About Gala Star
Amazing Africa Gifts is a division of Gala Star CC, a business registered in South Africa and founded by Carol Starkey. Gala Star is a leading manufacturer of African curios, corporate gifts and themed board games for over 25 years.
Carol’s inspiration behind Gala Star - the people!
“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” J.K. Rowling
Through the excitement of the new democratic elections, Gala Star was born.
In 1994 our first Large Tribal Chess set and tribal ranges were created. The hope and inspiration of a better future under Nelson Mandela, gave Gala Star the drive to create, mould, paint and unite the women of South Africa on a walk of skills, income and a wish to alleviate and lessen the poverty which the women of South Africa found themselves in. We share the love and stories of Africa with the world, that brings us the most delight.
The bespoke African art pieces that were initially created were fashioned on the authentic ethnic groups, each piece depicting the story of these tribes. From ethnic to animal, political to sport our ranges grew. New staff are being continuously employed and trained. We have sent staff to university, trained staff on child care, healthy living and help to educate them in all aspects of their lives.
Founder of Gala Star
Gala Star, a market leader for over 25 years
Carol founded Gala Star CC in 1994 with the first Tribal and then Big Five Animal Chess sets. Gala Star has grown to be a market leader in the Curio, Gift and Decor market in Southern Africa as well as having a significant corporate gifting presence with their beautiful and high-quality products being in high demand from foreign tourists, business travelers and for lovers of Africa around the globe.
Initially, Carol worked with artists (including Jayne Galassi) to sculpt all the figures and board designs and outsourced the moulding of the polystone pieces that her team would then hand paint. In the late 90’s Gala Star purchased the moulding and woodwork business and brought the full moulding and woodworking operation and moved the entire production process in house.
A few years later and Gala Star moved onto its current production facility based on a small rural plot of land out in Muldersdrift where the majority of Carol's artists and staff lived. This helped make Gala Star employment more accessible to the rural community that previously had to travel quite some distance.
Carol’s team at Gala Star design, originate, mould, hand-paint, and craft our own woodwork, produce our own boards and keep as much of the entire creation and production process as possible in-house.
The moulded and hand painted chess sets grew to include other board games, figures, magnets, and other home decor products. This range of beautiful African Curio’s, Curios and Decor items have been branded under the Kumbula iAfrica brand and operated under Gala Star.
The Kumbula iAfrica brand and division has experienced year on year growth for the last 25 years and over 200 wholesale orders a month keep the production manager, Shadrack incredibly busy. Shadrack has been with Carol since leaving school and has grown into Carol's right hand for all thing Kumbula iAfrica as he knows the intricacies of the complete production process as well as how to maximise the results with the growing team of staff and artists.
In 1996 the Gala Star management introduced SHARE TIME as a means to increase employment in the local community. Under Share Time, mothers in communities where the Gala Star team live are able to earn an income, by painting magnets and other smaller pieces. This has been a continuous success story over the decades.
Gala Star now employs more than 30 staff and through initiatives like Share Time provides income to more than 250 households. Gala Star supplies over 1 000 retail outlets and corporates including government departments and ministries who find that these beautiful pieces are the ideal gift for foreign dignitaries.
Although all products are hand painted, Gala Star has over the last 25 years grown the production process to a reliable and scalable operation that can ship these amazing products around the world in reliable, high quality and reasonable cost base.
Through the years the product range of Gala Star has expanded extensively. From chess sets, numerous other games, a huge range of magnets, pencils, pens, collectables, trophies, political pieces and much more.
Numerous Mandela themed pieces and products are manufactured, under license from the Nelson Mandela Foundation with a portion of every item sold is given to the foundation. This gives us the pleasure that children in need will also reap the benefit from each piece created and sold.
A new addition as the market-leading Decoupage Egg creator
In 2018 Carol purchased one the longest standing and most reputable decoupage egg suppliers to the African Curio market. After a year of re-engineering the design and production process, Carol and the long-standing manager of the Decoupage Egg business, Sagren, the new division is flying along with Gala Star now being the largest purchaser of Ostrich Eggs in South Africa creating a sustainable income for ostrich farmers in the region.
Gala Star is committed to using original ostrich eggs, and avoids manufacturing eggs out of plastic or resin. All eggs are correctly treated for export and pass the highest quality standards.
The acquisition of the decoupage ostrich egg business has created more income opportunities in the Muldersdrift area with increased employment.
The Amazing Africa Gifts initiative
Gala Star has sold its creations through a network of “Curio” and tourist based shops throughout South Africa as well as a growing corporate gift market.
Carol has been working with Richard her son and their partner Shaun to find the best way to fulfill the inquiries and demand of individuals outside of South Africa who would like to purchase these beautiful pieces of African art and decor directly and around the world.
After some testing with an Etsy store (www.etsy.com/shop/AmazingAfricaGifts) as well as a mini online shop for Unique Themed Chess Sets (www.unique-themed-chess-sets.com) Gala Star along with Richard and Shaun have launched Amazing Africa Gifts (www.amazingafrica.online) with the view of creating an online Africa gift, decor, curio and art megastore where Gala Star and subsequently other artisans and craftspeople can make their beautiful African themed gifts, decor, art and curios available to the world.
Contacts and wholesale opportunities:
Amazing Africa Gifts is a division of Gala Star as a legal entity, and the Kumbula iAfrica collection is the original branded range of products by Gala Star.
Amazing Africa Gifts is the official online retail site and partner for Gala Star.
Gala Star has over 25 years of selling wholesale to retail shops, and for any inquiries please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com