One of the best parts of working at Hustle Sasa is meeting motivated entrepreneurs like Sharon Otieno. She’s turning her lifelong passion for fashion into a series of business pursuits ranging from modeling, styling, and designing and selling her own fashion line.
Born in Nairobi and raised in Kayole, Sharon was the youngest of 7 siblings. She was a keen fashionista since her toddler days – she’d routinely play dress up with her older sisters’ clothes (and might have ruined a few of their dresses along the way).
Her career in modeling kicked off after contesting for Miss Campus at Moi University in her first year at school. She later ventured into styling with the help of Eddy Kirindo, a stylist working with True Love & Drum Magazine. Sharon says, “I loved the whole process from scouting locations, to working with other models, to developing themes for shoots and matching them with unique styles and clothing.”
She noticed that it was often difficult to source for accessories and clothes on her shoots, especially on short notice. That’s when she started taking matters into her own hands and designing & creating pieces herself to use for her personal and client shoots.
“In the back of my mind, I knew I always wanted to go into designing, it was just a matter of aligning my skills with the opportunities that became available,” Sharon tells me. “I wanted to create a line of beautiful, multi-functional pieces that could be accessible and affordable for the everyday woman.”
I ask her what her biggest challenges in running a business have been. “As a solo entrepreneur, it’s been so hard to keep track of everything from orders, to customers, to production, to sales! Prices are always changing in the market for raw materials as well, not to mention price fluctuations for key services like tailors. It’s been a huge learning curve but I can’t imagine doing anything else! I’m looking forward to using Hustle Sasa to help simplify my business”
We talked about her vision for the next 5 years. Sharon mentions that she’s been modeling for VIVO clothing for the past 3 years and it’s been inspirational to work and learn from them.
“I want to get to that level. I want to create a fashion empire that includes styling and photoshoots as well as creating a ready-to-wear line that’s available across sales channels from digital and physical shops. I’ve been working my entire life for this and I’m not stopping until I make it happen!
I love her energy and how gracefully she’s playing all the roles in her everyday life – daughter, sister, model, stylist, designer, entrepreneur. I can’t wait for the next title – fashion mogul 💪 #LetsHustle