When Blankets & Wine came back in April, not only did it do so with a star-studded line-up but also new and exciting features like fashion pop-ups, live sketching and FLOWER CROWNS! As you well know, flowers crowns go together with music festivals the way chocolate sprinkles go with the vanilla ice-cream from Snocream, but they weren’t really a part of the Nairobi festival scene until Maua Jua.
Before it was a business, with a cool name, a dope ass logo and some merch, you probably saw friends Ema Guli and Justine Mbugua out and about at arty events decked out in their home-made flower crowns. You see, drinking wine and making “cool stuff” was part of their pre-clubbing ritual.
Ema and Justine are both super creative, love nature and like to work with their hands, so they would experiment as they watched flower crown-making tutorials on YouTube, adapting where need be to the resources they could find in Nairobi.
They found ivy, grass and vines for the foundation; roses, daisies and mums; and baby’s breath (a member of the carnation family) for the filler.
At the April edition, the Maua Jua stand was an immediate success and there was so much appreciation for their designs. “It was crazy and it was just so nice to have people love what we do,” Ema tells me. And surprisingly, they found that their creations were not only popular with girls and women but also men, with some even asking Maua Jua to use their beard as a canvas.
And so the obvious question is: will Maua Jua be back for the next Blankets and Wine festival? “Inshallah,” Ema says with a laugh. But if you can’t wait, you can order flower crowns for special occasions like baby showers, bridal showers, wedding parties, or if you just want to get that flowery vibe.
This story was produced in partnership with Maridadi.co. Sam Nkirote McKenzie of Maridadi.co attended the tenth edition of the Blankets & Wine festival on Sunday 10 July 2016, and interviewed a selection of vendors who participated in the festival. Maridadi.co showcases the best of East African design.