Meet Nelly Mwangi: A Serial Entrepreneur with Style to Match!
Pic: Visual Magic Africa Limited
When I first came across Nelly’s YouTube channel, I couldn’t get over the perfect balance between simplicity and sophistication. She is a YouTuber, fashion blogger and founder of Geek Boutique and Geek Hair. She does all this while mothering two adorable kids and holding down a 9-5.
We spoke to her about her style and what it takes to run multiple businesses.
First off, in your own words, who is Nelly Mwangi?
Nelly is a passionate, happy go lucky person
When did you discover your passion for Fashion?
In high school. I was quite the tom boy growing up, but when I hit adolescence, I did a 360 and fell in love with all things girly and thus the love of fashion.
How would you describe your style?
Comfortable, simple, elegant.
Who inspires you style-wise?
Oh lots of people. I love street style posts on Instagram because I see a lot of individuality in their outfits.
Where do you typically shop?
Woolworths and Zara. And of coursem at my online Store- The Geek Boutique.
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We see a lot of designer brands on your channel. What was your first designer purchase?
It was a perfume, Chanel No. 5, in 2008. I had wanted it for years but I couldn’t afford it at the time.
When did you start the Geek Boutique and what led you to do it?
I started Geek Boutique in 2013. I needed work clothes, something smart casual, and there was nothing in the market for me. I also found some shops overpriced. So I decided to buy from overseas. When I posted my #ootd (Outfit Of the Day), a lot of people were interested in the same thing and right there the boutique was born.
What challenges did you face in starting your business?
Shipping items into the country is quite a challenge and customs can be a nightmare.
What do you think of the fashion and styling industry in Kenya?
The fashion industry is always changing. That means there is always new opportunities and thus, a lot of room for growth.
You just launched Geek Hair. What led you to go into the hair industry?
I have been wearing weaves and wigs for over a decade. And I’m told I wear them well. So when the right opportunity presented itself, I opened Geek Hair.
Where can we get your merchandise?
We are a fully online store. E-commerce has been our go to route in terms of business strategy.
So you make deliveries to clients or how does it usually go?
We post an image of the ACTUAL item accompanied by a detailed description and price. When a potential client sees something they like they send us a message with the item they want, their size, their address etc., and we deliver. Payment is done upon delivery.
You are a mum, entrepreneur and content creator. How do you do it all?
I have a great support system. Teamwork makes the dream work. My husband Clement is a professional photographer and a brilliant creative, so I am very lucky in the sense that not only does he shoot my images but he creates the artwork and logos for my businesses. He is also a good sounding board whenever I need advice.
You do a bit of travelling. Where have you been so far?
Lots of places, but my favourite place in the world is the Maasai Mara. I probably go more than five times a year.
What advise would you give someone who wants to run a franchise similar to yours?
START! Fear kills more dreams than failure.
What is the future of your brand? Any other projects we need to look out for?
The GEEK brand is just getting started and I am always looking for the next thing. My aim for this brand is to offer quality products and the best price in whatever we do.