My name is Lorraine Amagove Mugere. I am the owner of Amagove.mugere, a handmade knitwear brand, formerly known as obsiddian handmade. I decided to give my brand a more African name, my name, not only because I am the owner, but because it feels more African, more relatable.
Don’t Ever Underestimate Yourself.
I have a background in engineering and I practice as a trainer. I teach mathematics, applied sciences and electric circuit analysis. I’m currently teaching at a College: The Karen Technical Institute for the Deaf.
We Owe A Lot To Our Mothers.
I have told this story so many times I can recite it like a poem. I grew up watching my mom craft. While pregnant with my younger siblings, she would knit booties. She would also crochet doilies for her living room, sew our school uniforms, and also do some embroidery to sell to her friends for extra income. As a child, I watched her do this. It was like magic to me; and my mom was the magician. I would pester her to let me try, and sometimes, she would relent. She taught me basics: how to slip stitch, how to weave in ends, this and that, then she would dismiss me. These moments entrenched a love of knitting in my heart.
However, my parents’ emphasis on good education was not lost to me, and that is how I ended up in an engineering class. I loved it. That was until a six-month lecturers’ strike during my third year in University rendered me idle and desperate. With no forthcoming internships, I reignited my love for knitting. It became a hobby for the next few months. After graduating, I found myself without a job. That was when Amagove.mugere, (formerly obsiddian handmade) was born.
According to a report by Ray Polo in 2015, there had been a total of 12 national teachers’ strikes in Kenya since the first one in 1962, a year before Kenya’s independence. Both teachers, & student strikes are quite common in Kenya, proving that the struggle for decent pay for teachers, and quality education & facilities for Kenyan students still continues.
Trying New Things Can Be Fun.
My favourite crafting memory was this one time when I was about 9. My mom was sewing something, I do not remember what, and I was collecting all the small pieces of leftover cloth. I had begged her to let me sew even for a minute and she always said no. However, on this particular day, she let me try. I was so excited! The following day when she went grocery shopping, I snuck into her room and sewed again. Lol. She found out… You want to guess what happened next?
As a creator, you need both inspiration and motivation. You can have hundreds of ideas but without motivation none will come to fruition.
I love geometrical shapes. Color and shapes and African culture are my sources of inspiration. In addition, I buy a lot of old magazines too and there’s usually a dose of inspiration somewher in between those pages. However, I am a highly motivated person. I realize what works and what does not work. As a creator, you need both inspiration and motivation you can have hundreds of ideas but without motivation none will come to fruition.
Let’s Challenge Ourselves.
I have plans to grow my business into a recognizable brand. I tried launching a collection in 2019 and failed miserably when the photographer lost half my pictures and found them much much later. Still, I am excited to try that again this year.
Africa, Kenya, is a beautiful place. The culture here is rich, and we are colorful humans, and in recent years, this has been portrayed well on social media platforms. However, as a continent, we rely heavily on other continents to dress us, and for as much as I feel we are trying to dress ourselves, I feel like we do not trust ourselves to create high quality clothing. Here, at Amagove.mugere, we are trying to change that. Amagove.mugere isn’t just about clothes, it’s about statement pieces that are environmentally friendly, 100% made in Kenya using high quality raw materials.
Amagove Mugere is very active on her Instagram @amagove.mugere. You can follow her to see her latest work and keep up to date with new releases and offers.