About Us - We bring African curios and gifts to the world
Our mission is to source beautiful African gifts, art and decor and bring it to you, lovers of all things African wherever you are!
Africa is a wondrous place that captures the heart and imagination of all who visit it! The African culture, its people, and of course its wildlife and nature are unlike anywhere else in the world. Its diverse art and curio creations are highly sought after globally.
Amazing Africa Gifts exists to be the link between the lovers of Africa and the Africans who create these beautiful gifts, art and decor… not an easy role to fill but we are on a mission to create the opportunities for African inspiration and craftsmanship to be shared with the world. If you love Africa, this is the space for you to find the perfect gift, curio, decor or artwork to help raise up the African artists and their communities.
Amazing Africa Gifts builds on the 25 year history of Gala Star CC (founded by Carol Starkey) and it's Kumbula iAfrica range of beautifully crafted and hand painted products. It all started with a stunning Big Five wildlife chess set and has since grown to encompass over 1 000 products; all produced by a team of over 30 staff members in Muldersdrift, South Africa. Today, Gala Star is one of the leading producers of African Curios in South Africa and supplies to over 800 retail outlets throughout the country.
A new era for online African Curios and Gifts
With the rise of online shopping the need to find an online home for African gifts and curios became essential. In 2018, Richard exited his role as CEO of a global education group and teamed up with Shaun de Greeff (an online marketing specialist) to start brainstorming how they could practically achieve this goal. They tested the market by setting up a dedicated chess website called unique-themed-chess-sets.com as well as an Etsy store to make sure that they could supply amazing service and reliable delivery at a reasonable price. Building on their success, Amazing Africa Gifts was born which aims to provide an online marketplace for reputable manufacturers like Gala Star and others the opportunity to offer their high quality African curios, gifts, decor and works of art to people all over the world.
Customers who found the perfect gifts:
We love it when our customers become a part of our story, and we hope that our art, gifts and decor become a part of your story and of those you love and care about. We know that not all our customers have a piece of Africa in their hearts but maybe someone they care about is a lover of Africa and hence inspiration is still shared so that makes us happy! Share your story with us and follow our progress and that of our artists, team members and their communities and share your part of that journey with us!
Our family is so pleased with this chess set! Not only is it fun to play chess with but the design is outstanding and so is the quality of the board and chess pieces. I was very impressed with Richard - the owner of the store where we purchased this item. He was so nice to work with and we received our chess set within a week of ordering it - hassle free. I highly recommend dealing with him and his excellent staff. - Rebecca
Lovely chess set! Customer service was amazing, couldn't have been more friendly when things got a little complicated. Went out of his way to find me the ideal gift for my mum, a genuinely nice person to buy from which is very rare these days! - Hannah
These coasters are beautiful! Very well made. I am so happy with them! And they were shipped very soon after I ordered them and arrived quickly from South Africa. - Adarst
Our Beliefs and Values
We keep our beliefs simple, they are about people - you, our customers and our suppliers and partners. We thought we would share them with you:
- We believe great customer service is key to our success
- We believe in inspiration shared
- We believe in openness and honesty in our relationships and communication
- We believe we can be better today than we were yesterday for our customers and our teams
We are constantly working on improving our service and streamlining our shipping, because our customers deserve not only the highest quality and beautiful products, but also amazing service!
Richard Starkey: Co-Founder and the finance guy
Richard has been involved in the African Gift & Curio market since he was 17. He worked for Carol in Gala Star on and off over the years. Richard has a passion for small business and job creation, combined with a love of travel and different cultures. He is a Chartered Accountant by profession and a bit of a serial entrepreneur. Richard co-founded Amazing Africa Gifts after more than a decade of working on how to bring the beautiful Gala Star products to the rest of the world, and now is on a mission to partner with the sustainable African Curio Market producers and artists to grow their global market and create a sustainable income for the craftsmen and artists that create such beautiful work.
Shaun De Greeff: Co-Founder and the marketing genius
Shaun is the founder and managing director of Optic Blaze Media and has been working with Richard on startups and now established businesses since 2014. Shaun is passionate about telling the story of a business. Shaun has an amazing team of dedicated web designers, copywriters and photographers and online marketer in his team, without them AmazingAfrica.online would not be possible.
Carol Starkey: Supplier Partner and founder of Gala Star
Carol is the founder of Gala Star and has been instrumental in the development of Amazing Africa Gifts. Carol has been and will always be about her team of people. Carols team consists of over 30 artists and craftspeople and some key managers who find such personal value in producing beautiful products that are loved by people all over the world. Carol started Gala Star over 28 years ago and is passionate about her people, educating them and providing them with the opportunity to learn and grow in work that they love and in the process provide sustainable income for them and their families in Muldersdrift in South Africa. Carol is enjoying the process of working with Amazing Africa Gifts and fascinated by how we provide such high quality service to a global client base using cloud based systems and online communication technology.
Gala Star is the legal entity under which Amazing Africa Gifts operates in South Africa and Richard and Shaun are working closely with Carol to modernise internal business systems and customer management to help Gala Star manage its growth. Read more about Gala Star and Carols team here.
Jayne Galassi: Supplier Partner and leading artist
Jayne was initially one of the founders of Gala Star with Carol and was the initial designer of the first African wildlife sculpted chess set pieces. Jayne left Gala Star after a few years to focus on her artwork which is as diverse in style as it is beautiful, as well as taking the time to write her two novels. Jayne has partnered with Richard and Shaun to create a product range to make her art more accessible to lovers of Africa around the world and in a manner that allows her inspiration to be shared and become a part of more people’s everyday life. Read more about Jayne Galassi here.
Buy your perfect African gift right here and now!
Browse our ever growing product and art range to find some African inspiration or chat to us if you would like some more information (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you find the perfect African gift on our site please share your feedback with us, it inspires our teams to know their work is loved!