Kerry James

Managing Director, Tsandza Weaving

Manzini, Swaziland

About Kerry:

Kerry is the owner and Managing Director of Tsandza Weaving. The company produces luxurious, high quality handwoven fashion and home decor accessories using natural fibers including bamboo, cotton, mohair and merino, across three core product ranges: Home Décor: blankets, throws and cushion covers; Fashion: scarves, shawls and ponchos; and a Children’s line: scarves and blankets. Tsandza’s collections boast a distinctive blend of the vibrant colors of Africa, combined with contemporary trends.  As a social enterprise, the company trains and works with around 40 artisans, primarily low-skilled rural women to provide employment opportunities  providing a means for women to have a voice and lead by example within their communities. Along with being conscious of their environmental impact, core to Tsandza’s principles is to maintain handmade production methods, as opposed to introducing machines, whilst still remaining relevant to current trends and financially sustainable. Hand looms and spinning wheels, biodegradable dyes and natural fibers are used to produce Tsandza’s products. Sales are made through Tsandza’s own two retail stores located in eSwatini’s main tourist complexes and through a wholesale network in South Africa, Australia, Canada, USA and Denmark. To promote the skill of handweaving and add to their revenue stream, Tsandza has recently partnered with a US-based tour company to offer “artisanal” experience holidays by providing a 3 day weaving workshop. Kerry is passionate about developing climates in which everyone feels empowered to work to their highest degree of effectiveness and take ownership of their outcomes, such that both personal success and organizational performance is optimized. Her areas of expertise include sales, communications, finance, strategic planning and capacity building. Her education includes training and coaching certification in Neuro Linguistic Programming, Time Line Therapy and Hypnosis. Kerry is also the Co-owner and Director of LOMAH Resorts Pty, a for profit eco-conscious business that is developing a lifestyle center based on the concept of responsible tourism to cater for visitors to eSwatini.

 

What Kerry hopes to gain from the VV GROW Fellowship:

Kerry hopes to learn how to develop PR, branding and marketing skills to expand Tsandza’s brand and reach to a more global audience in order to generate higher, more consistent revenue, and to broaden her network amongst entrepreneurial women and artisan businesses.

 

What Kerry can offer other fellows:

Kerry can share her experiences and knowledge from a career that spans over 30 years, particularly in working with women’s empowerment, working with a board of directors and learning to wear “many hats” in her business. She can additionally share her formal training experience in facilitating leadership programs and executive coaching focused on communication and behavioral change, driven by a passion for mentoring and personal growth.

 

Connect with Kerry on Social Media:

Website: www.tsandzaweaving.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kerry-james-495755118

Facebook Page (business): https://www.facebook.com/TsandzaWeaving

Facebook Page (personal): https://www.facebook.com/kerry.james.5070

Instagram (business): @tsandzaweaving