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Olivia Mengich, 31, is a cultural ambassador, a banker and the maker of Swahili Princess, a band of African aggressive appearance dolls. She tells Maria Nene area it all began
I am a banker but I accept a bifold aloft amount in Criminology and Human Geography. I advised in South Africa and aback I came aback to the country, it was difficult to acquisition a job in my line. I got absorbed in entrepreneurship and absitively to abstraction for an MBA. Afterwards this, I landed a job in the sales and business administration of a software company. I accept additionally formed as a cast administrator and contest organiser for assorted companies. I had a abbreviate assignment in the bounded media as a business anchorman but I adopted to go aback to the accumulated industry. I additionally do business consultations in accession to active the business.
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I started the business afterwards I noticed there was a gap in the East African baby market. Added regions like West Africa, South Africa, and the Muslim apple accept their own bounded versions of dolls but this arena didn’t accept that. I realised that psychologically, little girls are afflicted by what they see in their environment. By the age of six, best adolescent girls alpha arena with makeup, aggravating to challenge their mothers or added changeable role models in the environment.
The angle that the blonde, baby woman with fair bark is the apotheosis of adorableness has been broadcast a lot. In retrospect, some African girls with coiled beard and darker bark don’t appearance themselves as beautiful. Swahili Princess has assorted shades of a darker bark accent which represent the Africans; this would automatically alert them to acknowledge our colour and hair.
Swahili Princess is an East African appearance baby that is dressed in the bounded abstracts begin in the region. This includes Kitenges and the Maasai Shuka. The hairstyle of the baby includes braids, afro and beeline atramentous beard for the girls who like to adjust the beard and additionally to represent the assorted hairstyles that the East African woman prefers.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT
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After absolute research, I realised that about all aloft companies accomplish their articles in China. Due to the actuality that starting to accomplish my own band of dolls in Kenya would prove to be actual big-ticket at the alpha of the business, I absitively to adventure into the region. I begin out that there’s a arena that articles dolls alone and I contacted one of the companies online.
I got the baby samples afterwards some time however, the botheration was that they were fair skinned aloof like the added dolls. I dressed them in African clothes and they had afro hairstyles but the audience who accepted my abstraction kept allurement why the bark adumbration was still Caucasian.
The architect abreast me that the colour had already been pre-mixed and it would be difficult to get the African bark adumbration because there was no appeal for the dolls in added regions. I persevered and afterwards some time I begin a architect who had the African bark tone. I started with a baby team, and we would dress and appearance a baby cardinal of dolls. I would advertise them on my Facebook folio but afterwards some time, the appeal grew and my Facebook folio couldn’t sustain the business. I started a Swahili Princess Website and Facebook folio to board the growing demand. The amount of commitment by motorbike was additionally proving to be expensive. That’s aback I absitively to access Toy Apple and they agreed to banal Swahili Princess. This move accepted to be absolutely a anniversary in the business.
RUNNING A STARTUP
My aggregation has developed tremendously. I alike accept a branch now area I accept active several advisers who appearance the dolls. As the appeal grew, I learnt that accomplishment added dolls is cheaper than importing beneath dolls. I accept additionally learnt some barter secrets in the toy industry like best bodies acquirement toys during holidays, added so during the Christmas anniversary season. January is the driest ages for best toy sellers. During the 2017 attack and acclamation season, the sales went bottomward completely.
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Running a startup demands abounding concentration, therefore, you can’t accident delegating the capital tasks in the beginning. My capital audience are accouchement who are aloft six years from the middle-income bracket and so I accumulate an eye on what these girls are absorbed in. My two nieces are my afflatus and I let them comedy with the dolls aloof to get a feel of what adolescent girls may appetite in a product.
WHERE I AM NOW
This year, Swahili Princess has best up and I am blessed that added bodies are accepting my concept. I would like the cast to advance all over the arena because it represents girls from the Kiswahili speaking nations. I ambition all girls in Kenya would own at atomic one Swahili Princess Baby because it’s a big afflatus in their lives.
I accept additionally appear up with accession baby alleged Keza for the girls who are beneath 6. This will be a fluffier baby because, according to my research, this age bracket prefers such dolls as against to earlier girls who adulation appearance dolls. I additionally plan to barrage a book and an action alternation for Swahili Princess. The book, which has been accounting in Kiswahili and translated into English will be a absolute accession to the baby line. It will be abundant cheaper, therefore, best parents will be able to allow it. By abutting year, I accept the action will be in the pipeline. All these articles will empower not alone the adolescent East African babe but additionally the boy child.
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There’s annihilation amiss with starting on a cartel budget. If you accept a business idea, aloof alpha with what you accept and booty it to the bazaar and the blow will automatically follow. Do a lot of analysis afore you commence on any business. Acquisition out the gaps in the bazaar and try and ample them. Accomplish abiding you booty your ambition market’s acknowledgment actively and let it reflect in the product. Many bodies glamourise the entrepreneurship apple but it’s absolutely adamantine to accomplish it after patience.
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