Jeffrey Wilson, higher often known as JW, is a fashion designer and occasions organiser. His annual fashion extravaganza – the JW Fashion Present – held its sixth version early November on the theme “Connecting Africa and the world by material and design”.
Hustle caught up with JW, 28, to discover out what it takes to make it within the fashion trade.
How did the idea of JW Fashion Present come about?
I wished to create a movement and discussion board to showcase native manufacturers below one roof. The occasion brings collectively native fashion entrepreneurs, fashions, photographers, make-up artists, stylists and bloggers. The annual occasion in Nairobi is a fruits of scouting for expertise across the counties. Being a fashion designer and occasions organiser will not be simple, however I make it work by some means. It has been 5 years within the fashion and occasions enterprise and I am pleased as a result of I make my residing completely from the 2 trades.
You had established manufacturers as your sponsors this yr together with DT Dobie and DHL. Many enterprise folks say it's powerful to persuade companies to sponsor their concepts. How did you pull it off?
It has been a hustle getting the sponsors, however particularly this yr due to the election. However that didn't cease me as a result of I am a go-getter, I consider in God and myself, plus I even have good pals in organisations who push offers for me, together with Kevin Mafumbo and Micheal Mutheu. These are pals that I have labored with for the previous 5 years and consider in my imaginative and prescient. There have additionally been instances strangers unexpectedly got here on board.
How a lot does it take to organise a present like yours?
About Sh600,000. The fruits of the present was on November 7, however we began scouting for the fashion designers we'd showcase in January. The counties the place we scouted for expertise this yr included Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu, Meru, Laikipia, Kisii and Taita Taveta. We name for auditions, get designers’ samples and a panel of judges assesses their creativity. This yr we had eight designers with distinctive designs.
How many individuals on common attend JW fashion reveals?
This yr we had about 700 folks.
So how do you get the phrase out about your occasions? Getting numbers is typically difficult for occasion organisers...
I have a PR agency and a massive advertising staff that push the phrase out by social media and different platforms.
How do you persuade somebody to spend Sh1,500 or Sh3,000 (for VIP) on a ticket to your present? That’s not low cost.
The JW Fashion Present is a movement and we truthfully don’t have to persuade folks to purchase tickets. Individuals who come consider within the imaginative and prescient of constructing native manufacturers get their place each within the native and worldwide house.
Who do you lookup to in enterprise?
I am my very own motivation.
Recommendation to younger folks considering of beginning companies?
Go for it and have good pals to again you. Additionally, be prepared to face challenges. Be your self and don't strive to please folks by placing on a faux façade. Those that want to work with you'll, the others don’t have to. I don’t have time to act and faux to stay a life that isn’t mine. What you see is what you get.
I consider that as well as to having a robust staff, our religion in God helps a lot. He has by no means allow us to down. I love God and consider the inconceivable is feasible. I am not a model or influencer, I am simply a devoted believer.