A 37-year-old Kenyan designer, Nthenya Mwendwa (pictured above), has been a lady on a mission seeking to boost her business featuring art designs on bags and fashion accessories inspired by her Kenyan background.
She is the founder of The Label Saba – a bag-producing firm with operations in several nations globally.
Her firm produces bags with unique designs featuring some aspects of the Maasai community’s cultural heritage.
The products have grown in popularity, especially among some of the most prominent figures in the US film and entertainment industry. On Sunday, March 12, she was offered a lifetime opportunity to exhibit her wares on the red carpet event of the 2023 edition of the Oscars Awards.
The entrepreneur noted that she was excited and had been looking forward to the opportunity to showcase her merchandise and parade Kenya’s heritage at one of the most prominent levels.
“I am really grateful for this opportunity to shine a spotlight on my heritage and to be able to share our stories through the beautiful bags,” she noted in the interview.
She narrated how big names in the US film and pop industry marvelled at her products in the past when she paraded her products.
In particular, Mwendwa recalled how US singer and songwriter Bianca Atterberry, popularly known as Blush, purchased one of her bags and later proceeded to carry it on the red carpet.
“I was basically screaming on my own because everybody was asleep, it was amazing,” she recalled her reaction after seeing photos of Blush carrying her bag on the red carpet of the Grammys.
According to her, the appearance of her products in such high-level events opens up more opportunities and free marketing to the universe to grow her brand.
Some of the designs are influenced by the Maasai cultural heritage where her mother hails from – in Kenya.
She has a team of Maasai women who help in designing the popular beads which she in turn uses to decorate the bags.
Through her business, Mwendwa has managed to hit two birds with one stone, managing to promote the welfare of women in her native community and at the same time promote the culture abroad.
Mwendwa is an alumnus of Arsutoria School in Italy where she studied a bag-making course to give her the skills pertaining to her current industry.
For her, her company is more than just a profit-oriented venture. She is resolute on advancing her mantra of “Redefined Nomadism”, which she describes as the movement of traditional culture through the passages of her refined luxury.