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Meet The Team


Lesley Magnay

Founder, Ankole

I went travelling to Uganda aged 21 and stayed – how could I not.  This beautiful country with its diverse scenery and the friendliest people imaginable captured my heart. Now many years later, a bit more baggage in terms of 3 children and a husband  ‘The Pearl of Africa’ remains the place I am most at home.

On our many safari’s ‘up-country’ we were very used to seeing the magnificent  Ankole cows on the side of the road, being herded by young boys, but what of the bi-product of this animal?  The horns I knew were normally burnt as waste – surely this was a wonderful sustainable material that could be recycled?

Several years on, and I am now working directly with a local family run business and a team of talented artisans.  We have designed and produced this amazing range of accessories – straight from the Equator to your home.

At Ankole, our team works hard to remain loyal to Uganda, and strives to support small Ugandan businesses. We source locally where we can; our packaging is made by a small company on the Entebbe Road employing predominantly women, and our wooden boxes are made by someone known to us since childhood.

We are proud of what we produce and we thank you for your interest in these truly ethical and individual products and hope that you will now enjoy the beauty of the Inyambo – the cow with the long, long horns.


Emma Richardson

Director, Ankole

Following a chance conversation with Lesley and her husband at a London event we both attended, a shared passion for Africa led me to become the newest member of the Ankole team!

Having founded my own brand whilst still at uni in 2014, Lesley and I had moved in similar circles for nearly a decade therefore I had been a devoted customer of Lesley's and long admired the brand and her inspiring story. Lesley's commitment to giving back to the local community in Kampala has always resonated with me, so when the opportunity arose to contribute to her brand, I eagerly seized it.

In 2022 I had the privilege of visiting Kampala, where I met the incredibly talented artisans behind our products, packaging, and carrier bags. Witnessing the heart and soul poured into their small businesses, and forging connections with them and their teams—many of whom are close friends of Lesley—was truly up lifting. It's heartwarming to see how our small business supports so many others and is what keeps me motivated to continue to grow our brand.

I have recently relocated to Essex, which is now home to our headquarters and dispatch centre. I will be a familiar presence again at our events throughout the year ahead and I'm really looking forwards to seeing both old customers and meeting new ones. To those who are new to Ankole, I hope you'll fall in love with our exclusive collections, the brand and our story as much a I once did.