Teta Isibo is the founder and creative force behind Inzuki Designs, a young Rwandan brand specializing in jewelry, accessories and interior decor. Teta’s creations are hand-made using local craft skills and materials – she works with numerous local women’s cooperatives to create vibrant, quality pieces.
With no background in fashion or business, Teta quit her job as an urban planner in Kigali to launch Inzuki, which means ‘bees’ in the local language. This has grown into a popular Rwandan brand with a boutique located in the Heart of Kigali City. Teta is now targeting international markets including the rest of Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America through distributors and an online store.
Teta is proudly part of an ever-growing Rwandan cultural renaissance that is seeing growing innovation and an increasing number of young entrepreneurs and trendsetters propelling the country to the next level.
“The essence behind the name ‘Inzuki’ is three-fold, reflecting on the client, the producers and the product itself. From the client’s angle, even though bees produce something as sweet as honey, they are still not to be messed with because they can sting. To us, this represents the attitude of our muse, the modern Rwandan. We refer to this ‘sweet but fierce’ attitude as ‘honey-coated boldness. From the producers’ angle, we work with cooperatives, the concept behind cooperatives itself is one of a great sense of community, diverse groups working together harmoniously, much as bees do. Bees are organized and industrious and by far the best example of a successful working community. From the product angle, we aim to create a ‘buzz’ around Rwandan made products which we believe have a globally marketable aesthetic.” Teta says.
Teta sees the Inzuki Designs brand as a mix of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design. Her jewellery and accessory pieces are hand-made using primarily local organic materials and produced by cooperatives around the country, mainly consisting of women. Today, Inzuki works closely with about 10 co-operatives as a way of inspiring women to get into entrepreneurship and manage their own wealth. Teta has also been blessed to cross paths with lots of women who have inspired her, so if she does the same for others, she takes it as an honor.
To all women, Teta says: “Never stifle your dreams and aspirations; if they don’t scare you, they are not big enough”.
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