Banice Mburu Biography: Banice Mburu is a Kenyan Entreprenuer and Fashion retailer of Jade Collections.
“I trained at Kagumo Teachers Training College and when I proceeded to teaching I was not comfortable. I always felt like something was missing,” Ms Mburu told Enterprise.
“My parents wanted to sponsor my studies in the US. I knew that whatever level of education I would achieve, I would still want to do business.”
When she was in high school she would go to the best tailors in Eldoret, her hometown, buy materials and proceed to sew her own designs.
This fashion bug did not let up even when she was actively teaching Geography and Agriculture at Flamingo Secondary School in Nakuru.
During the school holidays, Ms Mburu would travel to Johannesburg to buy clothes for sale using her personal savings.
Since she did not have any permanent premise, she “hawked the clothes” to her customers.
She decided, in 1995, to leave the classroom for good and channel her efforts and time in her fledgling fashion business; a move she said was the “natural thing” to do.
Her parents were businesspeople in Eldoret town and also ran a farm, operations from which she picked up important business lessons that have helped her to date.
As her business grew, she moved to owning three exhibition tables (a model of retail that was in vogue at the time) before moving into an independent store at Millennium Exhibition in Nakuru.
In 2005 Ms Mburu moved to Nairobi where she continued operating from an exhibition centre located in the central business district (CBD).
Tragedy would however strike, threatening to sink her new enterprise. In 2006 Charterhouse Bank was placed under statutory management following money laundering allegations, locking in Ms Mburu’s Sh18 million to date.
Around the same time she lost a 40-foot container full of supplies on the high seas. The twin tragedies almost derailed her business but the single mother of one picked herself up and went on to open what would now become a household name in the family fashion industry.
“If you have ever lost anything when your business was just making its baby steps, you should know that you can always start over,” she said, while thanking God for enabling her bounce back.
After a laborious search for a shop in the CBD lasting over one year, Ms Mburu finally found a large enough space at the Meru South building along Nairobi’s Tom Mboya Street, opposite the Fire Station.