Latest posts by Sandra Barbara (see all)
- Networking 101 For Beginners - November 20, 2017
- A Hawkers Day! - November 17, 2017
- Brenda Nduta; Challenge Yourself Everywhere You Go - November 13, 2017
Martin Wachira is the face behind Elegante Gents, a clothing Brand. A look at him will tell you he takes his grooming quite seriously. The 24 years old prefers to call himself ‘Mens Best Wardrobe Manager and Image Consultant.’
Elegante Gents is a men’s clothing brand which majors in tailoring suits and other attires such as shirts and African customized wear. They also have a sub branch of Elegante Gents’ shoes whereby, from scratch, they make official shoes for their clients on order. This company’s target market is men of all ages who love to dress up and look dapper.
How did he get into entrepreneurship?
In Wachira’s growing up, his dad was an entrepreneur. How he conducted his enterprises really motivated him. He liked how his dad conducted his businesses and how well he understood the area of business he was in. It made Wachira desire that kind of lifestyle where he could be his own boss.
Wachira seeks to provide employment opportunities while at the same time improve the country’s economy. He chose to venture into dressing men because he is passionate and interested in fashion. For him, this industry has not been fully exploited.
The 24 years old gentleman reveals that that being a young entrepreneur, his initial obstacle was getting the best suppliers for the fabrics they use at Elegante gents. Since he wanted something unique, he had to look for a supplier who had been in the business long enough to give him the best type of fabrics. He also needed one who would help recommend his company as a brand to tailor quality and unique suits. He was able to overcome this hindrance and now deals with the best suppliers and tailors in the country.
What would he do differently?
“There is nothing I would do differently,” Wachira says firmly.
He says this because he has appreciated every step of the journey in entrepreneurship. The challenges, experiences and all the highs and lows have helped him to grow as a person. They have also helped his business grow and in the process stand out. As they say, experience is the best teacher.
Wachira’s initial business mission was and still is to help actualize the customers dream image. Elegante Gents does this by having a very close relationship with the clients so as to know them in terms of their character and personality.
After this, Elegante Gents give their clients the best advice of how best their image can then be actualized or enhanced. They do this by making their clients the best outfits that suit their personality and also which help look uniquely elegant.
His major competitors are also his biggest motivators. They help in bringing Elegante Gents’ A game. These are the brands which have been in the market longer and have since grown in Kenya and internationally.
Wachira studied how these companies run their businesses. He then structured a plan on how his brand could deliver uniqueness through its products. He vowed to do this differently in order to gain loyal customers. He knew that this would eventually help Elegante Gents to thrive both in the local and international market for being uniquely different.
The fourth year Strathmore University student says his biggest mistake was when he hired tailors who did not have enough experience. This did not go well because they did not tailor the suits the Elegante Gents way.
“I went on a loss due to that and resolved this issue by having to take our tailors through a training session to teach them the Elegante Gents way of tailoring.”
Wachira emphasizes that in entrepreneurship, one has to take the full responsibility of his business.
His Greatest Success Moments…
That was when Elegante Gents got its first big order. It was to tailor coats to be used as uniform for a men’s fellowship group. From the satisfied customers, this opened new doors and the customers remained loyal to his brand by bringing in more work and referring other people to his company.
What He Wishes He Knew Today When He First Started:
Wachira has learnt that being in entrepreneurship requires one to be totally on the business, especially at the start up stage. As the business grows an entrepreneur can now start hiring other people to help in managing the company’s main business activities.
He says that conducting orientation for the employees about how the company works and conducts its daily activities is important. He says that he did not give as much emphasis as it should have been.
Elegante Gents Marketing Strategy
Social media has played a key role for Elegante Gents. He uses Instagram and Facebook platforms to showcase his works which works as a form of advertising.
Being a final year student as well as an entrepreneur, Wachira plans his day’s schedule in the morning and ensures that he has worked on his academics. He tries to balance the two so that he does not isolate his studies. He is a Bachelor of Commerce student majoring in Entrepreneurship and Marketing.