Accountant turned designer for love of fashion

Thursday, May 21st, 2020 00:00 |
Veer Sendeyo, founder of Everyday Look. Photo/Courtesy

Sandra Wekesa @wekesa_sandra

The trend of rocking local designs and styles has with no doubt graced our fashion scenes. Now more than ever, people are keen on brands offering quality and creativity.

Veer Sendeyo is among the designers making it easier for people embracing local brands to fall in love with fancy clothes as an everyday look and not just for specific occasions.

As a fashion enthusiast, she is determined to prove that fashion isn’t about what is in your closet, but more about the combination great clothes can pull to create a look.

Behind the floral pieces, asymmetrical cuts, and vibrant clashed-up patterns lies the story of her business, Everyday Look.

As someone with an eye for fashion, Veer would often come up with unique designs for her sister, who by that time was a reporter at a local station.

Having seen the insane hours her elder sister spent at work and her limited time on pairing up clothes, she stepped in and stylied her outfits, something that worked out as a learning experience when she became a designer.

Start from scratch

Soon enough, she started getting clients through referrals and this turned out to be one of the greatest phases of the business.

“I didn’t have any capital, so I would honour every single request I received. However, the only problem I had at that time was convincing clients that I would deliver orders in time.”

In 2010, she met her husband, who came in as a silent partner and helped to boost the business.

He paved way for me in the design field. By then, he was a T-shirt and hoodies designer under the brand name RykMchoraji,” Veer says.

The couple worked together and Veer was soon introduced to capable embroidery, finishing and detailing experts.

Models showcase some of Veer’s designs. Photo/Courtesy

Despite making a good team, Veer says working with her husband challenged her to achieve more as an entrepreneur. 

“He is not very patient, especially on repeat mistakes. He says I’m too rigid in embracing market needs. To some extent I am, and I suppose change is scary to everyone and I am no different,” she says.

Nevertheless, after graduating from university, she interned as an accountant at Eldad Engineering and later moved to Ashbury, a professional training centre.

Throughout her working experience, she was able to acquire business skills that helped her in the business. 

However, she wasn’t able to adjust to her new fate because her heart longed for fashion.

“The more I was away from the business, the more I lost clients and I just couldn’t stand it.

I didn’t want to fail in the one beautiful thing I had created,” she explains.

It was no surprise that she decided to quit her job as an accountant, and focused on being a designer. As a sole proprietor of her business, she was determined to come back stronger and with newer ideas. 

However, in 2016, she went on maternity leave and her business hit rock bottom. Although she had employed workers, clients would particularly prefer her.

“My clients wouldn’t work with anyone else other than me, and at that time I was going through so many things and I had no option than to take a break,” she adds. 

After the leave, she had to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch to attract clients. 

“Fortunately, with my business model as long as I market my services, there are always orders,” she adds.

Even with the hurdles she was going through, she proved to be as tough and resilient. The 31-year-old mother of one can attest to is that navigating any business is not easy.

One of the biggest challenges she has had to deal with is competing with lowly priced imports, especially from China and second-hand clothes that seem to be the preference of most people. However, she is not crushed.

A bit rigid

“The market is broad and there is room for us all I suppose since market needs and business models differ,” she says. 

Currently with the wake of the pandemic, Veer has had to count a fair share of losses since most of her order were from ceremonies and uniform. 

She says in the coming years, she will work harder to ensure she comes up with newer ideas and revamps her style to suit her clientele. 

“A majority of Kenyans are a bit rigid when it comes to fashion. This has limited my creativity as people are more comfortable trying out styles they have seen before and not totally new ones,” she says.

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