About the founder Florence Mabeza
Background, education and work experience
Florence holds an undergraduate degree in Financial Services and a post graduate degree in Banking and Finance, both from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. Florence is originally from Zimbabwe and found herself leaving her degree in Financial Management just before the last year in her home country of Zimbabwe to start again in the UK. This was because, the opportunity quite unexpectedly arose to study a degree more in line with the career involving the investment sector that she had dreamed about from the age of about 14 after reading about investment banking and researching and discarding several career options e.g. corporate lawyer and accountant.
Anyone who knows Florence knows that these sorts of quirky unusual qualities embody who she is; a dynamic, bold, confident and intelligent go-getter who won’t let anything stand in her way to achieve excellence. Indeed when she left Zimbabwe at the age of 23, it was her first time out of the country. But that didn’t stop her making a new start in a new city on a continent thousands of miles away from everything familiar and everyone she knew.
Over the years she has worked in several different industries e.g. Infrastructure Construction, property franchise and non-traditional estate agency, after being disillusioned with Financial Advisory sector and the 2008 financial crisis. Even though these other sectors were unknown at the beginning, her enthusiasm for learning soon turned this around, and she left each as a much respected, knowledgeable go-to person.
Journey into crafting
After unfortunately finding herself in a position of living with fibromyalgia, a chronic illness that causes chronic fatigue and chronic pain and is worsened by stress and insomnia, she was advised to find a hobby to help her with the management of the illness.
As a Christian she believes that our path is ordered by God, and that is exactly what happened on her journey towards bead craft. She would be the first person to admit that she never saw crafting in her future, as she had given up on learning knitting and crocheting as a child because she wanted something she could get same day results. Ironically beading is hardly an instant results activity, but I suppose with a surname meaning carpenter it may have been somewhat inevitable!
Being a lover of shoes, her heels in particular (she was nicknamed Imelda by some colleagues after Imelda Marcos ex first lady of the Philippines), she looked into customising heels by blinging them up. Being the obsessive research hound she is, she ended up learning about many other things that could be made from beads like bead handbags, and beaded flip flops. Hence, the birth of her love affair with beads. So what started as a simple hunt for a hobby became her life’s passion and a possible business opportunity which came at the right time.
She is now on this exciting journey in the craft industry running her business producing some handmade but all unique bead products that she has spent and spends hours self-teaching herself the craft skills required to make these things of beauty. Being one who describes herself as, “one who walks the road less travelled,’ it is perhaps no wonder that the products are maybe not ones that would be put together as being created and made by one person. From beaded handbags to bead art to bead embellished homewares. But according to those who know her….that’s our Florence!
About Kerez Ltd
Growing up, Florence dreamt of having her own company when she grew up. She didn’t know what the company would do, but she gave it a name anyway- Netflo Inc. The name comes from taking the first 3 letters of her first and middle name and also played on the word net flow which refers to cash flow in a business. However, in 2015 when registering her business, Netflo didn’t seem right anymore and she came across the name Kerez which is a Hebrew girl’s name meaning breakthrough.
The Creative industry
The creative industry is an industry we have come to love as it’s filled with many talented, helpful creatives and has been rather overlooked by the powers that be. The creative industry is a gem that needs to be brought even more to people outside the industry and the government to garner more help and recognition for the hundreds of thousands of makers. According to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in a report published in February 2020, creatives contributed £306 million a day equating to £111 billion to the UK economy in 2018.This was a growth of 7.4% on the previous year, compared to a growth of only 1.4% across the UK economy as a whole.
Kerez Ltd products
Kerez Ltd is a company registered in 2015 and remained dormant for many years until the right business opportunity was found. Kerez is a Hebrew girl’s name meaning breakthrough, a name that really resonated as we were looking to breaking through in business in a new, exciting and unfamiliar industry.
The main theme and our unique selling point at Kerez is the use of beads in all the products we make. We are crazy about beads as they come in loads of different hues of colour and myriad of shapes and sizes that makes creating bead work exciting, beautiful and so versatile. Truly, your imagination is your limit to the things you can make, which is why it has been difficult deciding our core product lines.
Although it can be a laborious task, we take great pride in providing you with handmade British products that have been made with passion and attention to detail with the hope they will bring you great joy and enjoyment. Our products fall into the fashion accessory category, art and homewares categories. In the fashion category the main products will be handbags, belts, flip flops and headpieces which will provide you a full contingent of matching accessories and once in a while we will bring you limited edition products that are not our usual goods. In the near future we will be establishing a homeware line with Art as the basis accompanied by complimenting homewares products like vases and cushions. There are a few homeware accessories that have been made but we are hoping for more to be added in the near future. So please do keep coming back for a visit and subscribe to be the first to know when we produce something new.
Our objective is to bring back the pride and appreciation of handmade products and also may be inspire people to take up crafting as a business so we don’t lose some of the old skills in our different cultures that makes them so rich.
In the future, the plan is to teach others the crafts done here by expanding the business to allow more makers to come under the company. But also to travel to record and see different bead crafting techniques in different cultures e.g. South America and Africa with the hope of providing knowledge and assistance for women to create co-ops that produce these products. This is to try and empower women to earn their own money in societies that they may be side-lined or are afforded few opportunities to have financial independence.