Meet Wambui Mukenyi a self taught designer, whose love for luxurious fabric that reflects the rich African heritage would act as her stepping stone into the lucrative fashion business.
Ms. Mukenyi took a bold decision to quit accountancy and launch her collection.
According to the Daily Nation, the 30 year old worked for two years as an accountant in a real estate firm but she always felt that she was in the wrong profession.
“Quite often I would look at my colleagues trying to figure out what dresses could fit them well. I knew that I had to quit accounting. Fashion was too alluring for me, I couldn’t keep my hands off,” Ms. Mukenyi reports.
Having graduated from Kenya College of Accountancy , she was welcomed into the fashion world by ms Wambui Muchiri whom she worked for as an assistant designer.
“I designed some of her pieces, steered social media marketing for her collection as well as went to workshops and saw how fashion was designed.”
From her assistant designer job she made Kshs.300,000 which she used as capital to launch her first collection of designs . She decided to design ladies clothes especially wedding gowns and office wear. She then launched a collection consisting of eight pieces women clothes.
“The collection was so dramatized and far from my notion and target of making clothes meant from a working woman. From this capital I made a profit of 100,000. It was demoralizing to see my hard earned money dwindle,” she tells the paper.
But did she give up even when her collection did not come close to what a professional designer could have delivered?
“I vowed to work smarter, put pen to paper drawing real trendy fashion designs, I spent time watching Fashion TV and reading fashion magazines. It shaped my vision and sharpened my skills,” Ms. Mukenyi reveals.
Interestingly, her passion and hard work yielded fruits because after three consecutive years of perseverance she made her first Kshs. 500,000 profit per month. As her collection broadened in style, fabric and color she hit Kshs. 1.3 million profit per month.
She has dressed television presenters such as NTVs Victoria Rubadiri, Citizens TV’s Lilian Muli, Janet Mbugua as well as Kambua Manundu, previous Kubamba show host. In 2012 she collaborated with Ms. Janet Mbugua to launch the Janet Mbugua collection.
The paper reports Ms. Mukenyi to be an avid reader of the Trend Report- surveys that detail fashion trends across the world and this keeps her posted on new and upcoming designs and what fabrics could best go along with trends.
“My role models in the Kenyan industry are KikoRomeo design and fashion house as well as Patricia Mbela,” Ms. Mukenyi says.
Ms. Mukenyi who imports most of her fabrics from African and European countries is determined to hit international scores this year.
“I am working on ways of spreading my wings to Nigeria, Tanzania, morocco, Uganda and Europe. I want women there to appreciate my wears,” she concludes.
Passion and perseverance are key for one to thrive in the business world.