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University student finds a niche selling clothes online

For Wakina Mutembei, e-commerce is the future. The University of Nairobi student says she derives inspiration from profitable investments and that technology is her choice channel.

“That is why I am operating an online shop where I stock women clothes and accessories such as jewellery, handbags and shoes,” she says.

Her clients include friends and fellow students.

However, the 22-year-old says it has not been smooth sailing since she started business three years ago.

“In September 2010, I started selling clothes online. Three months on, the shop collapsed but I kept my eye on the ball,” says the third-year surveying student.

After picking up the pieces, Wakina started marketing her merchandise in January 2011 to friends, occasionally using some of them as models.

The business she had started with a meager Sh1,000 was doing well and in April, she needed money to expand.

Looking for a partner sounded like a viable idea but she was not ready to share profits for something she had sacrificed so much to put up.

“I started a blog where I could post poems hoping to attract advertisers. The plan did not work,” says Wakina who prides herself for being a go-getter.

She had also attained a diploma in photography through distant learning and had a passion for fashion.

While still grappling with finding other sources of capital, she met someone who contracted her as a ghost writer for a Business Development Book.

“My laptop became my best friend and it is while working on the book that I developed interest in designing my own e-commerce website,” she says.

She would download tutorials and visit international websites just to get inspiration on how best to improve her website.

“I designed Waks House Shop from scratch after learning that acquiring an e-commerce template from the providers would be an expensive endeavour,” she says.

Wakina who imports most of her stock says Facebook has potential for growing clients but its demerit is that a majority are not serious buyers.