What is fashionable and what isn’t is a very subjective concept. People will have varied and strong opinions. The word suave implies an impression of style and sophistication, well depending on the school of literature you belong to.
In the Kenyan fashion, however, (concentrating on Nairobi for now, which is arguably the main picture frame that comes to mind, whenever Kenya is mentioned, plus this is where the the subject of this post is located) SUAVE is the name of an emerging brand. A brand so rapidly on the rise, you’d probably be seeing it among the stars in a few months (that was a somewhat lame analogy, but move on…). This can be attested by the many civilians who have been wise enough to have rewarded/awarded themselves with a bag or an accessory from Suave. Also, they (Suave) as a brand, have not shied away from bragging about their product and quality of service. Something that is evident in their social media page bios i.e their Instagram page reads: “We’re not saying we’re the best at making bags, but that just seems to be the case. To contact our space station, Morse code ——» 0726 352 001”
Better yet, here’s a pictorial evidence
…and, and, this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg of the insanity that Suave, a bags and accessory making company, possesses. How they respond to customers and followers on social media is baffling, yet fantastic. For example;
I (personal opinions) love the approach. It eases the formality of things, getting a brand closer to the customers and potential customers alike.
Suave has a variety of products and in each variety, there are not two products that will look alike or resemble each other, unless on specified orders. All their products except straps are divided into full leather, fabric and a mixture of both (patchwork). The products range from backpacks, rucksacks, messenger bags, wallets to watchstraps (watchstraps only come in leather). The best part is that a bigger percentage of these products are unisex. So you wouldn’t have to be unsure of what you are buying, unless of course the product is, again, a specified order. Complete care, professionalism and absolute attention to detail is observed when creating these magnificent bags and accessories, setting Suave apart from it’s competitors.
Just a preview of what they make.
Now! The man behind all this; I introduce you to MOHAMMED AWALE.
A principled young man who rides on his ambition to become a trend setter in urban fashion using “uniqueness and extreme quality” as his main tools of trade. What’s magical about Awale, is his ability to transform ordinary to extraordinary; old clothes that had faded into rugs get converted into colorful works of art, all supported by the pillars of durability and fashion. Whatever fashion school/class you belong to, old school denim fabric lovers, new school funky fresh (Kikois, African print etc) or the laid-back sophisticated leather fans, all are covered by Suave. The company is a year and a couple of months old, however, the strides Awale is taking surely indicate that in another few months time, he’ll reach the pinnacle of fashion and all things trendy in no time. We requested to put up his photo, he sent us this;
Well played, Mohammed.
We also had a chat with him and compiled the proceeding into this:
–What is the name of your business and what does it do?
“The business (brand) is called Suäve. It deals in bags and accessories. We make different kinds of bags from basic messenger bags to travel bags and accessories ranging from Tab cases to card holders.”
–Why did you pick that particular name?
“The name perfectly described the kind of bags we wanted to make and the people who buy it.”
–How did it start?
“I developed a passion for leather stuff while in uni (university). Especially leather bags and I got my cousin, who was doing this business at that time, to make me one. After I graduated I got a job with an oil marketing firm and at around the same time my cousin left that field to concentrate on making shoes only. It was then that he advised me to try that. I jumped at that opportunity and here I am.
Oh…I quit that job four months later and fully focused on bag making.”
–Where did you get your initial capital?
“Second and third salary”
–What makes you different from your competitors?
“We strive to make things that are unique…stuff that our competitors don’t look at. We always try to think out of the box when it comes to designs in line with our tastes also”
-What is your educational background?
“Degree in International Business Administration (Marketing) from USIU (United States International University)”
-Is this what you always envisioned you’d be doing when you were younger?
“Never in my life have I thought I would be in this line of business. But I’m really happy I’m here”
-What challenges have you encountered?
“I’ve encountered quite a bit of challenges, the main one being financially. Starting out was a bit tough…we had the bags but penetrating the market and getting people to know about your products was the tough part. Making ends meet, paying salaries, rent, materials and whatnot became an everyday thing. I almost quit a number of times and every time I almost did I would get an order that would make me forget all my problems”
-What successes have you achieved?
“Showcasing at the Nairobi fashion market, at FAFA London pop up shop, and now collaborating with a shop in London as a European and American distributor for Suäve “
-If you weren’t doing what you’re doing right now, what would you be doing?
“Honestly don’t know…maybe employed somewhere. Or trying to work out another business venture”
-What is the most important thing(s) you would say to any young person looking to start a business?
“Patience and consistency. Two things that us young people lack. Especially when it comes to business. There’s no business that would make you rich overnight let alone months. It’s all about persevering and not giving up; Keeping on despite the obstacles”
-What plans do you have for the future?
“Turn Suäve into a regional brand…possible”
From Urban Bites, we’d like to wish Mohammed Awale, all the best in his future endeavors and growth of Suave.
To contact Suave and Mohammed Awale
Follow and like their pages;
Instagram – @suave_ke
Facebook – Suave
Twitter – @suave_ke
Or call 0721 352 001, 0721 928 896