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My Hustle: Sharon Wendo, Founder of Epica Jewellery



As a creative, consistency is key, says Sharon Wendo. This has propelled her business, Epica Jewellery, to great heights such as London Fashion Week to showcase her cultural apparel.

The young woman who expresses her creativity in her designs shares with us her thoughts, journey and greatest fears in her growth as a fashionprenuer. Read more…

Who is Sharon Wendo?

I am a young woman who loves being creative and I express that in my designs.

Who is Epica Jewellery made for?

Epica is a jewelry brand where we design and make African jewelry with a modern touch. We make pieces for women and our aim is to make every person who wears them feel confident and beautiful

You showcased your cultural apparel at the London Fashion Week this February. How was that like?

It was such an amazing experience being in that global space and getting
recognition. It was quite validating working all these years getting to be on such a platform.

Tell us how it all begun and how the journey has been

I was part of a government program called Kenya Youth Empowerment Program(KYEOP), where we were given life skills and entrepreneurship training and we got 3 month internships afterwards. My internship was in crafts and that is where I learned beadwork. I started taking it seriously around 2017 and decided to go fully into jewellery design.

What made you settle for Fashion and IT?

I have always loved fashion and initially I did not think it would be a career I could monetize but when I finally got into it and saw the potential, I decided to risk it all. IT was necessary because my business is online and I have had to learn over the years how navigate that.


Yvonne Okwara wearing Epica Jewellery.

Besides Adelle Onyango, who else has been key to putting your work out there?

I have had quite a number of people who have helped me like Avril, Joy Kendi, Yvonne Okwara. Fashion Scouts have also helped tremendously with London Fashion Week and getting featured on Vogue Italia and Harper’s Bazaar Italia.

What does the nomination for FOYA (Fashionpreneur of the year) Awards mean to you? How was the experience?

It was great being nominated, being applauded for you work and getting recognized for it is quite something, it just shows me that I am heading in the direct direction.

What is your inspiration to always keep on going?

I love the creating process and I am so passionate about fashion and it’s this passion
that always keeps me going even during the hard times


On the flip side, what is your biggest fear?

I have a fear of not achieving my goals, there is no plan B for me this what I plan to
do and it comes with a lot of pressure

Going forward, who would you like to work with?

Locally I would love to work Nikita Kering, Julie Gichuru and internationally I would
love to work with Beyonce, she is such a supporter of black-owned business and I really
love that.

What challenges do you face as fashion designer from Kenya?

As a creative, I have a big challenge balancing between the business side and the
creative side. Mainly because when you are running your business you spend a lot more
time dealing with the business side and this can affect the creative side

What role do you think social media plays in fashion and your business?
Social media plays such a big role. My business is online and social media has been
the place where I get my orders. This is mainly where people find me without social media I
don’t think I would have been where I am today.

How has the digital age affected your craft?
There is a lot more influence in this digital age and fashion is moving so fast which
gives you so much pressure to keep up with it but on the flip side the digital age has helped
open up opportunities for everyone and with this I was even able to showcase my collection
in London Fashion Week.

As an entrepreneur, where do you see yourself in the next 4 months?
Well we keep being more consistent with your brand and continue growing both here
and internationally

What has this Covid period taught you about the industry?

There is room for everyone to succeed we have to take advantage of the online
space and push our brands because people are willing to buy them

What is your advice to young aspiring fashionprenuers?
Don’t give up, keep working on your skills everyday and learning never stops

Parting shot?
You can find us on Instagram and Facebook as Epica Jewellery and also our website

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Bahati Tena Foundation, Odibets partner to support small scale businesses



Gospel artist Bahati has partnered with Odibets, a betting firm in Kenya to support small-scale businesses in a promo dubbed “Pata Bahati ya biz na Odibets” in a launch yesterday at Nairobi hotel.  The betting firm said the promo is set to see several lucky betting fanatics win Ksh 50,000 weekly which is a boost to their businesses.

Customers will be required to place at least one jackpot bet on any Odibets Mega Jackpot round using a stake of Ksh 95. They will then automatically enter into the draw to win.

Image/ Twitter

Winners will receive their boost credited to their Odibets’ accounts after which they can withdraw to their M-Pesa.

“I have decided to partner with Odibets on this promo to give back to my loyal fans who have been with me through thick and thin. Boosting their businesses and helping them earn a living for themselves will see them through the rest of the year as the promo runs,” said Bahati during the launch of the promo.

During the launch, the Odibets Marketing Manager Aggrey Sayi said that since 2019 the organization has supported more than 40,000 young people through its partnership with the Football Kenya Federation(FKF) to progress their talents, and now the betting firm is going out of its way to better the lives of Kenyans by supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Image/ Odibets

“Our aim is to have impacted either directly or indirectly the lives the lives of more than half a million young people by 2023,” added the Odibets Marketing Manager.

