Tell us more about your brand and what inspired you to start it?
I have a bachelor’s degree in jewelry and silversmithing from the Birmingham School of Jewellery and, after 13 years of working in advertising and marketing, I made a conscious decision to return to my creative roots.
I established my brand, I am I, as a vehicle to explore the notion of adornment as sculpture for the human form but with a much more design led and experimental approach.
“The ability to source materials from Kenya and integrate them in our design ethos was really wonderful.”
What makes you a sustainable brand?
The brand is not only founded in Kenya, East Africa but is also inspired by it. We source almost all our materials in Kenya and all the pieces are locally designed and made.
Was sustainability always a factor from the start or something that you have veered toward?
I always wanted the pieces that we made to be a reflection of Kenya in some shape or form. The ability to source materials from Kenya and integrate them in our design ethos was really wonderful.
What inspired your latest collection?
The latest collection titled, “Elements Contained,” is really and exploration of minimal form and geometry juxtaposed with the rawness and beauty of natural elements.
Describe the person you envision wearing—and embodying—your brand.
Well-traveled creative types with a strong slant towards design and a fairly minimal but bold sense of style.
“I’d like to have the brand known as a design studio as opposed to just a fashion brand.”
Where do you see your brand in five years?
I’d like to extend the brand into other product ranges including furniture and lighting and have the brand known as a design studio as opposed to just a fashion brand, but with the same design ethos running through all its products.
What advice do you have for aspiring designers, particularly those who want to keep sustainability at the core of their business?
My experience in Kenya has been really to start small and take baby steps so that maintaining sustainability within the brand can be more considered and manageable as you scale.
There is nothing worse than being passionate about something that is intrinsically part of your company and suddenly finding that you have to lose it as you grow.