FEATURE: Sharon Baluku of Baluku Design

What an amazing inpiration I have to share with you today!

Like most of us, I find lots of inspiration on Instagram! One of the latest discoveries I found was that of Sharon from Baluku Design. I was so happy to know that her designs are not only very beautiful, but by doing all these beautiful work, she is also able to give back - specifically by creating opportunities for girls and women from her roots in Uganda.  10% of each sale on her shop is donated to education programs in Uganda.  This is a big help for these amazing girls to have full and equal access to education. 

That's just the intro, you guys!  Read more of her story and be inspired....

SHARON // FOUNDER, DESIGNER & MAKER AT BALUKU DESIGN

SHARON // FOUNDER, DESIGNER & MAKER AT BALUKU DESIGN

Can you give a little background about yourself? 
I was born in Uganda, and grew up in Sweden. Moved to LA and ended up studying Interior Architecture. After working for several leading designers in the industry, I decided to pursue my love for accessories and launched BALUKU DESIGN. For as long as I can remember I have loved anything that has to do with creativity, music, dance, art and design!

 

BALUKU DESIGN'S SCARVES COLLECTION

BALUKU DESIGN'S SCARVES COLLECTION

Can you give our readers an overview of your Company / Brand and tell us how it started?
BALUKU DESIGN started from the notion of wanting to create beautiful, unique, simple designs that I wanted to have but couldn’t find out there. It also came from the urge to use my hands more, and not just be stuck behind a desk. I knew that I wanted to stay in the creative field, and most importantly challenge myself by doing something that I had never done before. 

In addition, a big reason for starting my company was wanting to give back; specifically to create opportunities for girls and women in Uganda - I’m committed to supporting the empowerment of girls there through education. This is what keeps me going and continuing to love what I do!

The goal of the SM Blog's Featured Creative Series is to spread inspiration to everyone with the same passion and craft, where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere! In general, nature is a big inspiration of mine; I’m always trying to incorporate more of it into my work through natural and sustainable materials, patterns etc. I think that there are endless ideas around us, and if we keep an open mind and pay attention to our surroundings we can discover amazing things.  

Furthermore, a lot of it comes from my diverse background – because I have a Ugandan and Swedish background, and because I embrace both cultures almost equally, there is a a touch of African and Scandinavian design influences throughout my work.

BALUKU DESIGN'S BASKET COLLECTION

BALUKU DESIGN'S BASKET COLLECTION

Do you have favorite tools that you use on a daily basis that you cannot live without?
Yes! My vintage sage Sears Kenmore sewing machine and jewelry tools, as well as the modern toolkit - computer, Photoshop and a good camera. I also have a small studio set up at home for photo shoots, which saves a lot of time.

Can you give us a peek of your average workday?
Routines are not in my nature, and I think that’s why a typical office job doing the same thing every day was never a good fit for me. I try to do something different each day, at least one thing that is out of my norm. 

Every day I get up between 6:45 -7:00 am and have some alone-time by either meditating or doing yoga. I have a day job working at an interior design firm, so when I’m there I will be out shopping for clients, putting together proposals, making drawings, overseeing installations etc. 

When I’m on my own time I typically check my emails and to-do-list for the day / week first. From there I could be working on new design ideas, making products, shopping for fabric, setting up photo shoots, researching new materials / tools, educating myself about women’s and girls’ issues in Africa, or packaging orders - no day is the same, and for me that’s part of the excitement!

Do you have new projects or products you are working on right now that you’d like to share to our readers?
I have some ideas dancing around in my mind! We do home and fashion accessories, and at the moment I’m working on some new fashion accessories that have been requested by many of our customers. They’re still in the early design stage so I can’t reveal them yet, but stay tuned - perhaps they will be introduced at the next UniqueLA Show! 

Blog With Love’s Mantra is "Do What You Love, Love What You Do”, what is your personal mantra?
One of my mantras is a quote by Will Smith. “Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you. And stay. Works in both business and life!

BALUKU DESIGN'S PILLOW COLLECTION

BALUKU DESIGN'S PILLOW COLLECTION

If you were going to give one final advice to our readers, what would it be?
Embrace yourself, trust yourself and love yourself. Understand that you are unique in your own ways and that’s okay. Always remember to be you, because there is no one else like you. Do what you love and do it because it feels right to you. Pay attention to your surroundings and embrace each and every moment.

BALUKU DESIGN'S JEWELRY COLLECTION

BALUKU DESIGN'S JEWELRY COLLECTION

What a great inspiration! Thanks Sharon for sharing your beautiful work and story with us.

Follow more of her work on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest  and shop at balukudesign.com. You can also read more about her shop and her shop's purpose here.