Meet the Team

Ruth has a degree in Industrial Design from Nairobi University. She learned about all kinds of traditional crafts in a project that was developing prototypes together with traditional “jua kali” artisans in Nairobi. She then spent a year in Italy learning leather bag design at Scuola del Cuio in Florence before starting Blackfly Designs in Nairobi in 2012.

I started Blackfly by designing jackets for women from african print fabric. I had them made in my own studio at Adams Arcade in Nairobi with a team of three. Soon we had accumulated a colourful mosaic of cut out pieces of fabric. From these spill pieces I first made skirts and now all kinds of accessories. I recycle leather from old jackets,  and buttons, zips and buckles from mitumba, second hand clothes. I collaborate with a number of skilled artisans in Nairobi and its environs. Our customers appreciate how each of our items is unique and handmade with great attention to detail.

Read more about Ruth in this interview for Biashara. 

Ruth Abade

Ruth Abade

Designer
Pauline

Pauline

Assistant Manager

Super-organised assistant manager, tireless and good at the little details

David Onyango

David Onyango

Tailor
Nyakundi

Nyakundi

Tailor
Mike

Mike

Tailor

Tailor

Jack

Jack

Cutting leather and fabrics for bags
Jack

Jack

Tailor leatherworks
Omolo

Omolo

Tailor leatherworks
Njenga

Njenga

Tailor leatherworks
Elijah

Elijah

Tailor leatherworks
Ochieng

Ochieng

Tailor
Herine

Herine

Tagging and finishing
Senge

Senge

Storekeeping and finishing
Dan

Dan

Jewellery and brass fittings
Pravin

Pravin

Jewellery assistant