Vincent lives in Kibera, Africa’s largest slum, a neighborhood of Nairobi, Kenya. Here, and throughout the developing world, the artisan industry is the second-largest employer. Most artisans are limited to selling their goods locally, never able to earn enough to rise above the poverty line.
But with Soko, artisans gain access to on-trend designs and international markets. When we asked Vincent what his favorite Soko design is, he said with a grin, “I like any product that sells!”
Ten years ago Vincent founded Xcel Concepts, a recycling cooperative that supports youth from the Kibera slums, with the aim of training them up as skilled craftspeople and alleviating poverty in Kibera. He’s been recognized by Terra Nova in conjunction with Nairobi University for his involvement in training college students in product development and design.
Vincent’s workshop crafts some of Soko’s most popular styles out of upcylced horn and bone from locally consumed cow and camel. Would you ever guess your shiny new Kili Studs came from his dusty workshop in a slum?