Our Story

ABOUT US

Ngala Trading Co. launched in 2016 by founding partners Lawson Ricketts and Nick Geimer to promote African-designed and manufactured luxury lighting and curated home décor products.  Having opened and run an interiors and home décor business in their adopted home of Johannesburg, South Africa, the duo was determined to bring their favorite products to America when they decided to return home after 10 years abroad. 

 

Ngala’s first collection was created by selecting Nick and Lawson’s favorite products from their own store catalogue, each of which had to exhibit the characteristics of being uniquely designed from sustainably sourced indigenous African materials. The products were and continue to be high quality and made entirely by hand somewhere in Africa - from Cameroon to Cape Town. Now representing several established brands as well as their own “house brand,” each of the products distributed by Ngala Trading Co. remains organic, hand-made and sustainably sourced from exotic materials such as feathers, ostrich eggs, leather, porcupine quills, suede and ostrich shins. Each product has a story, and is not only functional, but a statement piece -- blending earthy, raw African materials with contemporary American styling.

 

Although no longer based in Africa, Lawson and Nick return at least four times a year to continue to build their relationship with suppliers, source new product for the brand, and celebrate brand milestones with the artisans who have meticulously crafted their product since the beginning.

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Our Design Ethos

We created this collection in response to the dearth of quality, affordable African design being marketed and distributed in the US.  Search “African design” on the web and you’re likely to be met with bold, bright color blocking and tribal motifs.  Search “safari” and you’re equally likely to find pith helmets and hunting rifles.  

 

We select items from partners who weave together European and African design ethos in a sophisticated way that avoid overt references to both European high design and African tribal art.  The result is a contemporary “safari chic” that is at once relaxed and inviting; cool and alive; that is neither colonial nor primitive, but indigenous.  Of Africa.

 

100% of our products are organic, and made by hand in South Africa.  In addition to a variety of skulls and game skins, we use exotic indigenous materials such as feathers, ostrich eggs, leather, porcupine quills, suede, horns and ostrich shins to make lighting, furniture and décor that are not only functional, but statement pieces in their own right. 

Our Business Practices

We and our suppliers take great pride in operating a sustainable model of sourcing & manufacturing, meaning:

•  We do not trade in endangered or threatened animal species, as classified by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).  The animal species used in our products thrive in protected reserves within and across Southern Africa.

•  We only purchase animal products from suppliers that are registered and regulated by the national government and/or nature conservation agencies, and whose products and production processes are regularly inspected by the relevant supervisory bodies.

•  The majority of our hides, skulls and horns are the by-product of a conservation process called “culling,” whereby surplus animals in nature reserves are killed and removed for the purpose of maintaining an appropriate ecological balance of species. 

•  No animal has been hunted for its hide or horns – they are always the by-product of death in the wild or from a legislated and permit-driven cull that is managed by the South African government.

•  We do not and will not knowingly purchase or promote animal products that are derived from canned hunts, and we are strongly anti-poaching and condemn it without prejudice. 

Download Conservation Information here