A few of my favourite things: Kenyan design brands

Nairobi this past November was a feast for the eyes, thanks to some of my favourite Kenyan design brands! I participated in several fairs which, gave me the opportunity to check out the great work of my peers.

The photos below were taken at Biz Baz, XmasBoX, Spring Valley Bazaar and the Ichyulu Pop Up at Zen Garden. This list is by no-means exhaustive!

I’m participating in 2 more events this year: a special Christmas evening at Nook Cafe on Thursday (14th December) and Pop-Up & Chill Handmaker’s Market, this Sunday (17th December). Come through to hang out, discover some new brands, and get your last-minute Christmas gifts and treats!

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Phone Wallpaper: Soulful Branding Affirmations

Phone wallpaper goodies for the taking!

As I prepare for it, I’m getting more and more excited about the next session of the Soulful Branding Challenge.

I’ve been putting my recently acquired modern calligraphy skills to use, lettering some affirmations to do with the course and my thoughts about authentic branding.

I thought you might enjoy having them as regular reminders so, I’ve created a few different phone wallpaper images for you. Continue reading “Phone Wallpaper: Soulful Branding Affirmations”

No new clothes: a story about branding and freedom

Branding and freedom aren’t two words you usually see together in a sentence. Let me tell you a story …

I used to go to job interviews in a suit. A nondescript black or navy trouser suit that was ill-fitting in so many ways. Firstly, the anatomy I’m blessed with makes finding a flattering off-the-shelf trouser suit quite difficult. Vanity aside, there I was, a young excited professional creative, going to find a job in my field, looking like an accountant!

Somewhere along the journey into adulthood, I had picked up this idea that this is how things were done. Serious situations like job interviews called for “serious” attire and, we all know that means a suit. Despite the fact that people who already worked at these places never/rarely wore suits. Despite the fact that I was largely being judged on my creativity and, we all know how your visual presentation has the power to influence decisions. My choice of clothing just didn’t make sense.

Presentation is everything

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#justformechallenge: let’s make August all about me-time

A few months ago, I asked a question about me-time in the Afri-love Women group: “what do you do just for fun?” It seemed like it should be such an easy question but, I myself struggled to answer it.

See, there are things I love to do that I do out of necessity, such as yoga and cooking. Then there are things that I love but, don’t actively do. For various reasons (aka excuses!). For example, I love being by the ocean and swimming in it but, that’s not something I can currently incorporate into my weekly or even monthly schedule (or can I? …). I love to dance but… ok, I don’t really have a good excuse for this one. After all, as a teenager I would do this in my room all the time, with special coloured lightbulbs to set the scene and everything!

I appreciate that there are some mental blocks at play.

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Motherhood: 4 weeks in + baby bump photos

Tonight marks 4 weeks since my baby boy, Laoleko, was born and my motherhood journey began for real! I thoroughly enjoyed my pregnancy. Despite initially feeling detached from my body and all the changes it was going through, by the second trimester I was completely and utterly in love with everything about the little one growing inside me.

I’d received a lot of motherhood wisdom from friends, and read a lot too, in preparation for what to expect once the little man was here. 4 weeks in and the reality is on a whole other level from the expectation. Levels more intense! For example, the sleep deprivation and the lack of time to do anything other than baby-nurturing tasks. But also, the love for this little guy is more than anything I could have imagined. I get it now. I get why my parents worry about me so much, and why they insist that I’ll always be their baby, even when I’m 60!

To celebrate Laoleko’s 4-week birthday and my 4 week initiation into motherhood (or is that, 9 months and 4 weeks, hmmmm…?), a list of things I’ve experienced, observed, learned so far. In no particular order: Continue reading “Motherhood: 4 weeks in + baby bump photos”

Buy African: baby gift ideas, made in Africa

African Baby Gift Ideas

A baby gift list is something I had to put together recently, ahead of my baby shower-ish thing.

My little one is due any moment now and the Google and Instagram algorithms clearly know this as, I’m constantly coming across posts and pages to do with pregnancy and all things babies and motherhood (of course this is a reflection of my browsing history!).

If you’re looking for a beautiful and unique baby gift, here are just a few ideas, made in Africa, from some interesting brands…

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My natural pregnancy journey + birth affirmation cards

I first started to write this natural pregnancy journey post at 20 weeks. I was loving all the education I was receiving about natural pregnancy and birth. Now, at 31 weeks, I’m even more grateful for what I learned and the decisions I’ve made so far – my pregnancy has been such a pleasurable experience!

The natural path

I appreciate that the information about approaches to a more natural pregnancy and birth aren’t the standard and you often have to actively seek it out. Luckily I love to learn and I’m happy to go out of my way in pursuit of the most natural options possible when it comes to many things. From what I put on my skin, to what I put in my mouth. From how I treat myself when I’m unwell, to what I use to clean my home.

Natural pregnancy resources

When I became pregnant, I had a new and most precious project on my hands and I dived in with enthusiasm. For those of you with less time, or who may not know where to begin, I thought I’d share some books, services and other resources that have been of great value to me. I’ve also designed some illustrated birth affirmation cards for you to download (details below).

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Zanzibar dreaming: my wishlist of where to stay

There are few things I enjoy more than being by the beach and Zanzibar is one of the most beautiful that I’ve experienced yet. I really think I’m designed to live by the coast. Swimming in the wild ocean whose grandness awes and frightens me and yet, floating and moving through the water soothes me so. Relaxing on sandy beaches, watching the world go by and surrendering to the natural pace of time. Finding nourishment from the fruits of the sea and, in East Africa, the delicious Swahili cuisine!

I know babymoons are technically supposed to happen before delivery but, I’m dreaming of a postpartum Zanzibar vacation this Autumn. It helps that a handful of my friends are planning trips there this year. Answering their requests for tips has me researching and getting inspired myself!

Here’s my wishlist of where to stay…

Continue reading “Zanzibar dreaming: my wishlist of where to stay”

My daily routine – pregnancy edition

So far, this year has found me either: on the road; preparing for being on the road; educating myself about and getting to grips with pregnancy; and preparing for the arrival of my baby. Needless to say, “routine” is a word whose meaning I’d totally forgotten. I have a feeling that, once baby comes, I won’t even know how to spell the word!

I’m a person who both hates routine and thrives on it. Or rather, I hate the idea of monotony – of doing the exact same thing, over and over again. Yet, I crave some sort of structure. I’m almost OCD about it: creating lists is one of my favourite pastimes! 

Not too long ago, I discovered a way that has been working for me; a balance between having order but still retaining some dynamism in my days.  Continue reading “My daily routine – pregnancy edition”

Lulu Kitololo Studio design and illustration highlights from 2016

Happy new year! I hope you had some time to rest and rejuvenate as the year turned. A good chunk of my holiday was spent in Moshi, Tanzania. I stayed at my late grandparents’ home – resting, reading and spending time with family. I came back to Nairobi with renewed enthusiasm and clarity! There are several big (and slightly scary) adventures – design and otherwise – on the horizon this year, for me and for the Studio. I look forward to sharing them with you.

The first one starts next week, when 3 creative friends and I set off for a 15,000km+ road trip through southern Africa (see below).

As we prepare to set off, I wanted to share some highlights from 2016. Many of you have been a part of these projects and endeavours and I thank you deeply for your different contributions. Continue reading “Lulu Kitololo Studio design and illustration highlights from 2016”