To experience the wild, raw sensuality of Namibian leather requires a visit to the Desert Garden Art & Design stall at the Namibia Craft Centre. It is a struggle to resist touching the variety of leather and hide handbags, pouches, key rings and leather-winged angels on display and equally impossible to ignore the generosity of spirit behind the intriguing designs. Self-taught designer, Elsie Imhof, has successfully harnessed her background as tour guide to express a deep-seated appreciation for the Namibian outdoors and her knowledge of a variety of animal hides to create a popular range of eye-catching and attractive leather products. Each item is unique and therefore a leather lover and collector’s dream. Broad and generously cut, the lines of her designs appeal to the avant-garde and ultra chic. Imhof started Desert Garden four years ago after a successful art exhibition and to this day, still draws inspiration for product design from her immediate environment. There are no frills and fusses to the designs; these are merely good-quality hides converted into well-made, sturdy items, perfect for everyday use. Case in point, her range of leather book covers are statement pieces, carefully stitched to reveal the great quality and selection of flawless leather, perfectly complimenting any top-level executive’s stationery. Desert Garden offers great leather and pristine hide products for both genders, for technology, special events and children in pleasing colours with Elsie Imhof’s personal touch behind the irresistible sensuality of enduring pieces. Desert Garden has successfully expanded its operations and now employs four women from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.