Wholesale Fair Trade African Handmade

Who is Swahili?

Swahili African Modern is a U.S. import, design and distribution company that promotes exchange between two networks.

Swahili's African network includes individual artisans, export agents and micro-enterprises in the nations of Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Uganda, South Sudan, Mali, Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Senegal.

Swahili's global network includes private collectors and thousands of retail stores, museums, educational institutions, websites and catalog companies sourcing modern fairly traded African products at competitive price points. Professional buyers and store owners sell Swahili's fair trade African creations on six continents.


Leslie Mittelberg founded Swahili Imports, Inc. in June 1995 in Eugene, Oregon. A former resident of Nairobi, Kenya, Leslie named the company "Swahili" after the people of East Africa whose artistry inspired her entrepreneurship.


Swahili business offices and order fulfillment services are located in Eugene, Oregon.

Swahili's wholesale catalog and ordering system are found here at swahiliwholesale.com. 

The Swahili Showroom is located in the World Market Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, Suite C1067.

Swahili sells directly to Pacific Northwest shoppers through a Swahili retail store in Eugene, Oregon's Fifth Street Public Market.

Swahili's selected online retail offerings are found at swahilimodern.com


Leslie Mittelberg, Founder & CEO

Papa Awori, Community Manager

Jenna Shockley, Production Manager

Betty Tessema, Inventory & Producer Relations

Mackenzie Palancares, Executive Account Manager

Billie Collins, Wholesale Operations

Krysta Alves, Retail Store Manager

Sarid Sahara, Retail E-Commerce

Todd Bradford, Retail E-Commerce

Chrystal Corcoran, Retail E-Commerce

Darla Robbins, Communications, Development & Wholesale E-Commerce

Camilla Dussinger, Photography

Jesse Arispe, Order Fulfillment

Scott Sturgis, Order Fulfillment, Design

Dan Thomas, Order Fulfillment

Hermela Mekonnen, Order Fulfillment

Ben Thomas, Order Fulfillment

Reynaldo Morales, Order Fulfillment

Carmen Castano, Order Fulfillment

Oscar Banegas, Order Fulfillment


Mary Spurgeon, Beloved Operations Manager, in Perpetuity