About this time last year, getting cold and dark! I was getting ready to do the ELDS – a design show in Shoreditch. When the time finally came I arrived with my table and my lamp to be welcomed by a flurry of activity going on in the stand next to me. Kathy Shenoy of Shake The Dust’s display of African bags, baskets and tea towels amongst other bright and colourful items was displayed on a brilliant backdrop which her set maker friend was busy hammering together.
Over the next three days I got to talk to Kathy more about her business and the ideas behind it. After spending two and a half years living and working in Swaziland in Southern Africa, kathy returned to the UK in 2011 and set about securing funding from the Princess Trust for her new business idea. Shake The Dust ‘links designers in the UK with ethical producers in developing countries to produce luxury homeware and accessories.’ Among the growing range of products one of my favourite collections is the ‘Gone Rural’ collection of colourful weaved baskets and mats. I also love the hot water bottle covers by Kangan Arora.
This year has been busy for Shake the Dust. As well as adding to the ever growing collection in February they were awarded 1st prize in the Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award and they are currently occupying a pop up shop in Gabriels Whalf. I asked Kathy what she has planned for the next year.
“Shake the Dust is exhibiting at Clerkenwell Design Week 2014 and will be showcasing some exclusive new collaborative projects. We also have a very exciting plans lined up for London Design Festival to celebrate Cape Town World Design Festival and the 20 year celebrations next year in South Africa.”
If you want to see the products first hand then head down to the pop up shop in Gabriels Whalf in London which will be open till the end of December.