‘Every Woman Is A Star’
The April edition of After Office Hours featured Diana Opoti, Founder of concept store, Designing Africa Collective. The store got off the ground as an art-based fashion and media company, Artemis Media and is now one of Kenya’s most successful startups.
Diana passionately shared that she was motivated to start her store to tell stories that no one else explored. She set out by self-funding her dream which gave her an opportunity to traverse the world, 17 countries in 3 continents. The fashionpreneur describes her brand as Contemporary, Passional and, Organic and emphasizes that the experience every client gets while interacting with the unique brands at the store is of utmost importance to her. In her words, ‘Every Woman Is A Star’. Although Designing Africa Collective was inspired by people’s appreciation for Diana’s outfits, the brand has since evolved to meet their client’s demands, hence promoting more handmade designs.
Five months after launching the flagship store at Village Market in Nairobi, Diana Opoti has registered 40 brands and together, the store strives to refresh their collection every two weeks to remain relevant to their clientele. Talk about keeping it fresh and fabulous!
She underscores that to build and sustain a successful business; First, it is important to create a brand that is authentic and, maintaining that authenticity should be a priority as it makes all the difference. Second, it is fundamental to adapt one’s service or product to the demands of the market. For instance; Diana had to adapt her business model to the political landscape meaning, she had to create a shop that looked like a million bucks but cost her 100. Third, listening to client is key. It is free information and data at one’s fingertips that can be used to grow the business. Finally, quality never goes out of style.
Although expanding her business excites her, she intends to do it differently by investing in bona fide designers and developing their skills to revolutionize the fashion business. The fashion industry offers incredible potential for job creation and economic growth, responding to some of the major challenges developing countries are experiencing particularly, unemployment. Therefore, Designing Africa Collective is making strides in the right direction by constantly creating opportunities for young and artistic designers to compete in runways globally.
When Diana is not working on her business, she enjoys reading and watching crime series/movies (who would have guessed?). In other words, she is just a normal lady with ambitious plans and an indomitable positive energy.