Mbare, Ltd. specializes in importing high quality African art made from natural and recycled materials. All of our items are uniquely created by artisans and craftspeople in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland, Niger and Senegal. Borrowing our name from the famous Mbare Musika marketplace in Harare, we take pleasure in bringing African creativity—including Shona stone sculpture, non-endangered wood carvings, painted tin animals, Weya art, and recycled bottle cap art—to your home.
In the language of the Shona People of Zimbabwe, mbare (pronounced "im-bah-ree") means "a gathering of things" or "a marketplace". Robbie Stewart, the president and owner of Mbare grew up in Harare, Zimbabwe. "Mbare Ltd grew out of my desire to create a sustainable source of income for Zimbabwean artists. I have always had an appreciation for local art found at roadside markets, in urban workshops, or at the homes of talented craftspeople. The artistic skills that Zimbabweans possess are often passed down through generations and represent an accumulation of knowledge and talent. Getting to know families that engage in this work has been a privilege for me."
We currently import from 5 countries in Africa and constantly looking to expand our product offering as we seek out the best that Africa has to offer.
- Fair Trade
- Sustainable relationships
- Community/Social Responsibility
We are messengers of culture, enthusiastically bringing the spirit of Africa to you. The African culture is rich in creativity and craftsmanship, and we invite you on our adventure to share in the heart of it.
Our mission is to enrich people’s lives. We create personal relationships with skilled artisans to bring their beautiful handmade works directly to you. In doing so, we support sustainable living for our artists and for the environment.
Our commitment is to market and distribute products inspired by the natural, intrinsic sense of design that lives purely inside the creative human spirit.
Our Team: The Mbare team is small but rich in passion and diversity of talent.
The founder, Robbie Stewart, is a global citizen, committed husband, and father of 3 boys. Robbie is also a former competitive diving champ. He holds an MBA from TCU in Fort Worth, TX, and a Masters in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica in California. Robbie’s entire career has been in pursuit of a big vision: bringing handmade products and cultural exchange to the mainstream. Robbie is gifted at establishing and maintaining relationships with producers and suppliers, and he has become an expert in international import-export logistics. He is an enthusiastic problem solver, a travel nut, and a bit of a coffee snob.
Robbie’s wife, Maria Machado, has been an integral support to the business since 2005. Originally from Uruguay, she has a degree in fashion design from the Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles. She has provided invaluable graphic design for Mbare marketing, and extensive input on trade show booth layouts and merchandising. Maria also serves as Mbare’s in house photographer, and her vibrant, shining spirit is a constant anchor for both Robbie and Mbare. As the mother of three small boys, Maria is a creative, multi-tasking wonder.
Hope Carter is Mbare's new Operations Manager. She holds degrees in accounting, finance and management, in addition to having served as a Russian Linguist in the Army. An adventure lover, her interests range from Harley-Davidson motorcycles and sky diving to healthy cooking, Russian literature, and of course, good coffee. Hope's strong managerial background is an excellent support to Mbare's ever-improving structure and efficiency, and her friendly, vibrant personality is just what you would expect from someone named Hope.
The McWaters Brothers
Warehouse specialists Mike and Jamie McWaters are considered Irish twins - siblings who are born less than a year apart. Mike, pictured left, is the older and more extroverted of the two. His passion is cars, and he's currently in school studying automotive technology. Jamie recently finished a four year stint in the Air Force where he did maintenance on fighter jets. He is contemplating going back to school to become a teacher.These guys are invaluable to the every day operations of Mbare, and do an excellent job of getting our products to you—our customers. They bring a lot of heart, enthusiasm and commitment to their jobs, and they're a heck of a lot of fun to be around!
Warehouse Specialist Ryan Harlick has been with Mbare off and on since 2009. He is an Athens, GA, native and studied geology at the University of West Georgia. Ryan is a man of very diverse talents and surprises, and will hands down beat you at trivia of any sort! He has worked in IT, marine biology, car restoration, photography, and currently also works at Trader Joe's. Ryan brings a great deal of patience and attention to detail to our warehouse operations, helping us get your order out the door. We love our warehouse staff!