Authentic African Designs (AAD) may be a young company in the United Kingdom but it is backed up by a wealth of knowledge and experience in the owners and directors.
Gezz Robison has been running Africa’s Legends, a very successful African gifts and curio business from Cape Town, South Africa, for the past 18 years.
Africa’s Legends has grown into, arguably, the largest supplier of the widest range of gifts and souvenirs for the tourist industry in Africa. It has become well known as a leader in product design and branding and have a client base of over 500 satisfied customers including game parks, airport shops, hotels and all major tourist hubs in South Africa and 10 other African countries.
Through that business Gezz traveled extensively in Africa and grew to love and really appreciate the amazing talents of the local artists and the many and varied traditions that are reflected in their work.
Gezz spent a significant amount of time working with the Bushmen of Southern Africa. He conducted art workshops with them and now many of their paintings are in galleries and homes around the world.
Kathy Robison joined Gezz at Africa’s Legends in 2015 after a long professional career. Throughout her career she had worked in 12 African countries and holidayed in many too! She loved the amazing experiences, the warm, friendly people and of course the traditional art.
The love of Africa and all things African is, after 40 years of living on the continent, deep rooted in their souls. The creation of AAD came with the realisation that there was a huge opportunity to take the wonders of Africa to the rest of the world. Much more than the tourist products that Africa’s Legends supplies within Africa, but rather the items that people would love to have and display in their homes.
Michelle Sandford is based in London. Her love of all things African started when she first visited Africa in 2012. Since then she can’t stay away and has visited regularly. With a great eye for colour, fashion and anything surprising or unusual, we couldn’t have a better person than Michelle to help us choose the wonderful items to send from our home to yours.
Many of our products are made by rural communities in Africa using traditional methods. This helps to keep the traditions and skills alive and, of course, supports them financially. Some of the artists have moved to the cities in the search of a better life but they bring their skills with them to carry on.
With the wealth of knowledge they have built up over the years, Gezz and Kathy have put together a collection of items that they believe you will love. But this is just the beginning! Watch this space for more exciting things to come.