21 –year old Ian Mati is the CEO of Vintara Collections .He is also an economics student at the university of Nairobi .Vintara Collections is a company that makes and sells Ankara bags alongside other items like Ankara bangles and shoes .He started vintara in March 2014 and continues to not only harbor big dreams for his company but also work hard to achieve them. In a bad week he sells 20-25 bags and a good business week he manages to sell at least 30 bags. Prices range from ksh.1500 to ksh.2500.
How did you start Vintara Collections?
It started off as just a simple idea which later on developed into something we thought we could make money out of and even went ahead and registered it .I started it with a partner who was in charge of the designs but she left later.
I only had ksh.5, 000 which I used to make sample bags and posted them on Instagram, I received amazing feedback and from there there was no turning back .I also got a lot of support from my friends and family who marketed my products too.
What were the challenges that you faced?
Making a name for ourselves in the market has been a challenge that we are still working on. We want to become a big brand.
Getting capital for starting a workshop was a major challenge but I got a loan from a friend which I later repaid when I started earning profits. Not having a workshop inconvenienced us a lot.
I am a young person and sometimes I feel like I am rushing my life. This makes me lazy occasionally and to procrastinate as a result.
What is your motivation?
The fact that I have my own brand at my age makes me proud of myself.
I also feel good to showcase my products on the runway and to get calls from celebrities who would like to do my products.
Seeing people in town carrying bags that I have made gives me joy and I literally live for that moment and also having a mentor who guides me is a great motivation. My dad and the CEO of vivo active wear are my main mentors.
To make vintara the biggest accessory brand in East Africa and to become a fully retail company. We also want to have stalls in major cities and in malls.
What do you regret doing as far as your business is concerned?
I regret not accounting for my funds when I started out.
What have you learnt from running your own business?
It humbled me a lot since I need to approach various people and to be patient with clients .It also taught me to work harder to be the best in the industry .It has also changed my priorities among others to suit my goals.
Word of advice to your peers?
There’s no right time to start doing what you love and there is no excuse for not doing something with your life.
see more of his products on Instagram ; Vintara collections.