The Nakate Project was founded by Shanley Knox on returning to California after living in Uganda. The brand brings the beautiful work of East African artisans to high fashion with accessories for adventurous bold women (just like those who have made them).
Shanley was inspired by the stories her father told about objects collected when travelling and she began to collect her own wearable pieces from her travels, each one was imbued with memories and stories from the locations that she has visited. She used these accessories to introduce these stories and memories into her daily life.
‘Nakate’, the name of the project is associated with a memory that is particularly poignant for Shanley. Nakate was a nine year old girl that she met in a Ugandan village called Kakooge. She lived with her aunt, a local prostitute after losing both her mother and father to Aids. It was Shanley’s desire to connect Nakate to the role models in her own society that lead to the Nakate Project and its business model of connecting African talent to women in remote villages to nourish artistic growth and development. The Nakate project was launched after Shanley’s 21st birthday in collaboration with celebrity stylist Antonio Esteban and individual artisans in Uganda.
She hopes that each of the pieces of jewellery will act as a reminder to the wearer to express the adventurous, bold woman that lives in each of them and to use the unique aesthetic of the jewellery to celebrate a part of the world that teaches us to live more deeply!
The Nakate Project also works to create artisans in rural areas of Uganda that we see as previously untapped or undervalued. They help in providing income for women that are struggling to support themselves and, for many of them, the families that are relying on their income. The project also adheres to fair trade principles and environmentally friendly practices including maximizing the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources, buying locally where possible and encouraging our artisans to work in environments of their choosing – which are often in the open air.
This post is the first part of my new series Story Behind the Brand where I share with you the inspiring stories behind some amazing ethical fashion brands.
What do you think? do you love this story? I know I could definitely do with a little reminder to be adventurous and bold and live more deeply sometimes.
With warmest wishes
Ceri xPin It