Much has happened since I started Manyatta just over 4 years ago. As you may know, I actually teach full time at Ludgrove Prep School in Berkshire and have done for the past 7 years. From my first 2 major commissions – thanks, Guy, at the Old Etonian Rackets and Tennis Club, and Gabriel at Flashmen Cricket Club, the numbers of commissions for bespoke Maasai beaded belts has grown greatly: The Queen’s Club, Hurlingham club, Chelsea Arts Club, Old Stoics, Radley Rangers, Eton Ramblers…….the list goes on.
I am indebted to so many people for their support and encouragement, not to mention concrete orders! The wider Ludgrove community has been pivotal in all of this and I am overwhelmed by their help.
The first major change happened just over a year ago with a phone call from Theo Shepherd-Smith. One thing led to another (as the tabloids might say!) and he is now a director of Manyatta Limited. His skill, energy and business appreciation has been central to our increased success.
The truth is, however, that I simply have not managed to combine 2 jobs. Many projects have disappeared into the ether as I have not had the time to pursue them successfully. There are many commissions that are currently ‘pending’, often waiting for official approval from the club’s governing body.
So the 2nd major change took place this January. I shall leave Ludgrove in July to concentrate full time on Manyatta beaded belts and dog collars. It’s incredibly exciting but a little daunting as we look to turn that potential into something much greater, supporting and empowering some of the most impoverished in Kenyan society.
I cannot swear that success is guaranteed – there is lots of hard work ahead – but one thing for certain is that I will give it the best possible attempt.
Thank you all for your support and please do keep this support going – we shall need it!