Currently, there is a class of enterprising youths in the country who have not only shunned white collar jobs, but have moved from being job seekers to job creators. This is the story of Neema Kinoti, a young lady who believes in creating her own path in life. She is not only young, beautiful, but also brainy. Miss Kinoti is passionate about entrepreneurship and adventures, but mostly making a difference in whichever way she can. She is the founder of Ohana Family Wear Limited, an authentic African inspired swimwear here in Kenya. Destin Africa Magazine had a chat with Miss Kinoti about her entrepreneurship journey and what inspired her to venture into the swimwear industry.
Briefly tell us about your educational and professional background?
I have a bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration major in Finance. I have had working experience at Fusion Capital in the area of Investment and Fund management. I have also worked with Versatile Insurance Agency as a sales agent.
Tell us more about Ohana Family Wear Limited?
The meaning of Ohana lies on the essence of a larger family that is not necessarily connected by blood. A person’s ohana can include their best friends, neighbors, or anyone else who is special in their life. The people within it are bound together by genuine compassion, culture, support, loyalty, and love for each other. That is exactly what Ohana Family Wear represents through our range of beach wear designed to celebrate our African culture, different body shapes and sizes. Ohana Family wear Limited combines the latest fabrics, colours and prints to create modern designs influenced by emerging international trends as well as the African culture.
What inspired you to venture into the swimwear market?
I was planning a trip before finishing University and was looking for an authentic African inspired swimwear here in Kenya. I realized no brand had tapped into that market so I decided to start my own brand and fill that gap.
How have your products been received in the market?
It has honestly surprised me. I have managed to acquire many followers who are brand promoters.
What sets the company apart from others in the industry?
Ohana Family Wear Limited combines the latest fabrics, colours and prints to create modern designs influenced by emerging international trends as well as the African culture. This is what sets us apart from the other swimwear lines. We want each Ohana swimwear to be a real piece of art and to convey its inspirational side as well as to challenge the senses. Hence why it’s a highly inventive luxury brand drawing inspiration from traditions and cultures.
Have you faced any challenges and how did you overcome them?
Yes. One of my main challenges was financial constraint. I did not have enough money to design and manufacture a whole swimwear collection. However, I managed to secure a bank loan with my parents as my guarantors.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
I will have to say the simplified life and a sense of freedom that comes with it. Also, the impact you make on society as a whole.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I want Ohana Family Wear Limited to be an established well celebrated brand, not only Kenya but in East Africa at large. God willing as the future progresses, we shall expand into other categories.
What advice can give to other young people looking to start-up?
From personal experience, I would say just do it. Most people don’t ever start because they don’t want to be seen starting at the bottom. Don’t be most people.