Khula Design Studio Inc.
In Business Since 2020
Khula Design Studio Inc.
Khula is a boutique design studio specializing in brand transformations. We turn ideas into remarkable brand experiences. Khu·la / Kh·ula A verb of Zulu origin, meaning to grow, thrive or increase. Every business deserves to stand out from the competition. But when a brand and website are outdated, it gets overlooked — leaving customers confused, uncertain, and searching for something better. As a boutique design studio specializing in brand transformations, we’ve helped small businesses and creative freelancers around the world create a cohesive brand experience. With our global network of talented creatives, we bridge the gap between the latest technology and human-centered design. We work best with service-based solopreneurs and small business owners who need a fresh new start. We'll help you get a brand identity, messaging, and Webflow website that reflects your business right now because you deserve to be proud of how your business looks online. Our mission: to make a positive impact in people’s lives.
Business Impact Award
Tell Us Your Story. What motivated you to start your business? Why are you passionate about what you do?
Originally born in Johannesburg, South Africa, & being a new immigrant to Canada since early 2019 I realized I wanted to make a positive impact globally. I have worked in corporate for over 10 years and I started my business, not only for my own personal dreams of running my own business but to help other solopreneurs and small business owners do the same. I was working at a creative agency in Vancouver from 2019 to late 2020 & then the pandemic hit the world & it affected me as I was one of those individuals who got let go. Being new-ish to Canada and not knowing anyone, it was scary & a tough time, BUT, I decided to launch my own business (Khula Design Studio) as I had previous experience in South Africa starting many other small businesses (which some failed, one sold) but I never really persevered to see the dream through. Khula is a South African word that means to grow, thrive or increase and I know when I started Khula in Sept 2020, I really wanted to help other young and old solopreneurs, small business owners, freelancers & our community grow, thrive, & increase. This has been our mission since we launched Khula. In my early 20's it was all about making money, but as I got older and traveled the world, I realized there is more than just making money. There are so many people in the world suffering or struggling & if I can create a business that ultimately becomes a vehicle for positive change & impact for people around the world then I have created something amazing and magical. So you probably thinking, why start a business in the heart of a pandemic when everyone is being let go. (that is what some other people said to me, and they said I was crazy to do my own thing and not knowing where my next paycheck would come in) but luckily I had amazing support around me (family, fiancé, coaches, mentors, friends) who cheered me on & helped me. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have Khula today. I somewhat had something to prove, that if someone from South Africa, with no degrees, honors, or masters (average high-school student) can build a sustainable business & one that gives back and impacts others, then I could serve as inspiration to a lot of other people out there. When I worked for someone (depending on the previous business owner) I would dread going to work. Now, every day I honestly enjoy every aspect of running my business and helping people from around the world elevate their brand image and build a business they can be proud of!
Describe and demonstrate, including metrics, your community support. How do you support and uplift your community, and how do they show that support in return? Minimum 25 words, maximum 2500 characters.
There are four (4) key areas that we support and uplift local and international communities: 1. Mentorship: Being a design studio, a lot of creative freelancers in Canada & around the world look up to us & can learn about us & how to run their freelance gig as a business. So every week we dedicate a few hours to mentor creative freelancers on a platform called ADPList. To date, we have done 1635 minutes mnetored, in over 13 countries. See here > https://adplist.org/mentors/jamie-windell 2. Partnered with Hungry For Life (Chilliwack Non-Profit): Where every single client that works with Khula to transform their brand image, we donate $250 of that profit to give to a local community in Mpigi, Uganda to upskill the youth who didn't finish school due to abusive and poverty backgrounds to help them sustain themselves and get a career. In addition to this, we do 30 care and compassion trips to local family's to provide food parcels. To date, we have donated over $7000 to giving back initiatives. You can read more about it here > https://www.hungryforlife.org/partners/khula-design-studio 3. Plant Trees: We have partnered with One Tree Planted, and with each project we donate 100 trees to be planted in the area of our clients choice to help create a greener tomorrow. Giving back to our environment. Using Khula as the vehicle for our clients to make a bigger impact beyond just the design services we offer. To date, we have planted over 1500 trees worldwide. 4. Local business and small business owners: to date we have helped over 85 small business owners around the world, spanning 7 countries and 4 continents to transform their brand. Our business is only just over 2 years old, but the impact we have made in local businesses by changing their brand perception and elevating their online presence has in turn helped them create a business that can attract more customers for them, help them stand out from some of the big competitors in the market, and create a sustainable business that they can keep moving forward with for years to come. Giving these business owners and solopreneurs a brand they can proud of. When we work with these business owners, we are not only doing design and web development work, but we are encouraging them, mentoring them, providing operational tools and systems to help them improve their business beyond jus the look and feel and this is the ripple effect of the work we do.
