She says that she’s young and energetic and is putting in the work to become a household name in the fashion industry. She does not let the fear of failure hold her back. Her name is Ruth Solomon and she is the founder of Sharuz an online clothing store which has been making impressive strides in retail fashion and has been featured in local dailies. The Finance Major graduate from USIU-Africa lets us in to her world.
GW: So how did Sharuz come about?
I love fashion and the different trends in the world today. I found passion in it and then I learnt to make money from it. You know, I actually didn’t go to school to learn design, pattern making and all the sewing. My late aunt was a tailor so we would watch her work and ask endless questions. Then soon after, I started modifying mitumba (thrifted) clothes which I gave my friends.
GW: And what was the turning point?
In early 2012, I realised that the fashion industry was a gold mine and decided to upscale operations using our family home as a base of my business. I continued to sew clothes for my friends but now I charged them some money to help me get by. To be able to fully concentrate on my new business I chose to attend evening classes so that I could work during the day. I combined the name of my twin sister Sharon and my own to form sharuz and registered it as a business.
I have employed a full-time tailor who assists with the orders placed while I meet clients and make deliveries. I also outsource if the orders are too many. I source for bulk fabric from Nairobi Textile and do a variety of designs and custom make clothes for people who request them. I mostly design women’s wear and would like to venture into children’s wear when the time is right
GW: Share with us some of the lessons learnt from running your business
I met Ellah a jewellery designer at USIU and she introduced me to a whole new world. She taught me how to market myself and make sales during exhibitions and online. From this I was able to make sales on SokoKuu and network with other upcoming fashion designers.
I think many designers should consider the retail business and make clothes in bulk. Start selling clothes at your local area to help improve the economy of that place. I am energetic at this age and can push whatever limits to be successful because I have nothing to lose. Even if my business fails I will wake up and dust myself off and try again. I look forward to building my brand into a big business.
GW: A parting shot for aspiring designers
My clothes are affordable to average income earners like me and this is where the market is. Also, having a clothes store is important for a small business to grow.
GW: Which brands do you love and identify with?
I love Guiseppe Zannotti shoes. In terms of bags Versace makes good ones. Vera Wang designs great outfits.
Did you like this interview or do you have a critique about it? Let me know by commenting below and add a name of anyone you would like to see featured in this series. 🙂