Enjoy FREE shipping on domestic orders over $150 and ALL PILLOWS!

Our Artisans

 

xN Studio works with expert artisans and independent entrepreneurs in Africa to create traditionally crafted, modern products for e-commerce, wholesale, and interior design projects worldwide. Our mission is to develop the creative industry and livelihoods by utilizing these techniques that connect to today's aesthetic and global marketplace. Since 2011, we have worked with artisans in Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda. For context, Uganda and Ghana are home to the highest number of female entrepreneurs in the world, and social enterprises like xN Studio play a key role in creating the opportunities that make this a reality. Below you can learn more about our core team and how we work together to bring authentic and ethically-made cultural heritage items into homes, retail spaces, and interiors projects around the world.

 

Agnes (left)
Basket weaving expert, Uganda and Rwanda

Anges basket artisan in Uganda from Rwanda


Agnes leads the production and coordination of all basket (and coaster) weaving work in Uganda. She was born in Rwanda and emigrated to Uganda during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. She brought with her her affinity for basket design and making, which is prominent throughout the Lake Victoria region (locally known as Nalubaale). Agnes assembles and oversees on-demand women's cooperatives of independent artisans depending on the size of the order and design request.

 

Angie
Batik expert, Ghana

Angie batik artisan in Kokrobite, Ghana

Angie was the first batik expert we worked with in 2018 at Kokrobitey Institute in Kokrobite, Ghana outside of Accra. xN Studio founder, Nasozi, worked alongside Angie to learn all aspects of the batiking process, from carving the stamp designs out of recycled high-density foam, to gauging the correct temperature of the wax. This residency gave the xN Team an intimate understanding and first-hand experience with batik and what makes it so special.

 

Dunstan
Batik expert, Tanzania and Uganda (picture courtesy of Artisan Global)

Dunstan xN batik expert. Tanzania and Uganda

Dunstan was born an artist. He started drawing and painting in childhood, and later became a music producer, instructor, and instrumentalist for 10 years, part of the time in the U.K. He formally got his start in East African batik in 2017 when he set up batik workshops throughout East Africa to promote the tradition as a means of cultural preservation and income generation, primarily in post-conflict communities. He specializes in color consultation, and the design and production of batik fabrics from beginning to end, which includes no less than 10 steps and four days per piece. Dunstan is a husband and father of 3 and practices judo in his free time.

 

Judith (center)
Production manager and accessories artisan, Uganda

 Uganda production manager with sisal basket artisans

Judith is the backbone of operations and production on the ground in Kampala, Uganda, and has been a part of the xN Studio family since 2014. Since then, she has scouted and vetted local artisans for special projects, managed teams of artisans throughout Uganda, and introduced several new product ideas to the catalog.  This source of income and gratification has been instrumental to her family's survival during the pandemic and Uganda's ongoing restrictions. Judith is also a wife and mother of 4.

 

Nasozi
Creative director, United States and Uganda

Nasozi in xN Studio offices, USA

Founder Nasozi Kakembo designs, advises on, and curates all products in the xN Studio portfolio. A creative since birth, she went on to study art history in college, and earned her Master of Science from Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. She draws her inspiration for her textile, woodwork, and basketry design from her Ugandan heritage and her arts training. She has also independently studied modern furniture design in Denmark, which has a heavy influence on the overall aesthetic of her brand.