Business Daily Review
Posted Monday, October 27 2014 at 18:04
After graduating from the United States International University (USIU) with a Bachelor’s degree in commerce and a subsequent Masters of Business Administration from Liverpool University, like most graduates Christine Khasinah-Odero sought employment.
She was lucky to get well-paying jobs at the helm of several tour companies. In 2007, having learnt the ropes of the trade, she set out to found her own tours company.
However, the company did not fare well primarily because soon after the launch, post-election violence broke out forcing her out of business.
“It was a bad timing. The passion was absent and I think that I made no efforts to make my company work, either,” she said.
She had quit a managerial position, started and failed at her first business but she was not one to give up easily. For the second time she embarked on the entrepreneurial journey albeit by chance. Second chance
While trying to figure what to do with her life, she got pregnant with her first child. As any other mother-to-be she sought information on motherhood and local baby events to keep herself busy as she waited for the delivery day.
She was surprised to find little information particularly in regards to Kenya and almost no motherhood-targeted events.
“Motherhood felt boring, I had no one to share experience with. Besides there were no events or a platform for baby or mother,” she said.
In 2011, she started blogging about motherhood, leading to the rise of Supamamas, which almost immediately gained hundreds of followers.
After seeing the potential of the blog, she invested Sh60,000 and a lot of time in creating a committed following.
“Supamamas is now an events and marketing company that focuses on inspiring, informing and connecting mothers through regular events and the website,” Khasinah-Odero said.
“We host events every month, and the concepts are inspired by the need of the mums who we also engage to provide suggestions on the kind of events they would like to see us organise. Some events focus on personal growth whiles others on equipping them with information as mothers and as professionals whether in business or employed,” added the 33-year-old.
Some of the events they organize cover baby nutrition and safety, cook outs, personal finances and branding. They also organize red-carpet events for mothers and community service projects.
For instance, in November 15 they are planning a family fun-day for families with special needs children, in a bid to create awareness on conditions such as autism, dyslexia, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy at the Carnivore grounds.
The Supamamas website, which also has a great following on social media, ensures that mothers have access to information regarding motherhood such as upcoming baby and mother events, junior schools and party planners.
“The website is a platform for mothers and brands to meet and interact,” said Khasinah-Odero.
Supamamas also empowers women to join entrepreneurship through the Supasisters mentorship programme whereby the company brings together seasoned entrepreneurs to reach out to women in tertiary institutions and encourage them to consider starting businesses instead of waiting to get employment after graduating.
Through brands sponsorship, the company hosts free events for mothers and babies and from vendors taking up exhibiting stands at the events.
However, forums exclusively for mothers, for example the financial freedom training, are attended at a fee.
Other revenue streams include advertising, whereby companies place advertisements on the website at a fee. “Building a successful brand is no walk in the park,” Khasina-Odero offers. “It took persistence and self-sacrifice to break even.”
Bearing an energetic, bubbly, and polite personality comes handy in her line of business. Besides, building a network and good relations with former employers has worked well for her, as they turn out to be great sponsors and business partners in particular events.
“It feels great when they give a call to check out on how I am fairing besides they offer me great lessons in entrepreneurship,” she said. It is a good thing that she never shies away from taking risks and has never run out of faith because that way, she has grown Supamamas idea into a brand talked about by mothers and hopeful mothers regionally.
With a father who was aware that education was the only thing he could offer to his child, the member of Rotary Club, Lang’ata spent most of her 20s in school reading for her undergraduate and Masters degrees.
She has since acquired postgraduate qualifications in marketing from the Marketing Society of Kenya and in Total Quality Management from the Kenya Institute of Management.