Graduate Develops System That Integrates Fashion Merchants
Muthoni Mwangi, a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Nairobi has focused on her class programming skills to come up with a platform that makes fashion and accessories easily accessible and convenient to clients.
Her goal is to promote local fashion merchants with the hope that can make Kenyans buy from local designers rather than importing from international brands.
In June 2016, Muthoni founded Kladika.com, a one-stop online fashion retail shop that gives local fashion retailers and designers a chance to use the platform to sell their products for free. Also, it deals with persons who want to get rid of something in their closet giving them a platform to sell their products.
It is an aggregated platform for everything concerning fashion that one can shop for over 20 products from different retailers within a minute and with one click of a button.
Kladika allows it users to buy, rent and sell clothes at more than pocket-friendly cost by providing an affordable and convenient way to its users. Some of the apparels that can be rented or bought in the site include: wedding gowns, graduation gowns, suits, chockers, accessories, tops, jeans wecklace among others.
“My task at Kladika is to increase the sales of our retailers and reduce their hassle as they give us a photo of their products and we give them money once we have sold the product,”says Muthoni.
“We also handle anything that comes along in between marketing and delivery to customers, making fashion and accessories available and convenient to our users,”adds Muthoni.
Her passion in computer science reckons in her last year in school. One day she was on a social site-Instagram and decided to take screenshots of dresses, general clothing, make-up, shoes and everything fashion related. Thereafter, her conscience would imagine of owning specific fashion items.
In the course of time, she did not found that dress or accessories. Unfortunately, her phone storage was getting filled up.Muthoni’s enthusiasm made her pause a movie inorder to take a screenshot of what the actors and actress were wearing, considering on what she wanted. Hence, she was upto task to put her programming skills to test.
Immediately after school, Muthoni took the initiative of doing research especially on the fashion retail industry.
“I discovered that fashion retail scene was highly fragmented. One would go to different stores in Nairobi’s Central Business District that sold only jeans, another only shoes, or official wear or menswear, so if you were planning to buy your entire family clothes you would probably spend the entire day moving from one store to another and probably not get what you are looking for,”says Muthoni.
“Also the cost to rent out space for these retailers was highly expensive. This verified the need of one aggregated platform for all fashion and accessories products,”she adds.
With over 30 merchants using Kladika platform, ranging from well-established retailers, local designers, those who sell fashion as a part time job and even students looking for an extra coin, multiple clients are flocking the industry.
“We are proud for having delivered our services within Nairobi and its outskirts. We have also extended our product in Nakuru, Kakamega, Homabay and Narok and further plans are underway to expand more inorder to reach our clients,”says Muthoni.
“Our customers appreciate the instant delivery within 24 hours stipulated time and we maintain honesty as our core value when dealing with product. The online ordered product is delivered by the experienced team of our customer service department,”adds Muthoni.
The innovation was showcased at University of Nairobi innovation week expo where it championed its idea to the ICT Cabinet secretary Joe Mucheru among other dignitaries and the general public at large. Muthoni says Kladika.com is now incubated at C4D Lab, a UoN incubation lab that focuses on technology incubation and prototype development.
According to the performance of Kladika.com, Muthoni anticipates having over 100 merchants on board from across the country in the next one year with the hope of encouraging cross-county trade. The platform is also looking forward to partner with self-help groups across the country to market and sell their products.