Say hello to the UBER talented Samantha Elevato from Sokoke Creative. Sam is an artist, designer, small biz owner, teacher AND mumma from Victoria - talk about busy!  We have long admired Sam's gorgeous Squad faces from afar and knew that we could weave some beautiful collaboration magic together. 

Keep reading to find out more about Sam and the inspiration behind her stunning Squad. 

Sam Sokoke Creative

RO: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
SE: Hey! I’m Sam, an Artist, Designer and Teacher living in Torquay, Victoria. I am an outspoken, colourful, slightly inappropriate and fiercely loyal woman and friend.

RO: What was your biggest inspiration for creating your stunning squad members and bringing them to life?
SE: When I began Sokoke, I was painting abstract works onto wearable art pieces like earrings and pendants, one night I was lying in bed thinking… What else could I make with  the laser cut shapes I had and BOOM! A hundred gorgeous little faces started swimming around in my brain and I haven’t looked back since! Each member represents a unique person, a powerful force, a moment of confidence, a bright feeling and a connection to others... Our SQUAD.

RO: Why do you think your squad designs and Ruby Olive work well together?
SE: I’ve always admired Artists who have combined art and design. People like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Ken Done who have managed to translate their artworks to products and surfaces and in doing so share it with a wide range of people. This collaboration is a wonderful opportunity to do exactly that!

Meet The Squad

RO: I know you aren’t meant to have favourites… but do you have a favourite squad member? Why/why not?
SE: This could be a very long list indeed! I have to say I have a few that are favourites to wear, like Prudence and Cleo but then I have a few who I am just super proud of like Petra and Clementine who represent non-binary people. I am also really honoured to be asked to create custom squad members like Nana Ruby who was a special release for NAIDOC week in 2019, she was based on a inspiring First Nations woman and her family requested/gave me permission to use her likeness.

RO: How do you juggle being a mum, teacher and small biz owner?!
SE: In one word… Terribly! I attempt balance all the time but it never truly works, I’m often overwhelmed and feel as though I’m not doing any of my ‘jobs’ well. The key for me is a supportive team (my family), making lists and prioritising. Being a Mum and Wife will always come first, then my career as an educator - (I am paid by the government to do it after all), and then Sokoke is the little cherry on top. Remembering my values is also key, if ever I find myself drowning in stress, I come back to what is important, take a deep breath and one step forward… back on the path I have forged.

RO: What are the top three things or ‘rules’ you choose to live by?
SE: As I mentioned before: know your values and come back to them as often as possible. 

For me this means being compassionate, creative, kind, modelling equality and laughing and loving as much as humanly possible. Everything just works if I keep coming back to this :) 

Thanks so much for chatting with us Sam, we are thrilled to release the gorgeous 'Uniquely You' collection with the Sokoke Squad. Shop the RO x Sokoke Creative collection HERE.

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