The story of Ankole Living begins with two missionaries from San Antonio, Texas, who saw the need for sustainable economic growth in developing nations. Meet Bobby and Downie Mickler, the founders and entrepreneurs behind Ankole Living, a lifestyle brand that is among the first to embrace a business model to support and provide lasting opportunities to local East African communities. In 2006, Bobby and Downie moved to East Africa with their four, soon to be five, children. It was there, in Kampala, Uganda where they started EcoNation Africa Ltd., installing eco-friendly mosquito misting systems in homes and businesses in the capital to help fight Malaria.
The business soon expanded into a service company offering plumbing, painting, lawn care, and pest control, which continues to grow under the direction of Robert Sembuya in Kampala, Uganda today (to learn more about Robert, visit https://ankoleliving.com/blogs/news/embrace-your-present-blessing).
The Mickler's expanded into their second business, African Style. African Style started in a community of extreme poverty near a swamp in Kampala. The Micklers’ mission was to provide steady income for local women of different religious backgrounds. They provided these women materials enabling them to collaborate with each other and create jewelry that was then sold in the United States at trunk shows in homes and churches. In 2010, African Style was taken over by Jalia and Daniel Matovu, and through a beautiful partnership with Jessica Honegger of Austin, Texas, NoonDay Collection was born and continues to flourish to this day. The Matovu’s business, Ajuna African Style, now employs over 200 artisans and has been mentioned in Honegger’s book “Imperfect Courage” (for more information, see noondaycollection.com).