Kerry Glanfield is the creative genius behind Nyumbani Design, a bold architectural jewelry collection made from a variety of indigenous Tanzanian trees. Glanfield partners with Trees for the Future, ensuring a seed is planted in Tanzania for every piece of jewelry sold. This minimalist statement jewelry is sculpted by hand from different sections of wood, making each piece slightly different and unique in color. Read more about Nyumbani?s globetrotting designer and shop this unique brand from Dar es Salaam.
How does travel inspire your collection?
Travel allows you to look at regular things in a different way. It takes you out of the every day familiarity ? a place where we know what to expect. I have lived in a number of places from the Caribbean, Mediterranean, UK, and now East Africa. Each place has inspired my collections whether through cultural experiences, color, or shape.
Describe Nyumbani Design in 3 words.
Bold, architectural, and unique. Nyumbani design creates statement structural jewelery for confident, creative women. Each piece is sculpted by hand from different sections of wood, making each piece slightly different and unique in color -- ensuring that no two pieces are the same.
Your collection of products keeps growing, what creative endeavors are on the horizon?
I enjoy the challenge of working with wood and experimenting with new techniques, indigenous trees, and structural form. Through our partnership with an environmental organization, we are able to ethically replenish a renewable natural resource by planting a seed for every wooden piece sold in Tanzania. By expanding our product ranges, we hope to increase the number of trees planted with rural communities, enabling them to restore their environment, grow more food as well as supporting wooden artisans in their profession. In the coming months, I plan to develop the more luxurious gold plated range by incorporating other natural resources ethically cultivated in Tanzania. I love the concept of creating beauty through uniting contrasting raw materials.
Who is your Muse? Describe the Nyumbani Design woman.
My source of inspiration emerges from my surroundings in the form of built-up spaces and natural landscapes. I design for creative bold women who want to make a statement through wearable extensions of themselves in the form of wooden sculptural pieces of art.
Tell us about your favorite piece (or one of them) and where you were inspired to create it.
My favorite piece from the AW14/15 range would be the Pembe bangle. My apartment in Dar es Salaam overlooks a brightly colored yellow building ? vibrantly painted for its ease of locating. Architectural structures and shapes are my main source of stimulation when creating. I love finding beauty in construction and transforming it into wearable silhouettes through shape and color.
My favorite piece to wear is the Kufuli gold plated ring which was designed during one of my trips to London. For this piece the contrast of the harsh, jagged lines of the London Underground steel escalators adjoining the glossy ceramic tiled walls inspired the machined markings set against the smoothly polished wooden surface.
What is one of your most memorable/exciting trips?
In June I visited my family back home in the Cayman Islands. We are also currently planning a long weekend to New Orleans ? a city I have always wanted to visit for the music, food, and art. The long journey from Tanzania to Grand Cayman and back again is pretty exhausting, so I like to stop off and spend a few days in the UK to visit my friends and, of course, shop!
Souk or Department Store?
As much as I love and miss department stores living in Tanzania, there is something enchanting and fulfilling about discovering a hidden treasure or a source of inspiration in a souk.
DIY or Concierge Service?
DIY ? I like to do things myself, well at least try to!
Buy Everything or Buy Nothing?
Buy Everything (while you can). As Tanzania is still a developing country, we are very much limited by the products that are imported or the things that can be made here. Every time I pass through the UK, I stock up on my cosmetics, simple jersey wear and bikinis. You may not get another chance for six months - unless someone is kind enough to carry it in their suitcase for you - so it is always better to buy more!
Camping or 5-Star Hotel?
Glamping (Glamorous Camping).
Drive or be Driven?
I love to drive. I spend a couple of mornings every week driving around Dar es Salaam visiting my artisans or sourcing materials. Traffic congestion is felt by everyone in the city but as long as I have my music and the sun is shining, I enjoy the experience of taking in my surroundings.
Room Service or Street Food?
Street food. I like eating in a sociable setting and experiencing new cuisines.
Lots of Luggage or Carry-on Bag?
Lots of luggage (and airlines that permit greater baggage allowance for my long-haul journeys).