The promo will run from 23rd August 2021 to the 1st of July 2022 and also all Mega jackpot bets shall be considered as entries in the promotion.

Odibets had earlier partnered with Rapper Khaligraph Jones in the Odinare’ Rap Challenge in which Rapper Katapila won the first round grand prize of Kshs 1 Million.


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Consider this when shopping on Instagram



Recently, I almost had a panic attack when an online thrift store I sent money to was not reachable. Yes, I called them to confirm if they got the money and I heard that mteja tone. Yoh! Such a bad place to be. Turns out she had errands and speaking to one of her clients- she was generally slow when it came to communicating with customers.

I can imagine the number of online buyers who have gotten these ‘almost panic attacks’ and others who sadly, had their fears validated because they really were conned. Worse still, they received low-quality items that resulted in the never-ending ‘what I ordered vs what I got’ hashtags. Online businesses have become luxurious and are the go-to stores for most shoppers. Inasmuch as it is less tiring and highly convenient, online shopping requires thorough keenness. You have to take note of a few things before making that purchase.

Check Refund and Return Policy

Get information on the store’s policies so you know what to do in the case a wrong product is delivered to you. Most credible online stores declare their return policies and procedure for refund. If they offer no refunds, then be extra cautious with the item you purchase. You really have to be sure!

Customer reviews

Check for these in the comment section and see what other people have to say about the store’s quality. Even with this, ensure the reviews are from reliable sources. Someone could easily get their cousin to leave a good review for a low-quality product they sell. Another sure way to track these reviews is through the story highlights. Clothes stores, for example, will highlight customer appreciation posts, showing consumers who were satisfied with their purchase.

16 Tips to Handle Negative Customer Reviews Online


Check their traffic numbers to determine authenticity. The more people you know from their followers list, the better. AVOID shopping from local stores with more foreign customers as these were probably bought followers. It is unrealistic to sell something in Kenya and have most of your traffic from India. Do not hesitate to ask a follower you know if they have purchased something from there before and whether the product was good.

Shipping address

Most Instagram stores have pick-up stations where they drop off all ordered items. Before buying something, ensure you are familiar with the pickup station and it is near you. If it’s far, check with the store and find out if they offer countrywide deliveries. This will save you from purchasing something out of your reach.

Read product description

An online store might be credible, dependable, and all that good stuff. But now you, the buyer, will still get disappointed because you ordered a size 6 yet you are a 10. That’s still a shopping failure especially if the store has a no return policy.

Items look totally different from how they appear in pictures. Check to see if the product’s features have been highlighted under the post and confirm that is what you want before making a purchase.

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Dealing with debt stress.

To begin with, there is no shame in asking for a debt. It is a great way to finance your business and also get you up on your feet. What should accompany taking loans however, is responsibility.



Taking loans has become so easy over the years and basically anyone can loan money. The increase in mobile loan apps such as M-shwari and Fuliza has made it possible for Kenyans to borrow money anytime. Citizen TV’s coverage of ‘debt of shame’ on Sunday, July 18 shows how many have succumbed to harassment and endless threats from creditors. This is a reality to some, leaving them stressed at the idea of raising the money, some of which multiplied beyond their means. In some instances, you might have been listed as a guarantor and in turn took over the debtor’s burden.

To begin with, there is no shame in asking for a debt. It is a great way to finance your business and also get you up on your feet. What should accompany taking loans however, is responsibility. You should ensure that you borrow within your means so that it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to pay it back. Here are some of the steps you should take after taking a loan to ensure you do not fall victim of debt stress.

Create a debt payment plan

Identify your creditors, list them down and create an achievable plan to pay the debts. Depending on what you prefer and can afford, you can start with the lowest debt or highest one. Also, look at the interest rate. Pay those who have fast interest rates first before moving to others. Give yourself a deadline by which you will be able to pay the debts and challenge yourself to meet it.

Increase your income

What increases debt stress more is knowing you do not have the money to pay up and your salary won’t sustain the debt. Hence, you need more money flowing in so that you can set some aside for your payment plan. Find side hustles to grow your income and save as much as you can.

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Cut down on costs

You can’t spend money you don’t have. Prioritize your expenses and save as much as you can to raise money for your payment plan. Create a functional budget that will help you track your expenditure and progress. You will have to deny yourself some luxuries for a while. The satisfaction that comes with paying all your debts will be worth it.


In order to deal with the underlying debts, take a pause on taking up more loans. The notion of borrowing money from another creditor to pay one will only lead you into a deeper hole because you will still owe money. Find other ways to get money other than loaning from other sources. This will reduce your debts and take you a step forward into paying those you have.

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Ask for help

Talk about what you are going through with your friends and family. It is okay to ask for help with your debts when it gets heated. With your family and friends, the pressure will not be intense as they will understand your situation. Ensure to discuss with them when you can pay them back and do so to secure help in the case of a future need.

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