profits to Malafian's school, enabling the school to acquire 12 bicycles for pupils who have to travel up to 20 kms a day to attend school, often by foot.
Also available as part of CHQ8 are Mikuti bracelets, designed by Erika Freund who works with talented craftspeople in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda to make her stunning jewelry. Freund's aim since founding the company back in 2009 has been (and remains) to create jobs, support existing workshops, use sustainable and locally sourced materials, and to help connect those involved to the established global market.
We are genuinely thrilled to share these beautiful, thoughtful objects with our subscribers and to support the gifted people and communities involved. To subscribe to CH's next box, visit Quartlerly Co. online.
Portrait of Malafian Chimungu by Lisa Gower, other images courtesy of Quarterly