2018 - DEPOP & THE LONDON MARATHON
Whilst I was living in Nairobi, I signed up to run the London Marathon 2018 for ‘Save the Rhino International’. My random, sudden appetite to run a 26.2 mile race came because I was eager to raise money and support African wildlife conservation. Once my spot was confirmed, before I could even think about the fact that I had to run a 26.2 mile race, I had been set a fundraising target of £2,000.
In come the accessories. Whilst in Kenya, I visited the Maasai Market. I saw an extensive, beautiful range of delicate, colourful, beaded jewellery that was all hand crafted by women living in Nairobi. I went up to one stall in the market and asked the stall owner if I could place a custom made order. I took her number so she could text me when the items were ready. I purchased a mix of earrings, headbands and necklaces to sell back in the UK with 100% going towards my marathon fundraising.
Once I came home, I used the app ‘Depop’ to sell these wonders and called my profile ‘Rhino Beads’. Within a few months I sold everything and my worldwide Depop ranking went to 158th.
In April 2018, I completed the London Marathon. It was 24 degrees; I cried, I sweated and I finished with the best drink of my life. I raised a total of £2,100 and Save the Rhino reached a massive £130,000! Why stop here though? I thought 'Rhino Beads' could be built upon.
2018 - MEETING ANNE
That stall I visited in Nairobi at the Maasai market, where I made a custom order, was owned by someone called Anne. Back in the UK, when I wanted to purchase some more items, I still had Anne's number and I got in touch with her again. I placed another order and Anne shipped it to the UK. All of a sudden there was a mini business. Ever since we have used Anne's business as our top supplier. It's crazy to think if I never took Anne's number that day, Rhimani would never have started.
Anne runs a small female business in Nairobi, Kenya creating and selling Maasai, beaded items. She employs 5 or so women to hand craft items such as earrings, necklaces, key rings, belts, dog collars and many more gems. I visit the workshop regularly and get to witness the skill and craftsmanship that goes behind each item. Her workshop is based at her home in Nairobi. She has her own stall on the outside of the city in an area called Karen. For more details on how Anne's business works, alongside details on Rhimani and fair trade, take a look here.
I believe meeting Anne that day in the Maasai market was a little moment of fate. Out of the all the stalls and pop ups I could have gone to, I went to Anne's.
2019 - present, SUPPORTING CONSERVATION & EDUCATION
The beginning of Rhimani came about because I wanted to raise money for wildlife conservation and 'Save The Rhino'. This concept still very much remains.
Rhimani supports conservation and education in Kenya. A portion of each and every purchase is put aside and we donate at LEAST 10% of our makings towards charities that focus on deprived communities in Kenya, and critical areas of African wildlife conservation. ‘Each month, a different charity’.
To date Rhimani has raised a huge £11,000, supporting a diverse mix of conservation and education charities. Our biggest sum being £4,000 which we raised for ‘Save The Rhino’. Each month we write a blog about our chosen charity and inform you exactly where this money goes and what impact it has had. Please find all this info about chosen charities here:
That's how it started, now we haven't stopped.
Find us on Instagram and Facebook - @rhimaniuk and #JOINTHEPACK