soulbags by QUCH – made in Uganda
In november 2017 me and a group of crazy people walked 550 km from Kigali to Kampala. Why we did this I wrote here, I posted some diary entries from the walk here and if that was a smart thing to do, I tried to analyse here.
One of the things I learned was that Uganda is one of the youngest countries in the world when it comes to its population. The average age in Uganda is 15 years, for comparison in Germany it’s 42. This brings a lot of potential and energy but is also quite challenging, and you can see those challenges reflected in the Ugandan poverty rates and very high unemployment. A situation where entrepreneurial thinking and action can be keystones to improve the living situation of people.
That’s one of the reasons why our friends from Lemonaid especially support entrepreneurs and training programs in local communities. And also why I spent a lot of time there in the last year together with the Welthungerhilfe to support social businesses such as the Ugandan Water Filter producer SPOUTS of water.
Luckily, I was able to meet one special young entrepreneur first hand: Adam Lakuch is the founder of QUCH Creations, a company that produces socially responsible backpacks with local artisans and was just in its formation when I was visiting Uganda last time. Today I am very happy to announce our first collaboration:
soulbags by QUCH – made in Uganda
You can now find them in our onlineshop (sold out!). And because founders best tell their story themselves, we asked Adam for a little interview – here you go!
Paul (left), Edwin (middle), Adam (right)
Hi Adam, tell us when and why did you start QUCH Creations?
Adam: In 2018, I found myself at a crossroads in my life. I had an undergraduate degree in law, but was unemployed and had no desire or motivation to apply for a 9 to 5 job. It dawned on me that it was high time to apply myself to something I was passionate about. Thus, in August 2018, QUCH Creations was born, a company where I felt I could utilize my time passionately and productively utilising local products as much as possible to make utility handicraft for the local market.
What was your goal when you started?
Adam: The goal is to build a platform where creators can come together to explore their creativity and talent while creating gainful employment opportunities for themselves and at the same time supplying the customers with quality products. My dream is to establish a workspace with the essential equipment and tools and make it accessible to other creative entrepreneurs who want to develop and take their ideas to the marketplace.
What kind of materials do you use?
Adam: We try to use local and natural materials whenever available, like canvas, kitenge (African print cotton fabrics) and wood.
How many people work at QUCH? And what kind of products are you producing?
Adam: Currently there are six people on the QUCH Creations team. Four people are engaged on the design and production team, two people are responsible for marketing and finance. Currently we make backpacks, light travel bags, shirts and jackets.
How many did you sell so far and where can people find them?
So far we sold 57 backpacks locally and 26 internationally giving us a total of 83.
You can find our products on our Instagram page @QUCHcreations and in Kampala at Vodo art studio in Kisementi a suburb of Kampala, Uganda (and of course in the soulbottles onlineshop).
Something else you would like to tell us?
Thank you for supporting QUCH and giving us the opportunity to craft the soulbags. It has been a challenging and fun experience. We have learned a lot in the process on standards, quality and how to improve our production process.