Kenyan Brides 'Pull Out All the Stops' for Dream Gowns

Nairobi — Ogake Mosomi is a fashion designer who has created a niche for herself in the competitive industry of wedding gown designing and stitching.

On a fine Tuesday afternoon, the Capital Business team finds three different designers at Ogake Fashion House seated at their work stations, as everyone works towards adding the details as previously instructed by the Head Designer and Founder of Ogake Fashion House, Ogake Mosomi.

Ogake later comes and inspects the pieces as she encourages each of the other designers to ensure the stitches are done and completed to the detail required.

"For us, we really value detail on a dress which is also the hardest part to do since it has to be hand stitching. When doing this, one has to take their time. You have to take time because if you make a mistake you might be forced to start the whole process again," she said.

Looking at the young talented lady, her success confirms that the Kenyan brides are increasingly interested in ensuring their dream wedding gowns sees the light of the day with the majority preferring custom made wedding gowns at an affordable price.

"Right now you can easily have your dream wedding gown as one your dreams come true and still meet the international standards. We are increasingly seeing many Kenya brides having their dresses customized and made locally," said Ogake as she shows me some of her pieces.

The talented fashion designer graduated from the University for Creative Arts in the United Kingdom where she started her journey in 2011 but fully embarked on designing wedding gowns in 2014.

Just like any other successful business, the start is usually a challenge, especially when looking for capital to start.

"When I came back from the UK, I had no money. A lot had changed and I just wanted to start my own business. I thank God that I have parents who understood my dream and loaned me half a million shillings to start Ogake fashion house," she said.

Even after getting enough capital to set up, penetrating and establishing a business in competitive market was not easy either.

"When I first started my designer journey, I used to do the Africa prints which a few people found it a little expensive not understanding the quality of the work that is how I decided to shift to wedding gowns," she says.

Her other desire and wish are to have some of the materials sourced locally other than internationally since they are often expensive.

"I really wish we had a way around getting some of our materials in our local shops. Sometimes we are forced to source some materials in countries like Dubai and that can be very costly. This is a challenge that all designers go through," she said.

The journey first begins with a bride approaching the fashion house where they schedule for an appointment to meet the fashion designer and discuss her ideal wedding gown.

"When it comes to appointments, it is totally free of charge but one has to schedule it so that we can give the bride to be the attention she requires. After that, we later design with her and if she is pleased then we start working on the piece immediately after the deposit is paid," she added as she continued designing a piece of one of her clients.

According to Ogake, she prefers if the bride would approach her six months to the wedding day.

"Stitching a piece is no joke and since we love details, we always want to take our time when making a gown and that is why we often advise brides to start working on their gowns like six months to the wedding but our door is always open even for those who come four or three months to their wedding," she says.

Her charges are majorly dependent on the details of a gown. The full lace gown is priced from Sh120,000 but sometimes she gets customers paying Sh200,000.

Ogake's plan is to open different shops of her brand across the East African region.

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