They are turned business partners. They realised all had an interest in fashion.
So Aaron Mohamed, 20, Shadrack Nyamawi, 20, Yvette Owitonze,19, Elias Kenyatta, 20 and Bryan Msemuchi, 20 decided to jointly delve into business in Changamwe, Mombasa, their home area.
Their journey in the world of entrepreneurship started when they made Sh18,000 after selling 20 printed shirts.
Because they had very little money for capital, they negotiated with a printing firm that belonged to a former high school teacher of one of the partners.
The firm agreed to print the T-shirts and the payment made after they were sold. Now the, five, all but one students, run a company called Cream which they say stands for “Cash Rules Everything Around Me”.
The enterprise was formed on December 24, 2016. The five share responsibilities of running the company. Mr Kenyatta is the chief manager, Mr Msemuchi the finance manager, Ms Owitonze is the marketing director, Mr Nyamawi heads the charity department and mr Mohamed is the graphic designer.
The group has a big dream of expanding the company and helping address the current rampant unemployment among the youth.
“We envision being a big company in the next five years once we are done with college. We believe order brings success and we want to get used to formal organisational structure for the fast and smooth growth of our company,” Mr Kenyatta says.
Ms Owitonze notes that their main goal is to grow and provide employment to the jobless youth.
“With time we want to do a full house Cream urban clothing line. We want a fashion brand from Mombasa selling across Kenya. We realised that most clothes brand in Mombasa originate from Nairobi and foreign countries. Therefore we decided to venture and sell branded clothes that Mombasa residents can say they are from their own,” says Mohamed.
Mr Kenyatta is a maritime student at Bandari College, Mr Nyamawi is pursuing a course in health records and information technology at the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC), Mombasa. Ms Owitonze and Mr Mohamed are information technology students at the Institute of Advanced Technology (IAT), Mombasa. Mr Msemuchi is yet to join college.
The group taps social platforms to market their products.
“We market our products on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Email is also used to update customers,” says Ms Owitonze adding that their clients range from children to the old. They also target celebrities.
“A larger population in Mombasa love wearing T-shirts because of the hot climate,” says Ms Owitonze.
T-shirts for children sells at Sh500 while those for adults cost Sh900. Mombasa residents can have their orders delivered without extra charges.
They sell between 40 and 80 shirts per month.
The group also has a big heart as they share their profit with the less fortunate. They regularly visit children’s homes to support them materially and inspire them.
“We are passionate about the less fortunate. We started Cream to generate money to fund charity works especially for the children homes,” says Mr Nyamawi.