About Us

Hope has been hard to find in a small, rural village in South Asia. Although small in size, this village faces large-scale challenges. Most of the population lives in poverty, struggling to survive day to day.

Because there are few options for quality education or a better life, the people don’t have much hope for breaking the cycle of poverty in their community. Poverty has robbed many people of their health, safety, dignity, and dreams. Finding the beauty in life is difficult at best.

We wanted to change that by opening a.ku designs (pronounced a-koo), a business that would infuse the people and village with true hope. Through our products, employment opportunities, and educational support, we believe that being Fashioned For Freedom includes making life beautiful for the futures of the people.

And by the transforming power of God, hope is returning to this village. Life is becoming more beautiful. Through the work of International Teams and a local in-country organization, Grace English Medium School was opened to provide education for the children. Education is the key that opens many doors for steady work and greater opportunities. As those doors open for future generations, the poverty cycle is upended. Education is the antidote for backbreaking agricultural work, child labor at the brick factory, and sexual oppression of young girls.

Although education is the key, it is also an investment—one that takes many partners. That’s why a.ku designs was founded,  to benefit the children in this community; a.ku designs is a textiles business designing fashion accessories and home décor products available for purchase through our online shop. We give 100% of our profits to the school, making children’s education possible.

Our products are made by talented local women. Because of a.ku designs, they have dependable work, which stimulates the village economy and gives the people new hope. Their work is respected within the community, restoring dignity to them and their families. Steady employment also protects women from the vulnerabilities associated with living in poverty. We are following Jesus’ lead by treating our employees with respect and honor, which means we also practice fair trade principles in our business.

This is integrated community transformation, made possible through the love of Jesus.

This is Fashioned For Freedom. This is a.ku designs.


Our History

In June 2013, International Teams along with a local in-country organization, opened Grace English Medium School in South Asia. Because of the work of International Teams and their dedication to the people of this village, they were stirred to help the school stay fully funded, which also supports International Team’s vision for providing food, freedom, and forgiveness to those in need.

In response, a.ku designs was launched: a retail business dedicated to making quality, handmade South Asian fashion accessories and home products. By designing and selling women’s accessories and home décor items, a.ku designs not only provides supplemental funding for the school but also invests in the village’s economy by providing jobs to women.

In the summer of 2014, the handmade goods from a.ku designs became available for purchase in the United States through an online shop. This expansion broadens the market for our designs and extends an invitation for all to come alongside and support the people of this village from afar. We invite you to shop now to make a difference. >> Shop Now

Our Logo

Our leaf logo reflects the vision of being Fashioned For Freedom through the transforming love of Christ Jesus. In the language of this village, a.ku means leaf, representing life, growth, nature, and hope. 

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Please consider supporting the children of Grace English Medium School in South Asia.  You will receive a tax

deductible receipt from International Teams (residents of the U.S only)

 International Teams   411 W. River Rd.  Elgin, IL  60123  

International Teams   411 W. River Rd.  Elgin, IL  60123  


We can't fulfill the mission of a.ku designs without our amazing team of talented volunteers. Much of the photography on this site is by Andrew Nicodem, Phillip Shippert Photography, and Ashley Tingley Photography. We also appreciate Doug Boers and his technical expertise on our Web site and Sherry Quam Taylor for her web design expertise and business/marketing consulting.