T-Shirt design and more from Kenya – meet Ryk Mchoraji

Re’ Touch Designs, ERICK KIVUVA, Casual Smart Fashion Designer

W: http://rykmchoraji.blogspot.com – E: ryk254@gmail.com – M: +254724917959

Re’ Touch Designs Biography

INTRODUCTION

RYK MCHORAJI

Government name: Erick Kivuva

Age: 23 years

Education: Social Science, Economics Major, Sociology Minor. Graduated with a Second Class Lower Division.

Formal experience:

  1. B.G Project Beneficiary Supervisor, AMREF, Kenya.
  2. Research Field Supervisor, R. M.S Kenya
  3. Barclays Kenya, sales and marketing (the project did not run so I took the chance to start my own venture)

Current Occupation:

Creator and Head Fashion Artist of Re’ Touch Designs Fashion label that creates custom hand-Painted, Embroidery Art and Air-Brushed casual apparel. T-Shirts, Polo Shirts, Jeans Bags, Caps and Canvas Sneakers.

Art in Africa is often termed to be the occupation of the poor time-waster; a perception that is fast being changed. The third world individual lays emphasis on occupations that are founded on security through contracts of the 9-5 régime, which art seems not portray otherwise.

Kenya has several main commercial points, all of which have unique markets and unique characteristics. I will fall into the art or Jua Kali sector.

DAILY PROCEDURE

I normally create contemporary-African T-Shirt or polo shirt collection per week, releasing a piece per day and launch the photo shoot package at the end of the week.

MARKETTING STRATEGY

Social media has been the root marketing tool that I use. Visual and Audio media exposure has also been or great benefit when injection of new clients and publicity is needed. Re’ Touch Designs has been on major media productions thrice, the demand is always staggering! The influx of orders is so high that if it was not for the management of time, my brand would have been ruined. Different clients demanded different details on the samples I rolled out. Clearly, the diversity in the number and composition of the communities we have in Kenya speaks volumes on just how much one product can roll out in 46 different complements and still be a success.

It hit me some hours later after my first interview aired on KBC TV’s Youth entrepreneur show ‘VIJANA IN ACTION’ that the youth are craving for hope and opportunity to put their capabilities out there and get well rewarded for it.

The second showing aired during my undergraduate graduation ceremony and my phone was ringing off the hook!! My facebook inbox was filled with at least a hundred inspired Kenyans who wanted to be trained on how to start their own business and also to gain access to my product either for themselves or to distribute for me or for their businesses. I then successfully ventured into out of town delivery with national couriers like Molo Line, Easy Coach, North Rift and E Coach, never to forget the Great M-Pesa service… I would not be here if it wasn’t for M-Pesa.

POINTS NOTED AT WORK

Fact: Kenyans are bargainers and to be honest, times are tough financially. I really take this personally and thus, created packages based on prices, ages and founded on the detail that still attracts the potential buyer, the Art. Ascending from simple paintwork with simple paints to complex designs with exotic paints to unique stitching.

PRICE LIST

  •   700Ksh – okay paintwork
  •   850Ksh – good paintwork
  • 1000Ksh – better paintwork
  • 1200Ksh – best paintwork
  • 1500Ksh – stitching

Pricing in this case is based on the detail that the client can afford with no compromise on the quality offered.

OBSERVATIONS MADE ON KENYAN PERSONALITY

Studying Sociology in Catholic University of Eastern Africa made me make it key to make my work be the bridge to solving the puzzle of personality versus public impression. Kenyans are quite reserved and conservative about their looks and what it portrays to the normal stranger and especially to their peers. Making the right kind of look using the best of fabric, paints and finishing is not cheap, so the clients, who want the best come for the unique and best custom art, come to me and I deliver expecting least, if even no disappointment.

I do follow ups after a month or so to know if there are incidences that I need to be aware of either in paintwork or the fabric, a service that is key… Customer Care.

Re’ Touch Designs art is not acquired to be forgotten and dust coated but is worn in direct contact with the owner and patrolled everywhere he or she goes, so it not only shows my skill but the owners taste. I however do not bend over on the look that I have in mind and what I want to create, many if not all firms that were initially strong with the look that they had created got drowned with the quick money offered at them to do standard jobs and finally the initial idea got eroded till no more was left but the ever strong Kenyan copy-cat culture, something Re’ Touch Designs will not fall into. Re’ Touch Designs rather has a handful of loyal clientele who will maintain the unique style that I create as odd or foreign as they seem than thousands of Kenya-Uniform, boring and plastic print-outs that crowd the streets.

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For now, I am based online primarily on rykmchoraji.blogspot.com and the facebook.com/ReTouchDesigns for convenience as I cannot be at the Nakumatt Junction UNITED outlet and at the workshop at the same time. UNITED is a new store that focuses on budding talent with entrepreneurial skills, which I have been trying to prove to myself and the youth out there that you can bring a simple idea to live once you identify the niche you want to tap into and exploit the opportunities that lie ahead and with hard work and discipline, it will come to be a reality.

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