IN a colourful corner of the Namibia Craft Centre, Ekipa Jewellery and Art is quietly celebrating 20 years of business.
Founded by master goldsmith Grit Böttcher, who fell in love with the country before starting the business in 2001, Ekipa is a cheerful stall adorned with paintings, pendants, jewellery and decorative pieces reflecting Böttcher’s love of all things naturally Namibian.
“I came to Namibia as a traveller in 1996. During my travels I fell in love with the country and all it had to offer – the desert, the animals, the open spaces, the sunshine, and the friendly and openminded people,” says Böttcher.
“In 2001 I started my own business at the Namibia Craft Centre, manufacturing jewellery inspired by natural patterns and materials. I use oryx horns, springbok hide, ostrich egg shells, porcupine quills, desert sand and recycled African glass beads in combination with aluminium, copper and silver.”
Böttcher also makes use of precious and semi-precious Namibian stones, such as tourmaline, aquamarine, amethyst, citrine and quartz to create pieces in line with Ekipa’s merry motto of ‘sometimes funky, always stylish’.
Named after the Oshiwambo word for jewel or something precious, Ekipa has a special gem of its own in Gertrud Kavari, who has worked with the company since 2006.
“I am thankful to my customers for their support during the years. As a creative artist, I need feedback from people to stay motivated and inspired,” says Böttcher.
“2020 was the most difficult and challenging year, and we hope visitors will browse through the colourful variety of small shops representing the art of Namibia now and in the future.”
Twenty years in and still going strong, Ekipa is situated at the Namibia Craft Centre on Tal Street.
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