The warm heart of Africa shines here! Welcome (Sabona) to the official African Origins blog. We intend to use this blog to keep you up to date with all the comings and goings at African Origins as well as anything else we are inspired to share with you. We love talking Africa, so please join in the conversation.
If you are here for the first time, African Origins is an online seller of fine African tribal art and beautiful arts and crafts from South Africa. We are based in Melbourne, Australia but we ship to our happy customers all over the world.
My name is Pippa Beaumont and I manage the day to day running of African Origins. I am a self-confessed Africafreak and when I’m not in Africa, I spend a lot of time wishing I was!
Operating African Origins then, is a dream come true for me in many ways and I feel incredibly blessed to have a job that connects me on a daily basis to a place where I feel most at home. Though I was born in Australia, I feel a very deep connection to Africa.
In 2010, I had the good fortune to meet photographer, Christopher Rimmer in Botswana. Christopher’s work is amazing and he has a real affinity with Southern Africa which isn’t surprising since he grew up in Johannesburg. Christopher’s photographic prints sell for many thousands of dollars each all around the world and he admits that Africa and her people have inspired his best work and have played an integral part in the success he has enjoyed.
Like me, he was very keen to give something back to a country from which he had gained so much but he abhorred the idea of aid believing that aid in itself, did the communities it sought to help, more harm than good.
Being a long time sponsor of a child through World Vision though, it was a view I must admit, I hadn’t really considered, nor did I immediately agree with it. So what to do?
I had dropped out of an arts degree at university in Australia and was travelling around Southern Africa trying to find some inspiration. I was interested in online business as a means to economically empower impoverished communities in Africa, particularly after I saw some of the amazing things they make. I was certain that if I could get something up and going in Australia where we had all the services of modern communication systems, we could effectively trade with even the most remote communities in Africa and get a flow of revenue occurring where it was needed most.
To his eternal credit, Christopher Rimmer decided to take a punt on me, even though I knew little about setting up an e-commerce website, let alone how to buy and ship items to Australia and market them to Western customers. Christopher provided the funds required to get African Origins up and going and also introduced me to several people he knew in South Africa, all who have been an integral part of the African Origins story.
We still have a long way to go and there is much to be done. I look forward to keeping you abreast of our activities and also using this blog to introduce you to some of the wonderful people we have on board as we showcase the amazing and often quirky things they make.
Feel free to get in touch with me, I’m always up for a chat and I love talking about all things African. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org