Scandinavian vintage kids room

Will start the year with some inspirational pictures from Clara Lidströms nursery where the new and the old are blended in an eclectic mix to create an eye comforting, soothing yet playful room for her son.

Here are a few tips on how to get this Scandinavian vintage look into your childrens room.

  1. Vintage furniture
  2. Old picture frames and pictures. Embroidered, painted or prints.
  3. A blend of hand-knitted toys and crocheted covers.
  4. Hand woven rugs
  5. Wall paper ideas here
  6. Classic timeless lamp designs

 

Vintage scandinavian kids room

Scandinavian Vintage Kids Room from Underbaraclaras Värld

Pictures from flea markets

Handknitted cow and flea market pictures

old lamp

Old lamp

Old wooden chair

Old wooden chair

Clara says ” I want the nursery to feel warm and cozy, and of course play-friendly! The entire nursery is decorated with flea market finds and heirlooms. The rag rug is woven by my mom. The green child size wooden stool is a flea market find and the brown storage chair I had as a child. The grey wooden bed is from my husband’s childhood and the pictures are flea market finds. In the large gold frame sits a Mamma Moo-poster which I bought at the library and the embroidered picture with the Saint Bernard dog my grandfather’s mother made. In the green chair is also a nice cuddly monkey from Yawama of Sweden.”

For more ideas and inspiration on Swedish vintage interior decorating for kids see Empire Nordic and My Scandinavian Home and petit and small.

 

 

Christmas shopping in Umeå 2014

Would you like to do some genuine local  shopping with a modern twist then Eljest is the place you are looking for. Swedish design at  its best where designers, artisans and producers from Västerbotten fuse traditional designs and crafts with a modern flare amalgamating continental influences to create unique pieces of jewellery, pottery, clothing, jams and much more. This year Yawama Kids collection of adorable soft toys and cushion covers are among many other handmade products on sale. Our small but very competent team of designers Anna and Clara lidström both have their roots in Västerbotten.

Eljest pop up store pops up once a year just before Christmas offering a spectacular range of handmade products. Tomorrow Saturday the 20th of December, I will be at Eljest from 11,00-16,00hrs. Eljest is on the main walking street this year opposite Lindex. Please pass by just to say hi or browse through the amazing range of products. I would be happy to answer any questions with regards to Yawama of Sweden producers and products. As we say in bemba MWAISENI- WELCOME.

Eljest Cultural Gift Store

Eljest Cultural Gift Store

Local Handcraft from Västerbotten

Local Handcraft from Västerbotten

Ecological soft toys designed in Sweden and handmade in Zambia

Ecological soft toys designed in Sweden and handmade in Zambia

Yawama Kids Collection at Eljest

Yawama Kids Collection at Eljest

Stylish Batik Cushion Covers

Just before Christmas in anticipation of 2015 Yawama of Sweden launches a small batik range of monochrome black and white cushion covers for the modernist or the earthy interior decorater. Would you like to add an ethical twist to your Scandinavian look? These batik cushion covers should do the trick. These cushions are not just African inspired but they are handmade in collaboration with Yawama of Sweden by women in Swaziland at Baobab.

batik cushion cover

Baobab is a small enterprise employing 25 women in Swaziland. All the women and predominantly single mothers. Baobab provides the women with tools to adapt to the growing responsibility and the shift in women’s roles in communities. Baobab is a member of SWIFT (Swaziland Fair Trade), an organization that supports the development of the handicraft industry in the country.

Svart vit prydnadskudde

Batik cushion  leaves

These cushion covers have been created by skilled artisans through a tedious process. Hot melted wax is artistically applied in specific design to a white fabric. The fabric is then submerged into a dye bath, the wax acting as a resistant on the fabric allowing the uncovered fabric to be dyed. The fabric is then left to dry in the sun. This process is repeated layer upon layer. The wax is then removed by boiling the fabric and a unique fabric with a crackled effect is created. The dyed fabric is then cut and sewn into uniques pieces such as our batik covers.

Monochrome interior

black and white cushion cover

A tropical culinary experience for Christmas

Welcome to a tropical culinary experience at Yawama of Sweden. The Christmas table is laid and here we present our range of tropical dried mango and  sun-dried tomato from Chankwakwa in Zambia, cashew nuts from Smiling a Swedish fair trade and eco brand that works with small-scale producers in Gambia, fair trade tea and coffee and a range of exotic jams and chutney sourced through Sackeus who represent a number of fair trade and ecological producers in Tanzania, South Africa and other developing countries.