Why do you deserve to win the Business Impact award?
I feel I deserve to win this award because we have embedded the idea of making an impact (over profit) from day 1 of launching Khula. It is not just some after thought, but is at the core of who we are and why we exist. Everything we do, we are doing it to empower people, communities, and businesses. From encouraging tips and lessons on social, to mentoring our youth and creative community online, to helping small business owners thrive. We have impacted, in small and big ways, hundreds of people in such a small amount of time (within 2 years) can you imagine how many people we can positively impact in the years to come? I feel we are only scratching the surface, but with every small positive change, we make on a daily basis, compounds and spreads to our lives at home, at work, and in our communities. With all the negativity we see in the world today and online, we need more small businesses to come together and help make a positive change and now through Khula, we are becoming that vehicle for our clients, contractors, and suppliers. This award would not only mean the world to us and our business. But it will help ignite our business impact to be of influence to other business owners around the world. When they see this award, it serves as a reminder that we need to help others, spread kindness and make a change.
Tell Us About Your Culture. How are you creating a sustainable and healthy workplace where everyone feels welcome? Provide examples of leadership you show in interactions with clients, vendors, contractors, staff and others.
As a solopreneur myself, I really strive to treat all of our stakeholders with the utmost respect and care. At Khula, this is the order of priority when it comes to who we serve: our contractors, then clients, then suppliers, then me. Without our creative team of sub-contractors Khula would not be where we are or do what we do. It's because of our talent team which we call co-pilots at Khula that really help us make a positive impact. A few things we do different to a typical agency or large company: 1. We pay our sub-contractors and suppliers immediately, you can ask any of our contractors, when they send us an invoice, we pay it immediately within minutes or within 24 hours max. When we know these individuals are relying on this money, why let them wait. We don't role suppliers or invoices, even if we don't have the money from our clients just yet, we always, always make sure our team gets paid first. This creates a loyal and kind working culture. 2. We let our creative team explore ideas and have the freedom to work in their own time and their own pace (within the clients timeline of course) but we encourage them to push creative boundaries, offer kind gestures and words of encouragement, making them feel good after every single call with me. My natural gift or talent is encouragement and I get to use this every day with my team to uplift them and empower them to do their best work. Here is a testimonial that reflects this above from a brand strategist we have worked with recently: "Khula has been the missing link I’ve needed to deliver beautiful brands and websites that fit the brand strategy and copy I develop for clients. What I love about working with Jamie is that he just gets it. He has a proven track record for nailing the visual identity on the first concept, which shows he takes the time to thoroughly understand the project brief, industry ,and client. Above that, Jamie has solid communication skills. He answers questions quickly and in detail and is a genuinely positive person. I always leave our calls 1) impressed by the work he delivers; 2) in a good mood. For businesses looking to strengthen their brand and website, look no further!" — Reagan 3. With clients, suppliers and contractors, we acknowledge their personal interests and create a culture that is inviting and welcoming at Khual. We wish them happy birthday, give out a Starbucks gift card on the odd occasion, provide a meal if they going through a tough time, t-shirts, etc.