Colours have more meaning than you think!
When I started my business back in 2019 I was driven by an internal flame! That flame started as a tiny red and orange flicker of energy, drive, aspiration and determination. Little did I know what I would learn along the way.
I will write another post about how Adorn LDW began but for now I will stick to the meaning and diversity of colour.
Everyone has their favourite colour, what's yours? I personally am drawn to the colour blue.
Wherever I see it, I realise I focus on it more than I do any other colour. Would I call that Sky Blue, Police Light Blue, Ocean Blue, Pale Blue?
All I know is most blues I like.
Funnily enough, blue is the most favourable colour of our population with 35% claiming it to be their favourite. [Credit: https://medium.com/illumination/the-top-5-most-loved-colors-dde542d35f8a]
As we all know too well, the world shut down in 2020 as we entered a world pandemic. Lockdowns, curfews, rules, regulations....all making us see red most probably. But this sudden change to our world meant I had to adapt and rely solely on online sales revenue. I also couldn't travel to my artisan in Morocco for our wonderful kilim leather belts and dog collars.
The flickering flame inside of me was now becoming quite agitated as my stock levels were running low. I couldn't get to Morocco, my artisan was forced to close his business and I needed to find more stock for all of my wonderful customers to buy.
Despite most of us being stuck in our homes, we all had the ability to travel outside of our confined walls and experience the wider world. We just had to be looking in the right places and not mundanely scrolling through social media.
Having said that it was on a social media site that a new business relationship was born between myself and a new artisan in Kenya.
As I was scrolled through their business profile, the colours on my phone were singing, dancing and toying with my eyes and I felt so alive. My desire to extend my product range to a new country was right at my fingertips.
I got in contact and the rest is history. My artisan and I have a wonderful relationship checking in on each other and once the pandemic calms down a little, I know he will welcome me to Kenya with open arms and it will be wonderful to meet him face to face.
It was in April earlier this year that my first package arrived, the beige-brown cardboard that excites no-one. But my heart was beating, my blood was pumping, my hands were shaking. Why you may ask? The excitement of opening the beige-brown lid to reveal an array of new leather belts and dog collars with so, so, many different colours. Blues, reds, oranges, greens, yellows, purples, pinks. All of these colours, all in my very own Pandora's box.
Time to get started on photographing, editing, uploading and listing of these fantastic new products across my website, Etsy, eBay, Google, Facebook and Instagram. I couldn't believe my eyes as to how many colours I was seeing. The Moroccan belts and dog collars also have a wonderful diverse ability to catch the eye with their colours and unique patterns, but these beads had me transfixed.
Both the Moroccan and Kenyan products are hand made by women in Berber and Maasai tribes. I am in awe of these women who get to see so many beautiful colours every single day. To use their hands to create beautiful designs every day must be fascinating. It was this thought that funnily enough got me thinking.
What do all these colours mean? There has to be a symbolic value attached to these colours. Tribal values and their cultures go back hundreds even thousands of years. So I had to find out and I want to share with you what I have found.
To begin with, a brief insight into Maasai Culture and Tradition.
For a start, they wear vivid red robes, visually setting them apart. The Maasai Tribe are one of the very few tribes in Kenya still to have retained most of their traditions. Since the beginning of the 1900's with the arrival of European settlers their land, traditions and culture has been vastly affected by the modern world.
However, their culture and traditions do still stand strong. While the men are busy keeping the tribe safe, secure and well fed the women are also busy at work. Some of their work involves beadwork.
It is considered their duty to learn the art of beadwork. Their hard work goes into making our beautiful dog collars and leather belts but they also make jewellery, sandals and home decor items to name but a few. Within the tribe itself, the products are made for both men and women and they have a variety of uses from weddings, rituals and community events.
With so much history surrouding the Maasai tribe I had to find out what all these colours meant. There symbolism, their role and values within the tribe. Maasai beadwork is worn within the tribe according to the age and social status of an individual.
Unmarried females wear flat beaded discs around their neck as a sign of grace and flexibility. On her wedding day a women gets to wear an elaborate coloured and heavily beaded neck piece. Once married her neck is adorned with a long necklace with blue beads. The higher the status of the women the more colourful the beadwork worn.
[Image credit: http://www.maasai-association.org/mcc/women.group.html]
The vibrance has to and must mean something. I wish I was able to ask my artisan the question - but what does it all mean?!? But right now I can't so have to rely on internet research.
Red | Bravery, unity and blood
White | Peace, purity and health
Blue | Energy, sustenance and the sky
Orange | Hospitality, warmth and friendship
Green | Health, nourishment and land
Yellow | Sun, fertility and growth
Black | Togetherness, harmony and solidarity of the people
After researching into this, I cannot wait to travel to Kenya to meet my artisan face to face and continue to build our business relationship. I hope to be able to meet the wonderful Maasai women who create Adorn LDW's wonderful products. Now with more knowledge of the colours and their meaning, I hope they will be pleased to know, I have made some designs myself.
I hope they enjoy crafting them, half as much as I look forward to opening my next delivery of exploding colour; that gets transported from country to country in that dreary beige-brown cardboard box.
That is a little bit like life, you don't know what colours are inside until you just take a peak.
What is your favourite colour? Browse our current stock to see if you can find the belt or dog collar of your dreams.
If you know if you are looking for you a friend or even your pet; please see direct links to our leather belts and dog collar section.