Anin is a Nama word that translates to many birds. The Nama People is a member of the Khoikhoi people of Namibia and live in the Southern parts of the vast Namibia. The Anin project grew from humble beginnings. As the very creative, hip, city girl and wife of a successful Swakara farmer, Heidi von Hase was thrown into the deep end of a new reality with the man she loves. Activities such as milking the cow, processing meat and growing vegetables for the table were a step away from the supermarket and other city comforts. The family was expanding with 4 girls in their toddler and early school years.
Heidi's heart for people was set ablaze when experiencing the struggle and poverty of people who were living in tough conditions in the neighbouring village. She was able to recognize and appreciate the impoverished women’s talent for embroidery, a skill learned from the missionary women in the early 1900’s and passed down for generations. In seeking shelter from the blazing Namibian sun, the first embroiderers meetings took place in the shade of a camel thorn tree. This was where Heidi von Hase established Anin Embroidery in 1987.
Initially Heidi supplied some textiles and threads while providing creative direction. The motifs chosen by the women mostly depicted the many birds of Anin itself and familiar scenes from village life in Hoachanas - set against a backdrop of makeshift houses and dusty yards. Strips of fabric and threads were given to the embroidering ladies to work onto. These strips formed both the functional and aesthetic appeal that is still the core feature of the ‘anin style’ today.
Finding this practically creative way to create a functional craft by sewing up tablecloths, cushion covers and later bed linen, Heidi took the women’s skills to another level. Tourists came from far and wide to see the craftsmanship of incredibly gifted hands and purchase a souvenir for friends and family. Soon the anin project provided an income for about 300 mothers and their families in Hoachanas.
Today House of Anin is headed up by Heidi von Hase’s daughter Anabel Loubser and her husband Stephan Loubser. “For us this is more than a family business, it’s about real people working, laughing and crying together”. Like us our employees have their own families and everyday challenges which we support as they support us. Working with your spouse is a lot of fun and greatly enriches your relationship.