For men who appreciate character, quality and affordable style.
Fashion is a competitive field in Kenya. The glamour of the industry has drawn a lot of entrepreneurs which has made it difficult to thrive. Passion and hard work are both vastly important for fashion entrepreneurs and Njeri Nderitu has both in spades.
In this interview, Njeri talks about her business and the challenges encountered while building it in the fashion space in Kenya.
1. Tell us about your personal and professional background.
I am the owner of Magma Clothing Store located in Naivasha.
By profession I would call myself a Procurement Officer. I studied Bachelor of Commerce in Procurement at the University of Nairobi. Growing up, I saw firsthand the challenges of growing a business and I wanted a structured 9-5 job. However, this was not my path...
2. What was the original inspiration behind Magma?
I've always loved fashion and style (I should have studied this instead...He he he). Finding pieces that ooze class, simplicity and elegance at an affordable price has always been my thing. So after campus I decided to start Magma as I waited for my 9-5 but this never happened. Here we are almost 5 years later.
3. What are the major challenges you have encountered while building a business in Kenya and how have you overcome them?
Quite honestly, access to capital is one of the major challenges of running a business. It's said that for you to get money, you have to have money and this is true. Stabilizing a business in Kenya is no child's play. Finding exactly what works for my business and clients has been another challenge.
Giving up has never been an option for me. The only thing that has mattered is to keep going.
Consistency has also been a major key. When you are consistent, clients slowly start to trust in you.
4. What’s unique about Magma?
I am a male fashion entrepreneur. In an industry where most entrepreneurs are inclined to cater to the needs of the female clientele, I decided to tend to the male clientele.
I also deal with my clients on a personal level and this personal touch ensures that I fully attend to my clients' needs.
5. What drives you in life to keep pushing boundaries?
I was raised by a mother who tried her best to offer my siblings and I a good life despite the odds. I'd want to do better than that and offer my kids an even better life.
6. What advice do you have for young aspiring entrepreneurs venturing into the same industry?
I'd tell them to just start. Don't wait for a better time, better opportunity, better business plan and more capital. Just start. Better never comes at times. Start small and learn as you go. Just start, because your business idea does not need to be a thing of beauty and grandeur.