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Student’s love for fashion turns into profitable venture

FINANCIAL STANDARD
By BY LILLIAN KIARIE | November 19th 2013

BY LILLIAN KIARIE

KENYA: 23-year-old Monisse Kamau used time gaps in her university timetable to create a lucrative fashion business. The young lady detached from her peers to focus on converting her hobby, which is now turning into a profit making business.

Who is Monisse Kamau?

I am a young, outgoing person, who is motivated by hard work, ability to attain success and my love for fashion. I am dependable, creative and a strategic thinker who possesses self-discipline and believes in teamwork.

How do you start your day?

My day begins at 7am when I prepare breakfast, go through my day’s schedule and emails.

What do you do during the day?

At 9am, I go for community service at a nearby children’s home to give a helping hand in their day-to-day activities. Later on I attend classes in International Relations at USIU until early afternoon. I then take time to draw and sketch fashion designs. I get home at 10pm, prepare my meal and relax to a nice movie.

What does your work involve?

I come up with new, different and fresh ideas for my line. It’s my responsibility to sketch, select fabric and design. Being the sole owner, I market my products by wearing them, through my blog and my Facebook page ‘Diva Line’. I employ 10 individuals who help me in sewing.

How did you start out?

I started designing when I was in high school. We would have school events and I would always be in high demand to ‘make’ dresses out of bed sheets!

You would not believe the ideas that flowed in my mind with a few accessories like belts, buttons, coloured hairpins and ties. I then realised I loved combining ordinary items to come up with unique and extraordinary products. Since then, I never stopped designing.

How are you able to juggle between the fashion job and your studies?

This has been a major challenge as I have to plan my time to avoid interfering with schoolwork. I decided to employ tailors to assist in stitching. I am also very cautious as I pick the time for my classes so as to make sure that I have time to run my fashion company. It also helps to schedule all my events and travel - for example going to Uganda to pick out fabric - during weekends.

What is the biggest lesson you have learnt so far?

There comes a time when one has to make that decision whether to fall behind or push ahead, take a chance and risk it all or play it safe and never get ahead.

What is your biggest challenge?

Lack of adequate funds to expand my business. Also, having people who can believe and live my dream.

What is your chief dream?

You know, I always say that cemeteries are the wealthiest places on earth because it is where you find unrealised potential of greatness and dreams that were never pursued. So I inspire to exhaust all my potential by being internationally recognised and also to help other amateur designers in expanding their dreams.

What is your main inspiration?

God and my family who have given me both moral and financial support. They have believed in me all through and held my hand through it all.

Parting shot?

No dream is too big and no dreamer is too small.

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