Name and Title
Rachael Senjule, Founder & Creative Director of LOVE LAKERI
1. Tell us a bit about you (your personal experience)
I am a Ugandan-Canadian designer living in Toronto, going back and forth from Toronto, Canada and Kampala, Uganda. From as early as I can remember, I have always had a love for working with my hands. Whether it was making clothes for my dolls, tinkering with electronics, or making creations out of scrap fabric, I was always up to something. However, like most children of African families, I spent majority of my life in school, pursuing a higher education in Financial Economics. It wasn’t until I completed my undergraduate studies, and was frustrated with the job opportunities out there, that I decided to venture out on my own. Hence, the birth of Love Lakeri!
2. What motivated you to start Love Lakeri?
I founded Love Lakeri in the beginning of 2014, as a then recent graduate frustrated with the lack of job opportunities. I had a deep desire to do something creative but also socially conscious - an endeavor with a purpose. There are so few creative, fulfilling, and financially supportive job opportunities in Kampala, and Toronto, and I wanted to create something that could provide that for young adults. Fusing my love for sewing, my interest in business, and my desire to help others, Love Lakeri was born. Love Lakeri is an accessories brand, which focuses on making vintage inspired accessories using hand selected African fabrics from local marketplaces in Kampala, Uganda. Our goal for 2017 is to have our pieces 100% manufactured in Kampala, Uganda.
3. Tell us about your First experience at a Manyatta Event.
It was definitely an experience! I attended my first Manyatta event in Fall of 2016. I had decided to get completely out of my comfort zone and attend alone (something I never do but I definitely recommend to newcomers!). I figured if I didn’t go with someone, I would be forced to talk to and network with others. Once I did arrive, I was a bit intimidated. Being among professional peers, I wasn’t sure where my designer title fit in. Interestingly enough, after keeping to myself for the first 20 minutes, I started socializing with some amazing people. Meeting one person, led to an introduction to another, and another, and next thing I knew, I was being invited to partake in the annual gala with a table for my pieces! Everyone I had met was so engaged and genuinely interested in the professions that others were in. I had never been to a more friendly, inviting, and professional networking event! I received a lot from Manyatta and I look forward to many more years of partnership!