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THE KULA PROJECT
The Kula Project
The story of Kula Coffee Company is a testament to the transformative power of coffee in eradicating poverty and fostering entrepreneurship. Operating within the Atlanta Tech Village, this coffee shop is the embodiment of the Kula Project’s mission – to uplift coffee farmers and communities through sustainable business development.
Founded by Sarah Buchanan-Sasson and her partner, the Kula Project has spent over a decade partnering with coffee communities in Rwanda to create lasting change. The journey began with a fundamental principle: build relationships with coffee farmers to understand their needs. Instead of offering charity, Kula’s approach is rooted in empowerment, empowering farmers to establish strong businesses that improve their lives.
The Kula Project story is intertwined with Rwanda’s coffee industry. The project started small, providing coffee seedlings, fertilizers, and training to farmers in Northern Rwanda. Over the years, it expanded, building washing stations and collaborating with local agronomists. Rwanda’s structured coffee industry, with designated zones and washing stations, presented challenges that Kula navigated through partnerships with local governments and the Ministry of Agriculture.
The transition from design concept to tangible reality was a pivotal phase. The “Kula” text logo eventually found its home within the walls of Kula Coffee Co. – the coffee shop nestled within Atlanta Tech Village. The minimalistic yet evocative logo was strategically placed, adorning the shop’s entrance, menu boards, and coffee cups. Its unassuming elegance mirrored the welcoming ambiance of the café, subtly echoing the empowerment and growth journey that Kula Project embodies.
The logo’s seamless integration into the organization’s initial goals and efforts easily blended into the stand alone location of the coffee shop in Atlanta. Cultivating a sense of familiarity among customers, regular supporters of The Kula Project and efforts, began recognizing the logo as more than just a visual element; it became a symbol of the coffee shop’s unique identity. This recognition and connection fostered a deeper engagement, strengthening the coffee shop’s bond with its community and the overall mission.
Design for local.
Design for global.
Kula Coffee Company in Rwanda immerses itself in the realm of exceptional coffee, meticulously cultivated by the unwavering dedication of local farmers who infuse every bean with their hearts and souls. Witnessing the capacity of certain brands to transcend conventional boundaries and give life to extraordinary projects never fails to astound me. Being able to contribute, even in a modest capacity, through design or the creation of a logo, evokes within me a profound sense of global human accomplishment and an enduring commitment to contributing positively to the world.
In the picturesque landscapes of Rwanda, The Kula Coffee Company extends an open invitation, beckoning individuals to embark on a transformative journey that not only celebrates the intricate artistry of coffee but also forges an intimate connection with the passionate individuals who pour their energies into every cup. This harmonious fusion of flavors mirrors the connection I feel with design’s potential to unify people under a shared cause, underpinning the ethos of fostering positive change. The narrative serves as a poignant reminder that design can be a catalyst for meaningful connections and a catalyst for lasting change, resonating with my personal values and aspirations in the realm of design and philanthropy.
Giving Through Design.
The design journey with The Kula Project was truly fulfilling. Seeing the logo seamlessly blend into their coffee shop in Atlanta, as well as becoming an integral part of their online branding, packaging, and merchandise, has been a testament to the power of cohesive design. The logo’s simplicity reflects the heart of the organization’s mission while resonating with coffee enthusiasts. It’s heartening to witness how the design has not only enhanced their visual identity but has also contributed to the broader story of empowerment and community building. The outcome is a visual representation that stands as a proud symbol of Kula Coffee Company’s commitment to eradicating poverty and fostering entrepreneurship.
Outcome and Opinion.
Connecting design to supporters of a cause is a powerful endeavor that goes beyond aesthetics. It taps into a psychological and philanthropic concept that intertwines visual elements with the values and aspirations of individuals. By crafting designs that resonate with the essence of a cause, you create an emotional connection that compels supporters to feel a sense of purpose and impact. This connection is not just about aesthetics; it’s about fostering a deeper understanding and empathy. Through thoughtful design, you engage supporters on a subconscious level, igniting their desire to contribute to a larger mission. In essence, design becomes a bridge that translates the essence of a cause into a visual language that not only attracts attention but also sparks action and genuine involvement.