Gillie Lightfoot, creator of the phenomenon Tribal Textiles, started Jackal and Hide after moving from the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia (her home since 1986) to Sugarbush Farm, an organic smallholding on the outskirts of Lusaka.
In her search to establish a new, smaller workshop at home, where she could return to being more hands-on and involved on a daily basis with craftsmen (as she had been in the early days of Tribal), she discovered a source of wonderful, locally tanned cowhides.
There existed virtually no manufacturing of leather goods in Zambia, and thus was born a great opportunity to train and work with a new team of tailors, and together to design and craft a range of high-quality handbags and accessories with a unique African feel.
Jackal and Hide’s little workshop is set alongside the organic vegetable garden, at Sugarbush Farm, where a handful of trained craftsmen construct the elegant, traditional bags. Each craftsman will tailor the bags from start to finish, inserting handpainted linings (made by Tribal Textiles), adding imported zips and fittings (for best-quality finishes), and adorning the bags with handcarved horn, vegetable ivories, tassels and beads that have been collected around Africa. Gillie calls them ‘dongles.’ Every bag is slightly different and adorned either with Gillie’s signature vegetable ivories, handpicked beads from across the globe, or “recycled” Angoni cow horn.
Gillie and her team have also been experimenting with home accessories such as lighting as well as other household accessories. Be warned, you will want to buy the entire inventory so take a big suitcase or arrange for international shipping!
If you’re ever in Lusaka and want to see these Jackal and Hide’s creations for yourself, Sugarbush Farm (an old Cape Dutch design) is set in a traditional garden, where they also have a small organic cafe (the Design House Café) that offers delicious salads, juices and homemade food straight from the gardens to the table. While you are eating they can create a basket of freshly grown produce to take with you after you leave.