Founded in 2001 by Jennie Misner, Venture Imports is a lifestyle brand that creates handcrafted home goods made from soapstone in Kenya. As a fair trade company, they seek to work with those who are under-represented in their fields, particularly women, and provide them with fair compensation, interest-free loans and a safe environment to work in.
One of their goals as a company is to ensure that every person who works on their products is able to send their children to school, which they have been able to succeed in year after year. In addition, their partners are building houses and buying land and animals with the money they earn from making Venture Imports pieces. This means they are multiplying their income through new streams of revenue and creating generational change for their children.
Each soapstone piece is carefully handmade. The process begins with extreme precision as a machete is used to carve each design out of a piece of rock. Then, the rugged piece is sanded repeatedly under water. When it's completely smooth to the touch, it is painted and etched using only simple hand-tools. Finally it is polished before making its way across the ocean for you to enjoy.