This month marks 5 years of running my business. It's been a hell of a ride – high moments, challenging times and everything in between. All with a great business partner and an amazing team by my side. But now, it's time for a change …
A key part of the Asilia ethos has always been about following your heart and doing work you love. We’ve constantly strived to practice what we preach. That’s why we love working with other passionate people and why our self-directed projects are so important to us.
Over the past 5 years, these projects have evolved in different ways. Some have been more satisfying and successful than others – Afri-love, Afriapps and Black White Simple being the ones that have most resonated with the wider world.
Products of change
These projects, along with our experiences working with clients over the years, have taught us important lessons; opened up new opportunities we couldn’t have foreseen and; challenged and expanded our visions, when it comes to the contributions we want to bring to the world.
In being true to ourselves, our passions, our new circumstances and environments, we have decided on a new future for our professional paths.
Andrew is back in Nairobi, identifying demands in the Kenyan market that technology can fill. He is now operating as Haba Haba – "developing web and mobile products that make you more productive (and happy)".
I remain in London, for now, and will be operating as Lulu Kitololo Studio.
I’m really excited about the evolution of my career and business! Lulu Kitololo Studio’s focus will be on:
- Creative consultancy – select clients will benefit from ongoing, long-term strategic insight and input, into the marketing and creative aspects of their businesses, projects and campaigns. We will be working on a project-by-project basis as well as on a retainer basis, where suitable.
- Creative commissions – I want to continue working with people who are doing inspiring work in the areas that I care about: Africa, the arts, women, wellness and sustainability. The focus will be on quirky, illustrative and handcrafted design – for visual identities, infographics, printed materials, social media graphics and web user interfaces. I still believe in the power of great design and will be happy to refer you to trusted peers, if the Studio is not suited for the job that you have in mind.
- A product line – over the past year, I’ve been designing a range of stationery, gift and art items. I’ve been showcasing them at events and I've opened an online store too. My greeting cards are currently stocked at the wonderfully eclectic Mercantile London and, I look forward to finding a home for my products in other beautiful boutiques and other stockists, around the world.
- Events – educational workshops such as the Stand out from the crowd series that I ran with business coach, Danielle Anderson; as well as the series of I used to… draw workshops which, I’m running with psychologist, Stacy Moore.
- Afri-love – underpinning all of the above is my desire to contribute to the growth of a healthy, flourishing African creative economy. For the past 5 years, my blog, Afri-love, has been a space for me to explore how I can do this. I look forward to devoting more time to talking about creativity, enterprise and wellness – providing resources for African creatives and inspiration for those who want to support them.
I am interested not only in what I work on but, also, how I work. In my business, and in my life, I want to focus on cultivating joy and thoughtfulness and on ensuring there is always space for creativity and wellness.
This informs the team structure going forward. I will be working with trusted, talented peers who offer complementary services and perspectives. We’ll operate in a collective-style set-up which, empowers all of us to keep growing and to spend dedicated time on our individual pursuits. At the moment, this includes Lusungu – bringing his operations and screen printing skills to the table; Brian and Salmon (in Kenya) – bringing their web expertise and; Nuri (in the US) – contributing her graphic design skills.
I’ll be working on launching new branding and a website, over the next couple of months, and I really look forward to sharing the finished product with you. In the meantime, I would love for you to check out what I’m up to. You can do so by signing up to my fortnightly mailing list and joining me over on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. I value your feedback so please do get in touch via these social channels or via lulu AT lulukitololo DOT com!
Business as usual
For our existing clients, this transition should be quite seamless. We have taken careful consideration to ensure that your needs are taken care of and, that we can continue to add value and support to the continued success of your businesses, projects and campaigns.
Haba Haba and Lulu Kitololo Studio will continue to work in collaboration, whether to service existing clients or when new projects demand our complementary skills and expertise.
Andrew and I are both very grateful for all the support that our team, clients, collaborators, suppliers, friends and fans have shown us through the years. These relationships mean the world to us and we look forward to their continuation, as we move into this exciting new phase in our respective businesses.
With much love,