Beaverton to Rio in 40 Days
You’re probably thinking, “what an amazing excursion”, and as exciting as that may have been, that’s not quite what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the amount of days from when I launched the idea of my new business venture, ArtiKen, until we were on the podium with Olympic athletes.
On July 4th, I launched a business that sells handmade bracelets and 40 days later, we were on the podium via a couple Olympians. However, there were many more athletes that represented these beautiful, intricate handmade beaded bracelets made by Kenyan Artisans.
It was January 2016 and I asked Paul Chelimo, recent silver Medalist in the Men’s 5,000 meters, to please bring me back some custom Maasai crafted bracelets. Paul brought back a few for my wife and I, with our names inscribed within them and I fell in love. I finally got my hands on a bracelet that I had desired from the summer of 2008. And now, within days, I had family, friends, and colleagues asking about obtaining them. With a hole in the marketplace and an opportunity to provide those interested, I decided to open ArtiKen — short for Kenyan Artisan, to bridge the gap in the market. Having already been on the wrist of many Kenyan wrists, these beaded bracelets finally had a one stop stop to tailor anything and everything to the likes of the consumer. We instantly had some made for WCAP, Bowerman Track Club, Oregon Project, Oregon Track Club, and Star Athletics athletes. The feedback was amazing and the interest was remarkable.
Fast forward a few weeks and the greatest athletes in the world are competing in the biggest competition in the world wearing our bracelets. Just 40 days after July 4th, “we” had made our very first podium finish courtesy of Justin Gatlin and that was just the beginning. Charles Jock, Matthew Centrowitz, Betsy Saina, Shadrack Kipchirchir, and Paul Chelimo were just a few athletes to represent their club and/or nationality through ArtiKen.
With that said, giving athletes the opportunity to show support and love through our jewelry is exciting, but more importantly, the ability to provide clean water to those in need is the foundation to our company’s mission — To help eradicate poverty and provide clean water in Kenya one day at a time.
Be sure to check us out across all of your favorite social platform and/or www.ArtiKen.com. If you have any questions, give us a shout at info@ArtiKen.com.