From a Wildlife Manager to a fashion manager- the tale of a renegade graduate who pockets Sh4,000 daily.
When Daniel Mwangi graduated from the University of Nairobi with a Degree in Wildlife management, he thought he had made it to the working class lounge. However, things on the ground were different.
“It is difficult to get a job here in Kenya nowadays, even after you graduate. So I thought to myself, why can't I use my skills in fashion and design to earn my cash?” he says.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the current unemployment rate in the country stands at about 7.4 percent, out of this, the youth form the majority.
The 25-year-old says most of his clients come for formal outfits while others come for occasional wear.
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“My clients mainly work in offices but most of the customers come to make suits for wedding ceremonies,” he says.
He says that his main marketing platform is the new media. Most of his clients are from referrals he gets from Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
In his cube-size room are different colors of suits hanging on the wall of his shop; black, white grey-checked, all sewn with a touch of class. These, he says, are awaiting collection from his multitudinous customer base most of who order online.
Despite the booming business, Mwangi has had a myriad of challenges. Top of his list was lack of seed capital.
“I had to sell my table, gas cylinder and my bed, all from campus, to get some money to start off. Then I would make one suit, wait to sell it so that I can get money to buy material to make more,” he posits.
He also did not have business premises, so he would meet his clients in odd places, “I used to have a rendezvous with my clients at the City toilets for measurement and picking of suits. The kanjo (City Council) toilets were my mini office.”
His main mantra in business is to never promise a client what one can't deliver, “Deliver your assignments in good time, as agreed with your client, when you fail to do so, you lose clients, you lose money” he says.
Through his passion for fashion, Mwangi says he is able to pay his bills and assist his dependents and he advises the youth to follow their passions and create jobs for themselves.