"It takes passion, praise, and perseverance"
Bobby spent a year building relationships, researching, developing ideas, and planning to begin manufacturing for Ankole Designs. Soon after, Downie successfully introduced their signature pair of Ankole horns on lucite bases in the Mickler’s hometown of San Antonio, Texas. Ankole Designs now manufactures their homewares and accents in Kampala, Uganda which borders South Sudan. They partner with EcoNation, an international corporation that exists to foster and enables community leaders in East Africa.
Ankole Designs purchases horn from East African stockyards at a fair price. The horn is a by-product of the beef industry. Each pair of Ankole horns has its own distinct shape, coloring, height, and width. Every horn must be dried, extensively cleaned, cut, sanded, and polished with a non-toxic wax by local people in Uganda. This process takes between 3 to 4 months before the piece is ready to be sold for use in the home.
Interior designers and boutique retail stores all over the United States have fallen in love with these timeless, stunning functional art pieces made from repurposed horn in East Africa. The transitional home is enhanced by high quality functional art, and Ankole Designs is filling the gap. No yack horn or buffalo horn can compare to the thickness, durability and color variations of the Ankole. The Ankole Designs workforce is growing and will continue to as they are increasingly discovered by designers and collectors alike.
"It's wonderful to be on the receiving end! Now our work is more of a two way street...in the business world we help each other and our mission is no longer one sided. Everyone is on the giving and receiving end - that's what makes people, communities, and nations grow and develop". - Downie Mickler