Living For Something More Than Ourselves
How Africa Imports Makes a Difference in Africa
Africa Imports brings lasting income to people and communities in Africa in two ways:
- We bring thousands of African creations to the global market, This creates real change with a sustainable income for hundreds of small business people and artisans in Africa. We make it possible for them to sell their products to thousands of people they wouldn’t have otherwise reached from their own communities. We are continually working with these talented people to create stronger communities and work opportunities for people trying to sell their crafts and wares.
Thedore Asshola, above, is the artist who makes many of our batik paintings.
- We also help hundreds of African orphan children through direct donations. The money for this comes from the sales of products made outside of Africa. Every purchase from Africa Imports helps pay for food, schooling, and medical care for hundreds of special needs children. We are closely connected with these children, and do extra to guarantee that this money is properly distributed to them.This is what drives our company, In 2015, our donations totaled over $181,000. Seeing these children has made a big difference in the lives of several of us who work here; and has helped accomplish some tremendous and lasting good for many of these kids individually.
Making a Difference in North America
Africa Imports provides an abundance of information, free tools, and training for small businesses and entrepreneurs selling African products in the US. You don’t need to purchase from us to get this. Most of it is free right here at africaimports.com.
With over 17 years of experience with African products. and a passionate team of knowledgeable and dedicated people, we can help you succeed in the African business of your dreams. We offer what no one else can. Africa Imports gives you between 50 and 150 new products to choose from every month, You’ll always find something new to provide to your customers.
Our Core Values
- To improve lives for craftspeople, children, and communities in Africa.
- To act with integrity, transparency, and authenticity.
- To reward inspired work with excellence.
The business was started in 1998. For the first year, the business was operated by the founder Wayne Kiltz, his family, and by one office person. Most of this period of time was spent learning about the market for African goods, and developing a base of reliable suppliers.
The owner spent the first year traveling the US and Africa; learning from other African stores; exhibiting goods in trade shows; and building a base of customers. During this period, we learned many things that help make an African business successful. We also found sources for the most popular products. By working with so many other people, we discovered some of the best ways to sell African products in the US.
In October of 1999, the business was relocated to Hackensack, New Jersey because it is close to New York with a large base of African suppliers. Being in New Jersey instead of New York allowed us to supply African products at much lower prices. We also found a diverse team of people to help us grow, reach our customers effectively, and to help make this business a success.
Today Africa Imports is the largest supplier of African products in the US. We supply over 2,000 wholesale customers with African clothing, artwork, musical instruments, jewelry, oils, soaps, and personal care products. There are 16 people at our main office; and about 100 different people from Africa who travel back and forth with new products. We also estimate that there are over 1,000 different people in Africa who make the products in their own communities.