This summer the Soko team is very excited to bring on a new Merchandising and Production Design Fellow. The Kenya team has welcomed her with open arms and we’re very excited to introduce you to Mukami Ruoro!
Name: Mukami Ruoro
Hometown: Nairobi, Kenya
Position with Soko: Merchandising and Production Design Fellow
About Me: I am a 4th year veterinary medicine student at the University of Nairobi with an insane passion for jewelry design. I have been designing and making jewelry for five years under the brand name Kihuruta (Facebook, Website).
What drew you to Soko?
Before I came on board as a Soko design fellow, I was an artisan on the marketplace model we had before; I was drawn to Soko by how genuine the company is about the improvement of the lives of their artisans, they were offering a solution to a problem that many designers/artisans were faced with and that is sales and marketing. I love that about Soko. The community at large benefits from the career advancement of an artisan whether individual or in a group everyone benefits (directly or indirectly)! How cool is that! A little while after the marketplace model changed, Sasha, the director of artisan entrepreneurship at Soko, told me about a design fellow opportunity at Soko and I was both humbled and excited that she had chosen to reach out to me. What drew me to this fellowship is the fact that I would be working closely with Soko artisans and that gave me great joy. I would be in a position to share my design experience with them and also learn in turn since a good number of them have a great number of years of experience under their belts.Aas well as the fact that I loved Soko’s mission to impact individuals in order to impact communities.
Describe a typical day for you:
A typical day at Soko begins with checking emails and corresponding with the U.S team. Afterwards I would begin on mocking up some in house designs as well as attending to various artisans who arrive at the office with samples for new designs that we’ve been working on together. I then would spend some time taking pictures of the new designs that I have made or that have been brought in; for approval by both the U.S and Kenyan teams. I might also go to the artisan workshops in Kibera to help with product development. Outside of work (and school) I wake up at 6.30am and map my day out then set out, on a very relaxed day. After outlining my to-do-list i would probably be bundled up in blankets in the house watching a good t.v series while churning out new designs with my tiny pliers!
When you’re not working what do you love to do?
eat!! I’m such a foodie, I would probably be looking for a new restaurant to try out or trying out a new recipe. I also love, love, love to read I probably read two books every week or so.
Describe your style in three words:
Colorful, chic, quirky
Favorite piece from the kenya collection?
the warrior neckpiece and the bibs I designed for Soko of course!
Dream travel destination?
I have three, here in Kenya I haven’t been to Turkana; I want to visit the Lake Turkana islands they are so beautiful. The island of Bora Bora is my second, I love tropic countries/islands I really love the sun and water and my last is Greece… I love Greek mythology.
I’m addicted to stationary…yep notebooks, pens, paper the works, pass no judgement! And I’m always laughing at something!!