Gifts With A Conscience: Samburu Trust Cups

gifts with a conscience

Among the seasonless, artisan inspired in-house designs found at Figue’s stores and on their online home, is a growing collection of unique finds sourced by company founder Stephanie von Watzdorf on her global travels. These Figue Finds not only showcase the craftsmanship of the peoples who produce them, but often provide their communities with a valuable means of income and support, and her latest find, Samburu Trust Cups, are no exception. 

The Samburu Tribe, found in Northern Kenya, have a long tradition of beading, and their matriarchs (the "Mamas" as they call themselves) are skilled sewers. The hand-beaded tin cups they craft are one-of-a-kind, each telling a story about the woman who made them, her home, her family and her relationships, through the colors she has used and the type and pattern of the beading.

gifts with a conscience

The Samburu people are an ancient pastoral group at risk of disappearing, and the income they receive from the sale of the cups enables the women of the tribe to be more financially independent, and to provide food and support for their families, a venture made possible by the work of the Samburu Trust.

Committed to the preservation and support of the Samburu people, the non-profit Trust’s inside-out approach engages the tribe to come up with long-term sustainable solutions, rather than implementing unilateral external ideas and expecting them to work in a distinctive culture. Their programs include education, healthcare, water solutions and wildlife, as well as beading.

This video explains the Samburu Trust's education program:


The beading history of this tribe manifests itself in a beautiful product with modern use, bridging countries and helping Samburu women to thrive. And buying or gifting a cup provides a connection to this unique culture and helps support its preservation.

Shop the Samburu Cups here