We are proud to have an almost entirely female Maasai team working on the ground in Tanzania. This is made up of:

Piece rate artisans: We work with 120 beaders who are paid per piece. This structure grants the women flexibility when other priorities need to take the place of working with Sidai, such as caring for children, returning home to distant villages, or prioritizing other income streams. Artisans are given the materials for each piece, and we are their guaranteed customer for every piece made.

Full time beaders: We have a team of 5 full time, Maasai beaders. Three of whom undertook training in 2018 to also become qualified silversmiths.




Year started: 2014

Techniques: Silversmithing, Wire Wrapping, Master of Endito, Quality Control & Finishing

A born leader with a smile that lights up our workshop, Esther’s story shows us where a determined mindset can lead you, and how it’s never too late to learn new skills.

Unlike many Maasai women, Esther did not grow up beading. When we met her, she had minimal beading experience and was a housekeeper for our Director, Becky. After working together, Becky noticed that Esther’s work ethic, focus and attention to detail would be an incredible asset to the team.

At 6am each morning, before their work days began, Becky and Esther would sit together while Esther began her journey to learn the art of Maasai beading and, in particular, our designs.

Esther is now a master beader and one of our main product samplers. She supports production innovation and design problem solving. She is a visionary for the other beaders, and recently became the workshop team leader. A mother to the young women, she offers guidance and brings warmth to our workplace. Esther is also one of only three women at Sidai who are trained silversmiths.

When she’s not leading our beading team, Esther is busy working on her farm which she bought and expanded herself using her income from Sidai. Esther is a skilled and hardworking farmer, a resilient and inspiring single mother, and an incredible artisan.

Q+A with Esther

How has Sidai impacted you?
Through Sidai I have been able to take my kids to an English medium school, whilst also being able to save and buy land.

Why do you like working for Sidai?
I like working for Sidai because Sidai is able to pay me a good, consistent living wage. We have lots of opportunities to learn and experience new things, especially in the silversmith studio; in Tanzania very few women know about it.

What does Sidai mean to you?
Sidai is a company that helps lots of women and also my family. It helps men in society to respect women, men show me respect because I have a good stable job and make my own money.

What is your favorite product?
Narrow Multi Triangle Wall Hanging – learn more about why this is Esther’s favorite.

meet the co-wives

Koko Sadera & Nemasi

Year started: 2012

Techniques: Master of Warrior Technique & Traditional Leather Embroidery

Nemasi and Koko Sadera are a beautiful example of how Maasai women sharing a husband can create a sense of sisterhood and camaraderie between women, and be the support network one needs through the ups and downs of life. 

Living together in Arusha close to Sidai, far from their home in the village, they are one another’s shoulder to lean on despite the fact that they are polar opposites. Nemasi is always gentle and smiling about something, whether it’s a private joke or just poking a little bit of fun at you. Koko Sadera, on the other hand, is unflinching in her fierceness, demanding well-deserved respect for her role as elder of the community. Don’t forget to greet her, or her belt comes off and you’re chased with the energy of someone half her age!

'Koko' means 'grandmother' in Maa, the traditional language of the Maasai. Koko Sadera is mama to 11, and koko to so many she says she has lost count. She is also a midwife, and has helped at the birth birth of many of our beaders' children.

Nemasi and Koko Sadera are part of the original group of beaders who first joined Sidai and have been beading with us since 2012. Three of Koko Sadera's daughters are also beaders with us too!

Nemasi is one of our finest skilled artisans, who makes the most incredible beaded Maasai disk necklaces you will ever see. Koko Sadera is a master beader who has an innate understanding of color, and we often give her beads to help us come up with new and exciting color combinations.

Q + A with the co-wives

Koko Sadera

How has Sidai impacted you life?
I have been able to put a proper roof(bati) on my house and pay for my granddaughter's to go to school. I have also bought a goat and am currently building a house but it's not yet finished.

What do you love about Sidai?
I like working with Sidai because I get a regular income and get paid as soon as I make the products, not like other places where I have to wait for my products to sell before I receive any money.

What does Sidai mean for you?
It means an opportunity to learn new designs and beading techniques, for example the large Wall Hangings.

What’s your favorite product?
Extra Wide Chevron - White, Gold & Black. (Learn more about the design inspiration for this piece here).


How has Sidai impacted you?
I have been able to build a house through my income from Sidai. I also bought a goat and am able to buy food for my family.

What do you love about Sidai?
I like working with Sidai because I am able to get money right away and don’t have to wait for my pieces to sell.

What does Sidai mean for you?
Sidai is like my second home, for example when your husband kicks you out of home and you go back to your parents. That's Sidai to me!!

What’s your favorite product?
Koko pattern. (Funnily enough, this was a collection line developed by Koko Sadera).


Koko Rosa

Year started: 2014

Techniques: Master of Leather Embroidery and Dawa (the local medicine!)

In 2014 we were driving through Arusha town looking for a beader we had previously worked with. We went to her usual stoop, where she would bead by the road, but we never found her.

Instead, we found Koko Rosa selling beadwork and dawa (traditional medicine) in the same spot, and noticed her impressive workmanship. Her beadwork was perfect and delicate, just like her. Handmade with tiny, nimble fingers but a robust amount of skill.

Koko Rosa is incredibly skilled at embroidery, particularly into the tough, locally and sustainably sourced goat skin used for our embroidered leather wall hangings. She was the beader that created the first beaded leather wall hanging sample, which we adored so much that we designed a whole collection around it, called Ngozi collection.

At one point in her life, her two co-wives passed away at the same time and her husband was not around to help her raise the combined 13 children left behind, plus 6 of her own. She raised all 19 children to adulthood with her resourcefulness and entrepreneurial spirit, whilst putting herself last and sacrificing her own health and wellbeing. A truly resilient Maasai woman.

These days, she can relax a bit. She makes all of her income beading for Sidai and she says she has no need for any other income streams. Although she can sometimes still be seen selling her dawa to anyone who falls ill.

Q+A with Koko Rosa

How has Sidai impacted you?
“Sidai has given me strength and independence. I have got more respect from my husband, he no longer yells at me because I bring money home and can look after my children. And now he loves me more because he knows that I have money. I have also been able to buy a goat, materials to build my home and take my children to school."

Why do you like working for Sidai?
"I like Becky and Eszter so much and that’s why I love working here.”

What do you love about Sidai?
“Sidai helps me in many ways and gives me opportunities that I wouldn’t have elsewhere."

What’s your favorite product?
"Leather Bracelet Disk and Kisongo Anklet."