About Us

About Iwacu Boutique

Iwacu (pronounced ee-wah-chu) means "home" or "my roots."

At Iwacu Boutique, our roots are in sharing African prints with confident women around the world. Our luxurious statement pieces are ethically made in Rwanda.

We stand for quality, honesty, beauty, hard work, and creating employment opportunities for those in need.

We Care About The Details. So Do You.

A lot of time, care, and attention goes into our handmade garments, which is what makes each piece so special.
Iwacu women have great style and seek out unique, inspiring garments that are made to last. Our community believes they can have it all, do it all, and pay it forward by spending their hard-earned money on ethically-made clothes.

 

Everything at Iwacu is ethically made by Rwandan tailors who are specially trained and receive a fair wage. Our warehouse in New York City means quick shipping for US-based shoppers. Plus, shipping is always free for orders over $100.

About Our Founder

Welcome! I'm Vasta. Most know me as a model and a traveler, but I'm also a business owner who's passionate about bringing the bold prints of Africa to the rest of the world through beautiful, sustainable fashion. 

Thoughts of Rwanda often bring up memories of the genocide, but I hope to share knowledge about my country's people and its beauty. I've made it my goal to show the world that there is much more to Rwanda—and Africa—the only way I know how: through fashion. 

My Story

While I've lived in different places and have traveled around the globe, nowhere has given me the feeling I have in Rwanda—my true home, or iwacu.

I grew up with the dream of having a fashion line someday. My mother always did her best to make sure we looked presentable, so I think I get my love for fashion from her. As an adult, I want to look more than just presentable—I want my outside appearance to say something about me on the inside. I want to dress in a way that shows my joy and creativity, as well as my gratitude and pride in who I am and where I come from.

I didn't grow up wearing African prints, but I've always loved the bold, bright colors that somehow also have subtlety and elegance. After living in the US, I visited Rwanda in 2016 for the first time in 10 years and was surprised and impressed by how much my country had improved. I knew I wanted to be a part of the progress. 

So, I set out to help Rwandan artisans and creatives, like myself, to lead a better life by providing them with meaningful, well-paid work. My goal is to build a community of passionate and skillful artisans to bring my ideas to life. Through Iwacu Boutique, we pay fair wages and serve as a place to come together and grow.

A Few Facts About Me

  • I was born and raised in Rwanda. When I turned 15, my family and I moved to New York City.
  • I love learning languages. I'm fluent in Kinyarwanda and English, and I can speak and understand some French and Spanish. We grew up speaking Kinyarwanda and French was the first language I learned in school, but once I left Rwanda, I didn't use it anymore.
  • Travel is very important to me. Some of my favorite places to visit are Marrakesh in Morocco, Granada in Spain, and the countryside in Switzerland.
  • Even though I'm an introvert, once I get comfortable, I can easily talk your ear off!
  • I'm a lifelong vegetarian. I could eat avocado, fries, and ubugari (cassava fufu) every day.
  • Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies, and some day, I plan to own a restaurant.
  • I'm a maker and go-getter, and I love DIY projects.
  • To me, beauty comes from the eyes.