Avana's Diary

2013. Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire! I came, I saw, I fell in love!

A city, as modern as it could be! A city, as French as it could be! A city, as culturally rich as it could be!

Tucked away between the lagoon and the vast blue ocean, some astounding history dwelled amidst villages and small clusters of trees and forests. I had found some invaluable treasures. No, these were not antiques! These were contemporary craftsmen - upholders of ancient crafts techniques, trying to preserve traditions of their ancestors and promote what would otherwise get extinct.

I shared their passion for the art, and I compounded that with my knowledge of design and marketing and thus, was born House of Avana.

Avana, meaning "a beautiful flower," in Kiswahili, is a social enterprise, upholding traditional cultural sensibility in the age of globalization. In an ephemeral world, Avana makes you "hold on to" something warm, authentic and precious. Culture, tradition and heritage!

-Vandana Sharad
Founder, House of Avana

Avana Africa's mission is to create a global marketplace for authentic contemporary African craftsmanship.
We are trying to add contemporary value to traditional crafts with durable and modern finishes, and transform them into modern-day utilitarian objects.
Avana wishes to facilitate universal acceptance of traditional crafts as a part of contemporary living and thus, preserve the unique richness and diversity of cultural traditions.





JULY 2017

Ms. Vandana Sharad's Interview with Vanichi.com




 APRIL 2017

Ms. Vandana Sharad's Interview in Business World



APRIL 2017

AVANA on Javits Center Website



Signing of Partnership with Ministry of Crafts



Avana has a social conscience.  We empower craftsmen by enabling them with better machinery, modern polishing techniques, designs & training programs, increasing skill-sets, creating employment, and eventually, increasing revenues through a Revenue Sharing Model.


Objects with centuries-old traditional worth are transformed with contemporary designs, air dried and treated with modern durable finishes, thus increasing value of products. Our craftsmen are trained to create products that will keep us on the edge in the global market.


Avana is supporting and promoting authentic craft traditions as a solution to contemporary needs for interior designs. Crafts that would have died and perhaps, vanished are being drawn out of remoteness and are being passed on to next generations.


Avana’s mission is to connect the crafts and craftsmen to the global market that could appreciate their arduous work as well as help them earn better and thus, live better. A global exposure to these crafts also helps the buyer understand a culture so ancient and rich.

Avana's Masterpieces


"These eyes say it all! I prefer to struggle here than elsewhere... with self respect and dignity."


The future of Africa is in Africa itself!

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