A DIVE INTO FASHION

By: Valyne Laibuta (vklaibuta@gmail.com)

Photos courtesy of: Sapatu Kenya

Wambui Ndaiyo. Founder and lead designer at Sapatu Kenya.

This week I got the opportunity to interview the lovely Prisca Noel Waiganjo also known as Wambui Ndaiyo. Wambui is not only a third year Public relations student at Daystar University but she is also the lead designer and founder of the fashion brand Sapatu Kenya.

Sapatu Kenya was born in 2015, “I took a short course in tailoring and design after high school” says Wambui when talking about how Sapatu Kenya came to be. She adds, “it also helped me cope with depression.

Before joining the tailor and design school, Wambui described how she would take her mother’s clothes are transform them to be more modern, sexy and sophisticated, this is what inspired her to pursue her passion in fashion design.

Wambui went on to describe Sapatu as a clothing brand for the modern African woman that promotes body positivity, sophistication and confidence. From her collections, I could tell that Sapatu Kenya lives up to its purpose.

“The kind of fashion you would find at Sapatu Kenya, is based on diversity. It is a brand that implements its creativity to ensure our clients are satisfied with the products” Wambui when asked about the kind of fashion found at Sapatu. She adds that Sapatu Kenya aims to provide clients with unique and stunning pieces that you will not be able to find in a typical clothing store.

Prisca recounts that her favourite collection was based on shoot that she did with her couple of her friends a year back known as the forest shoot. Her main aim with this collection and shoot was to inspire people to lean on nature when they are feeling overwhelmed with day to day activities.

“Nature is the foundation of everything and fashion itself. Nature allows me to reach into my creative wits and create something that’s uplifting and relatable”.

Speaking about the challenges she has faced with starting and running Sapatu Kenya, she says that “starting any business is not easy”. She wishes she had not rushed too quickly to the creative side without first considering the business side of the brand.

Organization and marketing of her brand proved a challenge to her in the beginning, luckily she had help from her friends and also help from Urban Change Lab that allowed her brand to reach a larger market.

While interviewing Wambui, I found her to be remarkable and hardworking; along with her brand and her studies, she is also the Public relations manager of Urban Change Lab.

She describes Urban Change Lab as a platform that allows local craftsmen to showcase their products abroad. The craftsmen and clients are able to interact in transparency, the clients are able to also send in their ideas and be able to be their own designers with the help of these craftsmen.

Urban Change Lab is a new form of comfort shopping that allows people from different parts of the world to share ideas which are realized by craftsmen in Africa. The platform allows both the craftsmen and client to interact fairly and share ideas.

Wambui believes that this platform might open doors to job opportunities in Africa especially to fellow designers who would like to gain internationally recognition.

She concludes the interview by offering advice to upcoming business owners, that they must be focused and set realistic goals for their businesses. She also urges the ambitious women out there trying to be billionaires before they hit 30, that it is not too early to start their journey into the world of business.

Wambui is an inspiration out there to those studying or working but have always been dreaming to start their own brand that it is never too early to start and whatever challenges come your way, you must work through them and keep pushing forward. I hope her interview serves as inspiration to someone out there.

If you would like to watch the video interview, click here.

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