West African makers now have Jesmonite at their fingertips
Creatives in West Africa are now able to get their hands on Jesmonite more quickly thanks to a new distributor.
Studio Hana will distribute Jesmonite from its bases in both Ghana and Nigeria.
The company, set up by former fashion designer Jennifer Kilson, will sell Jesmonite’s full range of products as well as items made from Jesmonite too.
Jennifer, the managing partner, said: “A lot of people here had been thinking about Jesmonite but nobody could get it, it took a long time to arrive and the shipping costs were high.
“We first wanted to buy it solely for use at the studio but we realised that would be a temporary band-aid on the fundamental problem, which was making Jesmonite readily available here. So we thought the best thing to do would be to fill in the gap and become a distributor – for us, this was the next practical step.
“So many people looked for it in the past but because they couldn’t access it, they forgot about it.
“The reaction of makers knowing they have this at their fingertips now is fantastic, they are very excited to get their hands on it. It opens up opportunities for them and I am delighted to be instrumental in the creative process of so many makers.
“We want everybody in this area to have easy access to it.”
Studio Hana started as a decor company in 2020 making macrame, they then introduced complimentary pots and trays and have now started selling the materials to make the products too.
At first they made the accompanying products with concrete and plaster – but concrete took too long to dry and plaster was not strong enough.
They then turned to resin, but didn’t like how long it took to set and the toxic smells.
So they made a tick list. They wanted a material that:
- Was aesthetically pleasing
- Was easily modifiable
- Set quickly
- Was strong
- Was not too heavy
- Had minimal or no VOCs
- Was waterproof
- Was environmentally friendly
Jennifer added: “We needed something that would tick at least 80% of the boxes on our list, but then I found Jesmonite and it ticked them all.
“It surpassed what we thought, it was amazing. It was a leap of faith to become a distributor straight away, we did a lot of research and spoke to other users who confirmed that it did what it said it did. It did not disappoint at all.
“Now if someone wants Jesmonite in the morning, we can deliver by noon
“It is really exciting, the initial goal was to get Jesmonite for my company to produce decor products, but now we are selling it and it is a huge part of our business.”
Studio Hana now has two strands of the business, with one half focused on Jesmonite and selling it, while the other half sells products made with Jesmonite.
“With my fashion design background I loved that I could beautify people, but now I help beautify their homes and personal spaces, it is a big honour,” Jennifer added.
Studio Hana also hosts workshops in their studio where people can come and try using Jesmonite and pick up tips.
In addition, they are busy filming tutorial videos which they will upload to YouTube.