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“MARO designs by Marie-Rose”, based in Nairobi, Kenya /East-Africa, creating contemporary jewellery from cowhorn and cowbone. The company used to produce beads and pieces at own manufacture, training artisans on the job. Since 2019, Marie-Rose has handed over the basic production of pieces to the members of the workshop, leaving machines and tools to use.

MARO designs is still designing, creating and assembling items like earrings and necklaces. Horn and Bone beads and pieces are bought from the former staff.

Company policies:

  • Fair payment for all employees (permanent contracts)
  • Protecting the environment, using recycled materials
  • Supporting talented workmanship of other Kenyan artisans
  • Marketing Kenyan/African design and talented workmanship
  • Modern Fashion – African Flair

The Story of the Logo

Cowhorn became our most important material, its colours and shape are a source of inspiration.

If you cut out the middle part of the horn, you get an asymmetrical piece, hollow inside. This part can be used as a pendant, decorating slim necklaces of coconut shell discs.

story logo cow horn

Looking at the trapezoid shape, Marie-Rose transformed this unusual shape into flat pieces for brooches and clip-earrings. Modern design inspired by nature! In 2014, we chose this shape for our logo, unusual and unique to MARO designs. Every necklace from MARO designs will feature a small trapezoid metal piece to identify its origin!

The Designer

Marie-Rose Iberl of German origin, founder of MARO designs,  lives and works in Kenya/Africa since 1990. Trained and working as a Psychotherapist in Germany for many years, she started here a new career. “I have always created unusual things for myself and friends: Furniture, jewellery, bags and garments.” Her designs are unique: clean graphic look, bold and playful. They incorporate influences of European fashion, modern and ancient African art. Working with Kenyan designers for local and international Fashion Shows is another source of inspiration.

The Product

Cowhorn and cowbone, a traditional African material bought at the slaughterhouse (“the leftover of the steak”), is turned into modern high quality products: these beads and pieces, creating our own shapes, form the basic material of MARO designs jewelery.

For the final necklaces and earrings, we include beads worked on aluminium (recycled from old engine parts, shiny polished), paperbeads (made from recycled magazines), handworked glass (recycled), handworked ceramic, cotton strings (recycled from T-shirts), silver, everything locally made. We also use traditional brass and silver beads from Westafrica, claybeads from Mali, rubber tube and special necklace wire from Germany.

The Market

Since 1996, Marie-Rose Iberl has worked together with her sister Francoise, who was her wholesaler in Germany. Their designs were exhibited at International trade Fairs in Germany, France, Italy, USA. Francoise retired 2011, and Marie-Rose has taken over marketing and sales, too. “MARO designs by Marie-Rose” products are sold in Europe,  East Africa, and all over the world. Customers are jewellery- and giftshops, fashion houses, galleries, stores offering high level lifestyle and interior design products.

The Gallery Messe Video – with MARO designs (in German)