By Melba Kaure
WINDHOEK – Namibian bead maker Jacobina Mwale plans to expand her creative bee designs business to other neighbouring countries.
Mwale is currently working on growing the venture and says that expansion plans in Zambia are currently underway.
She claims that Botswana is also an option that she will look into as she also has customers there.
The Oshakati born whiz, who completed her high school at the Etosha secondary school in Tsumeb, describes creative bee designs as a lucrative business that focuses on high-quality and uniquely fashioned hand-made beaded jewellery.
Mwale is a systems developer by profession. She spoke to The Southern Times on her journey in the bead making industry.
“Creative bee designs on inception were just hobby. Well, business-wise, it all began when an opportunity arose whereby I could sell my pieces at a fashion and art flea market.
“Henceforth, the business grew into more and different arts and craft markets and a wider range of customers.
“The business has definitely been rewarding, growing day by day, but just like any other business I’ve had our fair chance of challenges,” Mwale narrated.
Mwale, who holds a Computer Science and Mathematics honours degree from the University of Namibia explained how she ended up becoming a bead maker.
“I never intended to start my own business, but I’ve always been interested in making, designing and creating things.
“It just happened as a natural progression – from wanting to make a piece of jewellery for myself, to getting an opportunity to actually sell one of the pieces and seeing people wear them.
“It’s really then I understood my skill was marketable and I took advantage of the opportunity to monetize my hobby and turn talent into a money-making business venture,” said Mwale.
She makes beaded earrings, necklaces, bracelets, studs and fashion rings.
“The beading techniques I use include: pearl knotting, bead fringe, stringing, netting and sawing. My beading style is quirky, baroque in detail and contrasting elements of colour.
“My jewellery portrays a personality that is bold and dares to be different,” she said proudly.
For every piece of jewellery and bead she makes involves a process. Her creative inspiration to make beads comes through divine intervention.
She said that as a child of God she constantly draws her inspiration from the bible, especially Deuteronomy chapter 30, which says “The lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands”.