The Sapelle team is a multi-cultural group made up of partners and friends who found within each other a shared passion for African design and enterprise, with similar yet uniquely individual experiences. We are all rooted in both Africa and Europe, and identify ourselves as global citizens who are in love with African culture and creativity and inspired by its rich heritage.
How we go here?
We started our journeys first by collecting pieces for our own use, and were intrigued by the fact that our friends from all backgrounds were attracted to them and curious about their origins. Seeing that there was a lack of beautiful contemporary products in Europe, we commenced on our quests to build bridges and create platforms that would allow talented makers and crafters to connect with design lovers with a love of global style.
We have been driven by our ambitions to continue to select and develop the best products from around Africa, to share our love of design and to build a place where shoppers can find African inspired products of a good quality. We operate at the crossroads of African culture and other cultures and our products reflect that fusion of cultures. Sapelle offers customers products with character that will integrate into their everyday life.
Our team brings a fusion of global influences and experiences, hailing from several countries in Africa and around the world. Sapelle is led by founders that started their entrepreneurial journeys independently but became attracted by a common vision: to showcase contemporary design from Africa.
Daphne Kasambala founded Sapelle as a fashion brand following a career in Finance and Banking in Africa and Europe. After seeing African inspired fashion gain popularity on the global market, Daphne set out to build a platform to highlight talented and quality ethical brands and producers that are authentically African.
Having grown up in Malawi and the USA and spent almost half her life in the UK, Daphne sees herself as a global citizen with her heart in Africa.
“Throughout my career, I’ve seen the positive and transformative effect that a sustainable income can have on people, and I’m driven by the ambition to see Sapelle’s partners in Africa prosper by trading beautiful contemporary products with customers around the world who love them.”
Lisiane Ndong founded Nilare, a gifts and home décor brand that works with craftspeople around Africa. Lisiane is French-Gabonese and draws her inspiration from her multicultural background. Now living in London, Lisiane is inspired by her background and experience of the French, Gabonese and the English cultures within which she’s lived.
Coming from a creative design pedigree (her mother is an artist and designer), and having worked in the field of Marketing in London, Lisiane decided to pursue her passion for design and home décor by establishing Nilare, a brand specialising in discovering the beautiful designs of African craftspeople.
A curiosity for new things and a desire to draw on the cultures which have inspired her allows Lisiane to continue her passion for blending African craftsmanship with interior design within Nilare.
“I am a ‘Citoyen du Monde’, as I can feel totally happy to be in a fast paced, modern city like in London and then go to Gabon, where I relax and enjoy the quiet atmosphere. I like being close to nature.”
Dayo Forster is the founder of furnishings and textiles brand Toghal, and hails from the world of data analysis and financial sector research. She is also a novelist. Originally from The Gambia, Dayo has lived in Kenya and the UK. Dayo’s love for textiles and her growing textile collection stimulated the idea behind Toghal.
“What we do brings my various enthusiasms together in a perfect meld: heritage African textiles, a fascination with the fractal dimensions behind many African designs, love of esoteric fact and fiction.”
Our Support Team
We’re privileged to be supported by a multi-talented international team with expertise in Retail, Product Development, Operations and Marketing, all helping to make Sapelle what it is.