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About us

 
 
 
Our Story
 
I have always been deeply interested in art and the handmade artifact. My interest has taken me on a road, not always smooth, but endlessly enriching and full of surprises.
My background is in accounting and computer science. While working as an accountant, graduated from Addis Ababa Commercial College, I studied chartered accountancy by correspondence with ACCA (United Kingdom) and then I joined Addis Ababa University and graduated with a Bsc in Computer Science. In 2008 I stepped into the world of art and opened a shop in the Getu Commercial Center, Addis Ababa I did not have any selling experience and found myself tongue tied and unable to discuss price with my clients. First lesson learnt: selling is not about shame, but a world rich with possibility! That was the turning point for me and I did not look back.

Through the ten years that I have been creating and selling art and craft, I have had many successes and many failures, but I have never given up. Political uncertainty in our country saw two of my shops close. But again, lessons learnt through my business startups have been priceless, and I mean just that, beyond value. It is this learning that I have brought with me into my present business, Weyra Crafts, situated in Bole Medhehanealem. Weyra has many distinguished clients, chiefs of mission to Ethiopia, ambassadors, directors, and presidents. Participation in trade shows both inside and outside of Ethiopia has further extended Weyra’s reach and its clientele. It was with some pride that I was invited to present Weyra products in Nairobi and met Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and his wife.
The Weyra workshops are located some two kilometers from the center of the city. There are two: a weaving and a sewing workshop. At the weaving workshop seven weavers create Weyra’s beautiful fabric, and at the sewing workshop, seamstresses, three women and two men, create Weyra’s distinct products. The workforce expands when orders require it. Weyra’s employment policy is founded on social responsibility, favouring the poorest and the most vulnerable.

The sewing section is run by Yesewzer Assefa, Bezunesh Webu and Abaynesh Gizaw, two of whom experience hearing and speaking challenges. The youngest member of the workshop is Amanuel Aklilu, son of single mother Abaynesh Gizaw. Amanuel has become the joy of the workshop. From the age of 3 months he has spent his days there and this year, now 3 years old, he has joined a kindergarten at Selam children’s village, sponsored by Weyra.
Sitotaw Assefa heads the weaving workshop. His team can expand from two to five or six, depending on orders. Sitotaw Assefa is an artisan who inherited a love of handcraft from his parents. Steeped in the practice of traditional craft making, he grew up watching his mother, a potter, mould clay, and his stepfather, weave cloth. Traditional art resides in Sitotaw’s family for generations.

Pottery is one of our product lines. Weyra commissions women, low income family bread winners, to produce its unique collection. These women have become excluded from society at large for the mistaken belief that they possess evil powers. The women work their pottery in their homes and supply Weyra on a contract basis.
The wood carvings in Weyra’s collection are largely made by woodworkers working in non-government organizations established to support the deaf, those unable to speak, and the physically challenged. Another working group is made up of self-employed youth that Weyra in with its social responsibility commitment, includes as product providers.
At the Weyra shop in Bole Medhehanialem, two young women who have returned from the Middle East where they worked in the service industry, have been hired as sales staff. Providing support and encouragement for Middle East returnees, many of whom are traumatised and disoriented having been poorly treated by their employers, forms another part of Weyra’s social responsibility commitment and helps young women reintegrate into society.
Weyra Crafts will continue to pursue its dream of having a positive impact on the network of communities with which it works. Building a sustainable and profitable business will benefit all of Weyra’s producers. It is equally Weyra’s dream to share with discerning buyers the world over, the expertly designed and produced craft of Ethiopia. Weyra wishes to bring joy to homes in all corners of the globe. As Weyra’s footprint grows, the impact that it can have on communities in Ethiopia, will grow too. And with the economic outlook of Ethiopia steadily improving, Weyra is well positioned to flourish and prosper. Hand crafted weaves, household goods, jewelry and traditional pottery, furniture and carvings, will be gracing the homes of Addis Ababa and beyond well into the future!
 
 
Mission
 
  • We aimed at being parcel in Socio-economic impact on our society
 
 
 
Vision
 
  • To be the leading superior of unique in-house Ethiopian and African contemporary design products to the world.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Our Gallery Visitors
 
 
 
 
Her Excellency former US Ambassador Ms Patricia Haslach attending the ceremony at Weyra Crafts
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta and his wife with the owner Meaza Tsegaye