Els Hooft founded Baobab Batik in 1991, after a career in maternal health and child care.
Els' vision for Baobab Batik is to be a leading example in Swaziland and beyond of a social enterprise using thought leadership and innovation to empower women and develop the batik art form.
Every Baobab Batik product is handmade in their Swaziland studio, creating in-house designs as well as collaborating with independent designers from all over the world. They are focused on constantly pushing the creative boundaries of batik to create original, stunning designs.
Baobab Batik is a thriving social enterprise employing 35 artisans full time, and is committed to creating a nurturing work environment for the women who work there.
The Baobab Batik studio is a place where artisans can learn and develop their skills, are free to ask questions and grow as individuals. To foster this work culture they embrace their core values of transparency, accountability and teamwork.
Baobab Batik also focuses on laughter and love, and believes everyone needs a safe space where they can share stories, laugh together and care for each other to create their best work.
As a social enterprise Baobab Batik reinvests 50% of their profits back into the company and its people, and is a founding member of Swaziland Fair Trade.
All of the artisans have children, and many are single mothers. A stable job with fair wages means they're able to send their children to school, access health care and personally grow and develop their skills.
Beyond a safe and dignified work environment, Baobab Batik also provides self-defence classes, first-aid courses and health screenings for all employees. You can find our Baobab Batik collection here.
All images courtesy of Baobab Batik