September 14, 2012

EK Style: An International Interview

One of my favorite things in life is the chance to get to meet new people and connect on something we both love. Such is the case with Esther Kwanga, founder and owner of EK Style. I had the pleasure of getting to know her lovely sisters Becky and Sharon in college where we lived in the same dorm. When I saw that they had started modeling for their sister's company (thank you Facebook) I had to get the scoop! They were so sweet as to connect me with Esther via email; so here you go a fabulous and truly inspirational and international interview all the way from Nairobi, Kenya:

Esther Kwanga

FR-  Tell me a little bit about why you decided to start EK Style
Ever since I moved back to Kenya I have been aggravated by the fashion scene here. I can't tell you how many times I shake my head in utter disappointment when I walk the streets of Nairobi. I believe this aggravation has partly contributed to the drive I have developed for this industry. I have also shopped for my friends in the past as a hobby. I love it because I know how to find nice clothes at a great bargain. I get annoyed when I see people spending lots of money on ugly clothing. I truly want to help such people. My sister, Debbie Hockley, told me that I should become a stylist as I complained to her about the fashion scene in Kenya (she lives in Oxford, England). In addition, my sister Sharon Kwanga really challenged me to step out and put my thoughts into action. Becky Kwanga, my other sister and my mother also supported the idea. And so, EK STYLE begun.     

FR-  What is EK Style? 
EK STYLE is a styling service and is in the process of starting it's own clothing line.

FR- Have you always been interested in the fashion industry? 
Ever since I was in high school, Ive always liked fashion. I never liked looking like everyone else. I always liked to dress like my own person. During my teen years I remember adding a little bit of my own style to certain clothes. For example, I re-vamped a jacket by adding lots of buttons to it. The Jacket still exists and we still wear it. In fact, it is one of the jackets being modeled by Rebecca Kwanga on the EK STYLE page. 

FR- What inspires your designs?
a) God, some of my ideas have unfolded as I spend time with God. I know for sure they did not come from my own head. I know this because a) My mind was no where near thinking about fashion b) my own mind was shocked/awed by the design and c) my mind did not understand how the design would function. However, after I asked God to show me how the design/s would function, He showed me and my mind understood the concept behind the design/s).  International fashion shows and my in built creativity 

FR- Do you sew all of your designs?
I do not sew my designs. I have employed workers who do that.

The Sisters! Beautiful aren't they?

FR- Who does EK Style serve? 
Although the EK STLYE profile currently focuses on serving young women, EK STYLE is gradually expanding to serve both men and women of all ages.

FR- Your sisters model for many of your photos... how is it being able to work with family?
I love working with my sisters. They make the photo sessions FUN! They have been very supportive to me and I appreciate them from the bottom of my heart. I also appreciate the advice they give me now and again. It is very helpful to my business.

FR- What are your future goals for EK Style?
The future goals for EK STYLE are:
a) To have an entire collection for each season, every year
b) To own an EK STYLE store
c) To ship EK STYLE clothing internationally
d) To style Kenyan public figures
e) To be in international fashion runaways
f) Sponsor unfortunate children in Kenya in the area of education. EK STYLE donates a certain percentage of its profit towards educating children who cannot afford to go to school.

FR- Where can people purchase your products?
At the moment, people can order any of my products by sending a message on the EK STYLE page on Facebook. 

FR- Where online can people find you? (Facebook, Twitter, email, website ? etc.)
At the moment, Facebook and Twitter and at

Blogger Questions
1. Favorite Designer?
I can't pick just one. I have a few: Ralph Lauren, Paul Smith and Chanel. There are many more but I'll keep it short.

2. Favorite clothing stores/brands?
Stores: Primark (in the UK), Dorothy Perkins (UK), Name Brand Clothing (U.S). Every time I went to NBC, I always got something that no one else was wearing and how I love looking different. Forever21 (U.S.), H&M (UK) etc.
Brands: Ralph Lauren

3. Do you use Pinterest?
I've signed up but I am not yet active. 

4. How would you define your personal style?
Retro, Preppy and classic

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