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Meet Caleb: Turning his fashion sense into business

Caleb, a very creative and innovative second-year architecture student, started his own clothing business in April this year.

“I needed extra cash for my upkeep, and I knew I was on my own to figure out what to do. The cost of living is quite high in Kenya at the moment, with the prices of basic goods doubling within months. The war in Ukraine and the rising cost of fuel have made things worse,” he says.

Not one to sit and focus on the negative, Caleb had to quickly find a solution. A born fashion lover who is known for his signature floral shirts, Caleb looked inward for inspiration for his business.

“My fashion sense always has people turning their heads to have a second look at my outfit and more so the floral shirts, which I love. So, I decided that I could buy the shirts at a wholesale price, customize them – which adds value – and then sell them at a profit,” he says.
Caleb’s main clients are students and young people, so he works to ensure the product and pricing align with his target demographic. Just like any other business, Caleb’s initial hurdle was capital. Businesses need financing to start and continue running. He needed money to purchase the shirts and to buy customization materials to have product to offer his clientele. Once things started selling, he says sometimes the orders are overwhelming and he has difficulty balancing his business with his studies.

“Although it’s hard to balance schoolwork and business, I have learned to set my priorities straight because, at the end of the day, my dream is to excel in my studies and become a renowned architect,” Caleb reveals.
Caleb says he chose to venture into this line of business because of his love for art and fashion. He was successfully able to combine both loves into a business. “Seeing people be impressed and in love with my designs and constantly wanting to know my latest releases makes me happy and motivated,” he asserts happily.

“Hopefully, if the business goes well, I dream of expanding it and having my unique brand. I know it’s not going to be easy, but when it finally happens, I would want to sell a variety of clothes, not only floral shirts. So far, the business has been fun and fulfilling. I began with the goal of making extra money, but now I want to go big. Who knows, I might be an employer one day!” he concludes.

Joy Katanu