Mikaela Mwangura, popularly known as Ms Kaela, is a vibrant free spirited girl who has deep passion for lifestyle and fashion. She shares her journey with Barry Silah
What makes your blog grab people’s attention?
I believe my unique way of conveying messages through fashion, beauty, couple closet, relationship, love and sex articles.
Also it is for the fact that my blog is diverse, informative and educative. My personalised site is mskaela.com and so far I have a community of around 57,000 followers on Facebook alone. Other platforms also combine a further 10,000, which means I am touching and influencing lives.
I believe using my platform, I have been able to share some incredible stories and moments based on experience. This blog might not be so different from others, but I would say it is the honest approach I take with issues which make it tick.
Last year I came in second at the Kenya Fashion Awards in the Fashion Blogger’s category. This meant a lot knowing that my brand is growing and getting known with each and every passing day.
How has your journey in the business been this far?
It has been eye-opening for sure. Bloggers do not get easy press and so you have to try and be different in content and delivery.
However, the lessons have been pretty good and I am thankful to veterans such as Lucia Musau who have guided me somewhat, stylist Connie Aluoch who made me see fashion and styling in a different perspective when it comes to embroidery wears; while others such vloggers Sharon Mundia and Nancy Mwai are some of the personalities I have brushed shoulders with.
For starters not so many people will appreciate your work because of negativity associated with what bloggers do, but the trick is to stay true to yourself and do a decent, but honest piece.
Another challenge is that earning from the space can be a little tricky unless one is versatile and has good networks. The Kenyan market is not yet commercially viable for the blogging community, so one has to be smart in order to get some coins for sustenance.
Did you study fashion in school?
No, Not at all. It was purely out of passion and love for glamour. I am actually a statistician by profession with a degree in Applied Statistics with Computing.
Currently, I am in the process of pursuing Data Science through which I believe I will become impactful in my projects as far as my profession is concerned.
Growing up, we were taught the value of education and so we had to work hard regardless of our extra interests. I believe because of my schooling, I have been able to carry out myself as a professional and brand myself while at it.
What is your assessment of Fashion in Kenya?
It is growing — mindsets are changing now and products and brands are getting the push they need. However, this country is still conservative with dressing, excluding personalites and fashion lovers with spending power. At the same time, we still do not have big influencers in the industry like Rihanna or Beyoncé.
Most discussed topic on your blog?
My style, skin care topics, couples closets, relationships and sex are a big hit. The views are amazing and reactions inspire me to research and do more. The five actually sell because they have connection with people.
People around me and, especially friends, somehow shape my discussions and topics. However, when it comes to love and sex topics for some reason, 60 per cent of people do not talk about such issues in the open because of the sensitivity involved ultimately.
Projects you are involved with?
At the moment, I am heavily into creating more informative and educative content and do more international affiliate marketing with Peerfly Bloggers Programme.
Aside from that, I have had the opportunity to take part in Kenya Fashion Awards, Business of Fashion Seminar, East Africa Fashion Week, Next Gen Fashion Week, Maggie Sottero Launch with Sidai Bridals and Moet Moment Events, among others.
I am in the process of signing a contract with Depiwhite; an international skin care brand that is launching soon and I will be coming in as a social media influencer.
I have worked with dating brand SautiDates as well as represented established brands such as Fashion254 and London.co.ke. I am part of the Muthengi Foundation in Nairobi — the organisation aims to develop economic empowerment through education to the less privileged in the society.