When it comes to Bilia Baby UK, there’s an awful lot to shout about. Not only are our Bilia Moses Baskets beautiful, they also have a story. If any of our lovely customers out there are reading this, they’ll already have an insight into why our moses baskets are so special, as we make sure that each and every basket we send has a little, handwritten card with a little story of where the baby basket has come from popped inside the packaging. However, we feel it’s important for everyone to know the story of our moses baskets, so we’ve put together this blog post to tell you all the story behind the Bilia Moses Baskets that we are proud to say are ours, and the 5 reasons we’re different...
Image: Courtesy of our friends over at Afropacific - Our magestic weavers!
We’re more than just moses baskets. We’re Bilia
You may have heard us say our bold strapline more times than you’ve heard your own name - but trust us, we really are special (talk about tooting your own horn!). We wanted a name that would complement the incredible people who make our baskets, and, from a marketing point of view, one that would suit the branding we had in mind. So, after a lot of deliberation, and a seemingly endless supply of coffee, cake, and chattering, we settled on the wonderful word ‘Bilia’.
'Bilia' means 'newborn' in the Ghanaian language of FraFra. FraFra is the language of the Frafra people of northern Ghana, particularly the Upper East Region, and southern Burkina Faso. It is these talented, entrepreneurial people who create our magnificent, ethically sourced, eco-friendly Bilia Moses Baskets. Our baby baskets are made for YOUR newborn babies. YOUR #BiliaTribe.
Our makers make us
Our incredible suppliers, who run their own family-run business, work directly with the local Ghanaian weavers and co-operatives in Bolgatanga and surrounding villages in the Upper East Region of Ghana to produce our beautiful (and practical!) handmade Bilia Moses Baskets and accessories. We like to celebrate the weavers who create our moses baskets and nursery accessories, and you can find images, stories and more about them on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Our suppliers philosophy is to trade with the people of Ghana. Emancipation comes from self-sufficiency, independence and a sense of self-worth. Purchasing our ethically sourced, eco-friendly products helps to empower the talented artisans of Bolgatanga, and the surrounding villages, to thrive through their own enterprises, contributes to sustainable development within the region, and preserves traditional craft skills and practices.
Having started their life as abundant elephant grass growing in Ghana, our baby bassinetts go through the creation stages effortlessly. Once the naturally abundant elephant grass is collected, dried, dyed, and dried again, the talented weavers in Bolgatanga begin to weave the moses baskets by hand, to no strict design or blueprint. The moses baskets emerge, as if by magic, from the fingertips of the artisanal crafts people, over a four day period, before being passed on to a leather ‘stretcher and stitcher’, who will finish the handles for strength, durability, and a final flourish of detail.
Our supplier once described the moses basket making process in a way that sums it up perfectly; “as a basket is woven, it just looks like a hairy mass with ‘spines’ sticking out all over. Once the basket is complete, the excess protruding grass is trimmed with a sharp blade to reveal the beautiful colours and patterns beneath”.
The fact that our wonderful Bilia Moses Baskets look stunning in any environment is down to their incredible honest values and, like an old-souled wanderer, they’re story seems to seep out in abundance, along with their travels. From starting out as grass in a field, to becoming a beautiful first bed for your newborn baby – their journey is an important one.
Once the artisanal weavers have completed a basket, they will then take their goods to market days, or straight to a buyer. This is where our suppliers source the baskets, having proud connections to the people of Bolgatanga, and pay the artists the price that THEY set for their goods, not what the supplier wants.
Following the purchase of the baskets, they are then transported by many various means to get to us! They can travel by foot, bicycle, motorcycle, tri-bike, a locally named ‘trotro’ (van/minibus), bus, taxi and more to then be sent over to Australia (that’s where our suppliers are based), and then packaged and delivered to us.
We help to make a difference
We trade with the traditional artisan people of Ghana. Emancipation comes from self-sufficiency, independence and a sense of self-worth. Purchasing our ethically sourced, eco-friendly products helps to empower the talented artisans of Bolgatanga and the surrounding villages to thrive through their own enterprises, contributes to sustainable development within the region, and preserves traditional craft skills and practices.
Our philosophy is to provide the most unique, honest, eco-friendly and sustainable goods for your little precious ones to keep close to their hearts, from newborn to adulthood. Because our goods are such high quality, and each one unique, our Bilia Moses Baskets are made for you - to be kept as family heirlooms for you to share precious memories for generations to come.
You see, we're more than just moses baskets... we're Bilia.
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