The Chaka Story


"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." 

Nelson Mandela


While growing up in Ecuador, Chaka Co-Founder, Chris Perez, would travel with his family to rural villages outside of his hometown of Cuenca and deliver Christmas gifts to children in need. He saw first-hand the financial burdens that villagers faced to send their kids to school. 

After travelling throughout Africa as a diplomat, Chris noticed there were many talented artisans without a way into the American marketplace. He also saw that African parents faced the same type of financial burdens as those villagers in Ecuador. This led to the "AHA" moment - what if there was a way to introduce foreign artisan talent to America and give back to the communities which produced the products?

In search of a business partner and Co-Founder, Chris turned to his close college friend Chase Rockey, a former public accountant, who shared Chris' passion for making a difference. After many hours of brainstorming and research, Chaka was born and the "buy 1 - give 1" mantra took hold. 

For every item Chaka sells, we donate a locally sourced backpack to a child in need in the country of origin. With the support of our customers, we are excited to see how far this will go!  


Chris and Chase