Being the face of her brand; her articulated simplicity and her graceful gait are what strikes us the most about her. Christine Njoki, preferably Cris Njoki describes herself as a fashion designer, content creator and entrepreneur. She is the Founder and Creative Director of Ikojn, a women’s wear brand that caters to the ever evolving modern woman.
Tell us a bit about yourself and Ikojn.
I am a fashion designer and in most ways a content creator. My area of focus is lifestyle, travel, wellness, fashion and food oriented. Ikojn (pronounced eye-con) is a women’s, very exclusive, clothing brand that is made and designed in Nairobi.
Do you believe you're an influencer and what do you think an influencer does?
An influencer, in my opinion, is someone who influences another person to make a decision. Although it is not a term I would often use to describe myself, yes, I am an influencer because I do influence and encourage people to make decisions on certain things.
What does good content creation mean to you?
Good content creation needs creativity. Not a lot of money. You might have a lot of money and lack creativity and also have little money and lack the creativity to create good content.
Tell us about influencing and the one thing you have learnt from your first partnership?
I am currently an influencer for Hop House 13 and the one thing I learnt through influencing is that you always have to be true to yourself. Don't just rush for a brand just because of how appealing the money might seem. What your audience wants to see is you being true to yourself and for me I would not do something simply because I have money to gain from it. I remember that I am doing it for my audience and they would want to see the real me.
Another thing is that, when you’re staring out, you are a sitting duck, you wait for the brands to come to you and it is something I’m trying to change. I am trying to change my mindset from that and I realize I too, do have to go after brands.
How has social media/digital space affected your business?
Positively; definitely for both my personal as well as my fashion brand. I don't think I would be where I am right now if social media didn't exist. I don't have anything negative to say but so far I’m glad I can use social media to further both my brands and I'm grateful about that. I hope it keeps being positive.
Does being paid determine your truth in reviews?
No. I advocate for authenticity, always. I do ask brands if they are willing to deal with my honest review such as if I didn't like the product or if I found that it wasn't a preference for me. I strive to be upfront and if I didn't react to it as they would have liked, I would still be honest and say it and I am going to be very real about it.
How did you get over imposter syndrome?
It is something that happens constantly so you just don’t decide to get over it. However, right now, I have got to a point where I know what it is and what it does to a person. It makes you feel like you're in a space and that you don't belong there. How do I get out? I do things I enjoy. I watch fashion oriented shows or go out and have drinks and meals with friends. I also travel a lot so that helps keep my mind from straying. Once I start doing things that I really love and enjoy, I find that I do not think about it often.
What's the best part about your day?
Not to be corny or lame, the best part is waking up. It's one of those small things that we often take for granted; so if I wake up and continue doing the things I love, everyday, that's it for me.
What’s something you wish you knew earlier about starting a business?
Take records. Get your records straight and make sure you account for everything. It shows you earlier on about the profits and/or losses your business is making. Even if it's not your strong suit, hire someone. Just make sure you keep your records.
Do you think African parents should lean more towards educating kids on finances?
Absolutely. Financial literacy is one of the key determinants of being successful and rich. I feel like it should be taught in schools. Knowing how to make money and making sound money decisions are must-haves in any business.
A parting shot to content creators
Being creative is all you need. Don't stress about looking fancy. First see where you are and what you have and how it can boost your finances. You also need to find a niche and focus on it. Stick to it; that's how people will know and relate to you.
Don't pressure yourself into looking and being perfect because there's so much you can see on social media. What we often see is the good, positive part and rarely the negative, bad part so always remember to go easy on yourself.