Brightstar Kasyoka is a 24-year-old fashion-preneur and founder of Star Tailor Designs, a company that custom makes suits, casual wear, African wear, hoodie brandings, and everything cloth-related.
Currently, her business has employed over ten employees and is looking to hire more. This success at an early age has seen her featured on both local and international media, including BBC.
Brightstar Kasyoka’s story is one of “from rags to riches”. Born as a result of teenage pregnancy, her mother abandoned her when she was only three months old.
Consequently, she was raised by her grandparents. Her grandfather worked as a watchman while her grandmother was a stay-at-home gardener.
Brightstar Kasyoka joined school at only two years of age. Despite her young age, she was always top of her class, earning her the nickname Brightstar. Although her childhood was tough, her grandparents were supportive. Her grandfather did his best to support the family, despite his meagre salary of Ksh 3,000.
Her brilliant academic performance earned her the community’s admiration, and she would receive donations and financial aid from community members who wanted to be part of her life.
At 12, Brightstar joined high school, and later Maseno University to pursue a degree in political science. While there, she vied for student leadership, which she won through her ambitious personality and unconventional tactics such as door-to-door campaigns.
She became a finance secretary at the university and started a foundation to help needy students pay school fees. The foundation has won various awards, such as University Student Leader Awards, Zuri Awards, and Princess Diana Awards in the UK.
After graduating at the age of 19, Kasyoka learned about the fashion business from her best friend and honed her sales and marketing skills. One day, she ran an ad on Facebook and got two clients. From this accomplishment, she decided to venture full-time into the fashion design business.
In 2019, she launched Star Tailor Designs with the help of her friend, and the company grew astronomically. Since then, she has done business with prominent business people, politicians, and media personalities.
Most of her employees are tailors with different specializations. Some make men’s coats, others make shirts, while others tailor suits and women’s apparel. The price of their suits varies according to the fabric and design, starting from Ksh 10,000.
Brightstar sources her raw materials locally, depending on what the client wants. She relies heavily on social media, where she enjoys a considerable following to attract clients. She markets her products by taking quality videos and photos and modelling the products by herself.
She says the 2020 pandemic was her most challenging period, as events such as weddings were cancelled. Orders dropped drastically. Ever the smart entrepreneur, she thought outside the box and ventured into the mask-making industry. However, she had to seek loans from her clients.
Like any entrepreneur, the 24-year-old has made her fair share of mistakes. However, she learns from them and ensures she does not repeat them with successive clients. She says client satisfaction, such as punctual deliveries, is the key to her success.
Brightstar encourages fellow ladies, especially those with physical challenges to take up entrepreneurship. She says physical limitations should not limit you from becoming the person you want to be.