How Sh50 started a fashion business
At just 26 years, Levy Jackson ranks among the most successful student entrepreneurs in the county.
His is ventured into the fashion world through custom-made designs of beadwork, clothes, bags, shoes, picture frames and photography.
The fourth year B.Com student at Catholic University already has a workforce of five employed on permanent basis and four casuals.
He operates a shop at Imenti House in the CBD and another branch next to his university. His business is valued at about Sh2 million.
Levy hopes to expand his Levyhoods Creations Empire to incorporate a modelling agency before the end of this year.
Passion in fashion and a desire to leave a legacy are his driving forces in the business which he says he has given his all. Back in his days at Eastleigh High school, Levy developed a curiosity about engraving writings on T-shirts.
One day, he took the only Sh200 he had, bought a second hand T-shirt at Sh50 and some acrylic paint at Sh50. He used the remainder of the money on fare and lunch.
“This was my starting capital since I sold that T-shirt for Sh300,” said Levy, adding that he had never regretted the decision.
Soon, he was receiving orders from matatu crews who were referred to him by some of his customers.
When he joined university, business just got better and he started receiving orders for custom made T-shirts from clubs and various agencies.
He then included custom made jewellery in his stable before opting to design cards for different occasions, including birthdays, Valentines, Easter and Christmas.
“With so much going on, I opened my first shop in Ongata Rongai where I live,” he said with a beaming smile. He says the shop has since become a manufacturing store. In order to market his business even more, he opened a Facebook page which has garnered close to 50,000 followers.
“It is these potential clients who challenge me to try out more stuff. That is how I introduced the designing of picture frames and hand bags in my business,” he said.
After deducting costs, the business earns him more than Sh500,000 a month with high seasons like Christmas giving better returns.
Aside from orders he gets from home, Levy receives others from across the border from countries such as Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.
While maintaining disinterest in getting into a business partnership, he says expansion capital is his greatest challenge.
His father was not always supportive about his move to get into business while still in school, but he has since learnt to accommodate his son’s love for fashion and design.
“I always encourage youths to do what they love. They should not stagnate in life simply because they are in one career even when their passion is elsewhere,” said Levy.