Thursday, 26 January 2012

Tulysikia Joto

-Tulysikia Joto-
 rope chain infinity scarf
 material: %100 acrylic size: o/s
length: 35" width: 8"

When I was in high school I found a pair of my Maitus (mothers) knitting sticks in the closet and asked her to teach me. As is somewhat typical of me, the frustration of not being able to do it and the esthetically appalling rhombus shaped scarf defeated me and I gave up. She offered crocheting to me as an alternative - which to me at the time kinda seemed like the not so cute sister between the two- and despite my initial prejudice towards crocheting I really got into it!

I now make and sell handmade crochet jewelry and accessories. Initially, I only made things for myself inspired by, one the thinness and often emptiness of my wallet, and secondly driven by "...(laugh) why would I pay that much for something I could make myself?." I decided to start selling when random people would stop me and ask me where I got my things from, and it's been an uphill process since then.

My name is not Tuly, it is actually the well thought out result of combining the first two letters of my first and surname, and Maimouna is a childhood nickname that only up until recently I have come to adore. So Tuly Maimouna is the name of my side hustle. My actual name is of Kiswahili origin, a language that is a combination of Arabic, Bantu dialect, and more recently English, originating from Tanzania in East Africa. Tuly is a play on words, in swa (swahili) tuil [too-lee] is the prefix for 'we', and from that I name my creations ex. Tulysikia [too-lee-see-ki-yuh] Joto [joe-toe]  meaning; we feel warm.

Not only do I use the art of crochet to make money, but I also use it as an education tool. For many years I have been heavily involved in HIV prevention and awareness in my community and facilitate workshops where we make crochet condom cases as a way to normalize condom carrying, and make it more fun and personalized. I love to crochet, I love making jewelry, and more over I love the work that I do. I am thankful that I can indulge in both my passions, and use them as tools of expression and education.

Keep posted to peep more creations to come!

Smiles :)

 Tuly Maimouna