Artisan: Created by runners, for runners

Like many runners, I’ve come back to the sport time and time again throughout my life. As a child, running at county level, in my twenties trying to beat a 2:36 marathon time and again in the last few years trying to impress on my kids the importance of balancing fitness with other more sedentary aspects of life these days. I may not be so fast now, but I’m still running marathons, and I’ve still got that bug.

Show you’re a part of something bigger

When I came across the idea of running bands, worn by elite athletes such as Mo Farah, Eilish McColgan and others as a reminder of their goals and the journey they’ve been on, I simply had to find out more about them.
The Maasai people in Kenya have been making African beaded jewellery for hundreds of years, but by setting up a store at the entrance of the high-altitude training camp at Iten, they’ve inadvertently become an integral part of the global running community.
By designing and making running bands, they’ve offered a symbol that bonds runners of all different abilities. And that shows, through traditional art and crafts, that ultimately, we are all working towards the same goals.

Community spirit

During each of those periods of pounding the streets I’ve experienced the sense of achievement, the drive to succeed and the community of the people with whom I run.
The community of runners across the UK and across the globe is truly a great one. From Olympic champions to those at the start of their Couch to 5K journey, the spirit of support and the collective celebration of success is what carries each and every one of us to achieve, to continue and to push past our barriers.

Giving back to the African people

In 2018 I took part in the Orbis challenge – Sport for Purpose - with Dame Kelly Holmes, running The Porters Race up Mount Mulanje and cycling 35km across the Zomba Plateau in Malawi. This was a real eye-opener to me, seeing how people live in this beautiful country. And it inspired me to want to do some good.
My mind came back round to the idea of running bands. Of helping the Maasai people to get their beautiful work recognised further afield and doing some good for local communities at the same time.
That’s why we decided that for every band we sell we will donate 10% to give local young runners opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have.

Artisan is the UK’s only stockist of Kenyan running bands

Artisan imports Kenyan running bands and African beaded jewellery direct from Iten. The same ones that are stocked in the famous Olympics Corner store where Mo Farah purchased his.
Without the risk and complications of buying directly from Africa, you can make your purchase, knowing you’re giving back to local Maasai communities and supporting a generation of runners achieve greatness in the future.
And what’s more, you’ll become a part of an inspiring community of global runners – and who knows where that could lead!

Happy running!

Rob Paddock
Founder, Artisan