A quote by an anonymous person states, “Life is short. You might as well live it with really great hair”. And this is why Georgina Njeri Kirungo strives to provide the best quality hair in the market.
Georgina, 30, started Nywele Creative, a business that deals in luxurious virgin human hair extensions and offers hair loss and hair volumising solutions.
Born and raised in Parklands, Nairobi, Georgina is an only child. Both her parents run businesses in the hospitality industry.
“I went to Mill Hill Boarding School in London from 2003-2008. I hold a Bachelor of Arts [Hons] in Communications and Media Studies from the University of Brighton in England where I graduated in 2011 and a Master of Science in Development Studies from School of Oriental and African Studies [SOAS], London, which I attained in 2013. I was awarded my masters by Graca Machel-President of SOAS,” says Georgina.
Venturing into the hair industry was an idea borne out of frustrations she faced
while sourcing for a good hair extension.
“Genuine virgin hair extensions were in the past difficult to find in the country. Where one could access them, they were overpriced and were not offered professionally. Those who travelled abroad sometimes came back with a few pieces and offered them from their suitcases, which was very juakali. Others who claimed to offer virgin hair extensions only offered high quality synthetic fibre hair or what they call ‘semi-human’ hair,” she explains.
Zero resistance According to Georgina, hair extensions in Kenya back then were offered as a mass product.
“There was no sparkle and they all looked the same and were all low quality with no resistance to heat styling tools. They couldn’t be manipulated in terms of colour or style and most of them could only be used for a very short time,” she explains.
“Whenever I travelled to some countries abroad, I noticed women with a different style of hair extensions. Those that flowed like natural hair and could be manipulated in to different colours and styles, high quality hair extensions that could be used for more than three to four years. This suddenly ignited my mind,” she adds.
From that point, Georgina embarked on carrying out research and learnt about virgin human hair and hair extensions sourced from countries of origin.
“I spoke to experts in London who had been sourcing for virgin hair for decades and created networks. I saw a gap in the Kenyan and African market as a whole, and created the right business relationships with different sources across the globe. And that is how Nywele Creative was borne.”
She adds, “I found a need; Kenyan women wanted the full experience. Their hair is their crowning glory. They wanted to feel special; they wanted good quality products and were willing to invest in themselves. The synthetic hair extensions available were not satisfying a certain niche market of women who wanted the best. With my sources, I was able to order for some virgin human hair extensions and introduced the product to the market. The response was amazing. Many women loved the product and through referrals I kept on getting more orders.”
Nywele Creative was officially launched in February 2012 as a small online business and within six months Georgina had acquired her first flagship store.
High demand “The demand for our product was very high and before 2015 I had opened five branches in some of the largest malls in Nairobi through profits alone. The brand was very well received by the Kenyan market and remains a household name within the hair and beauty industry. We were the first to bridge the disconnect between where clients could purchase hair extensions and where they could have them installed,” Georgina says.
“We created the all under-one-roof concept when it came to hair extensions. Clients can purchase and have their hair extensions installed in the same place, saving time, money and give them the confidence they need in the product,” she adds.
Georgina says what has enabled her survive the market is that her clientele
understands the importance of genuine hair extensions, the longevity of use and the unlimited manipulation of heat styling and colour that they can withstand.
“We ensure we are always productled; we offer what our clients want, how and when they want them. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, we also adopted to the increasing demand for home deliveries to suit our customer’s needs. Online retail has become a necessity for many of our clients, and has always been for those across the country or the diaspora. However, even within Nairobi, luxury is comfort and being able to access our unique hair extensions and services at the comfort of your home has been an added bonus. The online presence has expanded our reach and created an additional value for our clients,” she says.
Georgina is happy and contented that through Nywele Creative, she has been able to create employment opportunities for both men and women hence made a difference in their lives.
“The product we provide is very scarce and due to the craftsmanship required to design and create our units, we are not able to meet the very high demand for this quality bracket. However, we now offer custom made products and special orders, which have allowed us to expand our supply,” she says.
Happy faces For Georgina, seeing the happy faces and getting brilliant feedback from her clients has been her greatest joy, and the reason she wakes up every day to carry on with the business.
“I have opened three other successful businesses over the last ten years which I am very proud of. Consistency is the secret ingredient to any entrepreneur’s success. On the good days and the bad days, if you are in business, remain consistent. Don’t do all the work and forget about your financial records. Keep these up to date and monitor those responsible at all times. Also, never give up,” she advises.
GEORGINA Kenyan women wanted the full experience. Their hair is their crowning glory.
AT A GLANCE
• Nywele Creative was launched in 2012 to offer human hair extensions.
• The founder, Georgina Kirungo saw a gap in a market filled with extensions that could not be maipulated using heat or colour or did not last longer. She was motivated to change that.
• So far she has an online store and five brick-and mortar outlets in Nairobi and also does deliveries at homes and out of the country.
• Besides Nywele creative she has three other