Fairtrade and Eco food

Tropical delights

I have slowly being trying to find edible products that fit into the Yawama range of “good products”. By good I mean products that take into account both producers and the environment. I do not demand that smaller producers have to be fair trade certified and labelled but it is important that fair trade principles are adhered to and respected. I am well aware of the cost implications and the time and effort that goes into achieving both fair trade and eco certification,  which in many cases means that smaller producers have to apply for external funding in order to be able to meet these costs. In the event where producers do not have certification I source from reputable agencies such as Sackeus that have been working with fair trade development in third world countries for many years.

Dried mango

Sun dried mango and cashew nuts

tropical mix

Tropical mix of fruit and nut for muesli

 

This is Anna

20140305_134258

She is all dressed up. Her hair is braided and she is beautiful. She carries herself with grace and laughs heartily like most African women I know do. In her hand she carries her mobile phone. She is strong, confident and positive.  Like most Zambian women she believes in a brighter future for her children. Anna plays a huge part in the production process at little Ndaba our partner for the  Yawama Kids soft toy collection.  She ensures that the other women who come to the Wednesday meetings get the training and the encouragement that they need and ensures that quality specifications have been addressed. She is also responsible for yarn distribution.

Anna has been knitting since the age of 6. Her mother was her inspiration.  She lives with her husband Innocent, in small brick house that belongs to the pig farmer where her husband works. They have electricity and running water. They have 5 children. Her oldest child is 21 and her youngest child is 8.  They own a deep freezer and a TV.  Innocent has a steady income.

20140305_104604

Prior to her involvement at Little Ndaba Anna tried to make a living knitting baby blankets and scarves. She would  spend a great amount of time trying to market her product.  Now she can spend more time knitting and leave the marketing part to little Ndaba. Most often she knits in the early hours of the morning or in the evenings in front of the TV.  Every year she plants 1 ha of maize from which she harvests 20 bags of maize for her own family consumption.

With the extra income she makes Anna dreams of one day owning her own plot of land.

Safe toys from Africa

YES YES YES. WE PASSED!

Test results

When this E mail came a few weeks ago I almost felt like I was back at school receiving exam results. After spending months trying to source an African organic cotton supplier, the little Ndaba team in Zambia together with the team at Yawama of Sweden ( Anna Lidström and Clara Lidström and myself) worked on new designs for the Yawama Kids.  You can only imagine my excitement when ALL our toys PASSED in ALL areas of the safety test.  I could not have done this alone. Thank you Charles at Little Ndaba and to Erin from Totoknits for your commitment to design, development and women empowerment in Africa.

Developing toys to meet  European safety standards can be costly business but can also be done in your home kitchen. We have tested both options. I have had so much support from Conformance and have run many trial run tests on our prototypes at home before sending our toys to the lab for analysis for official testing. So when I sent our 12 soft toys off I knew exactly what their fate was. Torture.

European standard EN 71 specifies safety requirements for toys with specific regulations for soft toys. Compliance with the standard is legally required for all toys sold in the European Union. The standard has been published in 12 parts and includes tests for flammability to ensure that fire does not spread quickly if the toy were to catch fire, mechanical testing to ensure that body parts and smaller parts can handle a certain weight before falling off and that dangerous elements are not present in the toy.

Further reading for those wishing to branch out in a similar venture

http://www.swedac.se/sv/Omraden/Ovriga-omraden/CE-markning/

http://www.sp.se/sv/index/services/toys/sidor/default.aspx

https://www.gov.uk/toy-manufacturers-and-their-responsibilities

http://oddsandsoxlets.co.uk/handmade-toys-ce-marking/

 

 

 

 

 

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Yawama Kids och Underbaraclara

Yawama Kids

Yawama Kids

Savannahome of Sweden changes name to Yawama of Sweden.  We have changed focus, worked on new designs and rebranded. Our big vision is to combine African craftsmanship with good Swedish design and sound business practices.

