07 Jun Shelanu
Women’s Craft Collective
Refugee and migrant women working with Craftspace to develop a sustainable craft social enterprise.
Shelanu – which means belonging to us – is a developing social enterprise, supported by Craftspace, of migrant and refugee women producing high quality craft objects inspired by their new home, the city of Birmingham.
“It’s a place to learn and try new skills, a place where I can feel connected and free to try new ideas and express my artistic side… It’s a positive way to contribute and find your place in a new place.”
A range of activities help members to develop new skills, increase confidence, combat isolation, challenge preconceptions and support integration. These include:
• Running craft workshops for schools, adults, children and families (see Shelanu into the community)
• Designing, making and selling jewellery and other products inspired by the theme of migration and Birmingham (see souvenir project and migrating birds)
• Public and private commissions (see caught in the crossfire)
Craftspace provides opportunities for Shelanu members to work alongside and shadow professional artists and other creative professionals, to build creative, social and business skills enabling some to take up roles within the enterprise in the longer term and others to improve their employability.
The aim of the Collective is to assist other migrant and refugee women to become more aspirational through creative development. This supports their integration into local communities which can profit from the rich diversity of the women’s experience.
It is our intention that the social enterprise will become increasingly self-sustaining, less dependent on grant assistance, using the enterprise’s surplus to expand and develop the services provided to and by the women within local and national communities. This complements Craftspace’s ethos of assisting the Shelanu members to become more aspirational, ensuring that the creative and holistic development of the women is the core of all future policy planning.
Interlocking Stories: A range of silver jewellery celebrating the spirit of Shelanu.
Birmingham Souvenir range: Textile products inspired by Birmingham’s industrial heritage and skyline.
Migrating Birds: A jewellery range inspired by the women’s experiences of migrating to Birmingham.
Work with us
Shelanu is always looking for clients for workshops and bespoke commissions. We are also keen to talk to potential partners, sponsors, donors, volunteers and mentors.
If you are interested in any of these activities or would like to join Shelanu please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org