Welcome to Abacus Beadwork
Abacus Beadwork, based in Durban, South Africa, was originally founded in 1985 by Jane Bedford.
Jane's vision was to empower local women through the art of beadwork. Over 20 years later,
this vision is continued under the leadership of Mike and Hazel Bartlett, who purchased Abacus
Beadwork from Jane in July 2008.
Although rich in natural beauty and heritage, KwaZulu-Natal on the east coast of South Africa,
is plagued with unemployment and poverty.
Abacus Beadwork's workforce consists solely of rural women from the surrounds of Durban, South Africa,
giving them a platform for their beadwork skills, as well as the means to support themselves and their
families. The beaders at Abacus Beadwork take traditional Zulu beadwork to new levels by combining
traditional skill with contemporary designs, to create jewellery and objects that delight the
senses with their richness and colour.