In conjunction with the name change I am proud to launch a children’s collection which has been developed with Clara Lidstrom, better known as Underbaraclara, one of Sweden’s largest bloggers and Anna Lidström, an established designer and stylist.  I am totally humbled to be working with these vibrant and talented women, who both share my passion to develop small business in particular women in Africa, and both share my commitment to respect the environment.

Nicola Fackel, Clara Lidström, Anna Lidström

The team-Nicola Fackel, Clara Lidström, Anna Lidström

Together we have developed the concept Yawama Kids – a children’s line that is totally unique. The collection includes products for children of all ages – that respect both planet and people. An ecological range of soft toys, hand painted cushion covers and recycled storage solutions. Our soft toys have been hand knitted using African grown organic cotton, and have been developed and tested to meet EU standards for Toy Safety. We are one of a few African toy brands that carry the CE Label. We are so proud to have made a product that we know is safe for your baby . Knowing that these toys have been hand-knitted by a Zambian mother gives me a greater thrill. We are totally committed to our vision of supporting small-scale producers in Africa, often women or widows, and ever thankful to the entrepreneurs,  and organisations that we work with in Africa for their commitment towards the same goals.

Our new product range has not just developed over night. It has taken months and months of planning, meetings, developing, research, sampling, styling, photographing and testing. Our goal has been to produce a unique children’s collection, without sacrificing quality, design or conditions of the producers. Something simply good. And that’s what YAWAMA means in my tribal language,  IT IS GOOD!

Fairtrade toys

Handknitted Plush toys

“I dont just see a cuddly toy, because that’s what it is. I see Mary and I see her son Junior, and I see his future.”

Producers

I sincerely hope you will follow us along our Yawama journey

Sourcing ecological cotton in Africa

Cotton plant© Paul Hahn/Aid by Trade Foundation.

Cotton plant© Paul Hahn/Aid by Trade Foundation.

My aim has been to develop a fully African produced plush toy, appealing in design to a very demanding Swedish consumer and yet  within a price range that would be considered affordable despite its handmade nature. My frame of reference: I wanted  the yarn used in the production to be African and I wanted the product to be able to provide an added income for woman at the base of the pyramid in Zambia willing to learn to knit.

Zambia is a cotton growing country. However the spinning industry which did exist  in Zambia has failed and it has taken me months of research to successfully source ecological cotton yarn. Eventually I found ecological cotton grown and spun in Tanzania, dyed in Kenya and finally imported into Zambia. I am still to understand how to benefit from COMESA regulations so as not to encounter duties on imports from Kenya to Zambia. This will have to be another future project in an attempt to reduce costs on our knitted plush toys. Other sources of dyed cotton yarn proved to have been spun and dyed in India and the original source of the cotton unknown.

I feel frustrated over  Zambia primarily being a  raw material producer.  In my home town of Kabwe, Mulungushi textiles that once employed 2000 people now boasts overgrown gardens and dilapidated infrastructure. Rumour has it yet again that a “potential investor” is looking into starting up the facility.  Swarp Spinning in Ndola that had a production capacity of 50000 spindles went into receivership in 2008 at the hight of world economic turmoil. Some of the failures in the spinning and textile  industry are said to have been a result as poor management, competition from Chinese products, high production costs and the second-hand clothing industry. I believe however that there is still potential to develop this industry focusing on smaller industrial units and focusing on grass root production.

Africa is known to have some of the finest cotton-producing about 8% of the world’s cotton the majority of this cotton being produced by small-scale farmers in rural areas with little mechanical assistance. According to the Cotton made in Africa initiative   these simple conditions under which cotton is grown in Africa allow for a sustainable cotton production. The CMAI initiative promotes African grown cotton as a means of empowerment for rural communities in Africa.

Sustainable cotton

Cotton made in Africa

I am so looking forward to launching our new hand knitted children’s range made from ECOLOGICAL COTTON GROWN IN AFRICA.  I can hardly believe that we are soon there. Keep posted for more information on the design process and details on individual knitters.

 

Design Indaba Cape Town

Inspirerad efter en lång dag på Design Indaba Expon här i Cape Town. Jag har länge velat besöka Indaban för att inspireras av den fantastiska kreativa design som finns här. En riktig bra blandning där traditionellt möter nytt, gammalt möter nytt och syd möter nord. Dessutom enormt roligt att  personligen få träffa kreatörerna bakom våra virkade änglar och tomtar samt våra fantastiska tvättkorgar.

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