#LadyBossInterview: “My Passion is to See Fuller Busted Women Embrace their Curves, Feel Amazing and Confident” ~ Wendy Karira Waweru – Founder, MyCurves

Wendy Karira Waweru is passionate about making women embrace and love their bodies unconditionally. The idea of starting her company came to her from wishing that someone would open a store to sell underwear for plus size women. Wendy then went for a Bra Fit training course in the UK, got accredited as a Bra Fit Stylist by Panache Lingerie and started her company. She says “My Curves” was thus birthed, to create underwear solutions for plus size women, and today, about 2 ½ years later, My Curves now has a second store.”

My Curves, beyond underwear sales, offers professional bra fitting sessions for women, making them feel powerful, brilliant, beautiful and confident. With a vision to be the leading lingerie store in East Africa, Wendy is teaching women to feel amazing, beautiful  and to confidently say ‘I love my curves’.

Can you briefly describe yourself and your business?

I am Wendy Karira Waweru , an entrepreneur, a wife, mother to five amazing children. I am passionate about making women love themselves unconditionally. Mycurves is a community, a family, a movement that seeks to make women of all shapes and sizes fall in love with their bodies and embrace their curves by knowing and wearing the right size underwear. Mycurves wants every woman to feel amazing and confident and to confidently say ‘I love my curves’.

What we offer?

At MyCurves, we believe dressing well is all about wearing fabulous foundations. We believe it is important for women to love themselves from the inside out. You deserve to wear perfectly fitting, comfortable, supportive, fashionable and good quality bras that you love, in bra styles that suit your body type and your lifestyle. We are the official stockists of leading UK & USA brands such as Panache, Curvy Kate, Leonisa, Nubian Skin, Miracle Suit., Royce Lingerie.

Our Products: We cater for Cup Size D-K cup & Band Size 28-46 (this is in inches)

Basic Everyday Bras: we have different styles to give you the silhouettes you desire

Strapless Bras: from Cup Size D-J to cater for fuller busted ladies who love strapless dresses

Swimwear: with an inbuilt bra to support and uplift and ensure you don’t spill out.

Sports Bras: to ensure you have less bounce and are comfortable as you work out.

Shapewear: to smooth out your beautiful curves

What was the idea behind your brand, what does “My Curves” represent and what inspired this particular line of business?

Being a fuller bust and plus size woman, I struggled most of my life trying to figure out and get the right size bra. For a long time, my only options were either waiting for people to travel, the second-hand market or hand me downs. It was frustrating and I ended up with self-confidence issues, dressing in baggy clothes to camouflage my bust and body in general. I had bad posture and back aches.  I yearned to embrace my curves, love myself unconditionally and be comfortable in my skin.

Birth of the Business:

I always wished that someone would open a store to sell underwear for plus size women. It dawned on me; I could be the one. Who better to sell plus size underwear than someone who feels the pain? I started talking to other women who were going through the same struggle of not finding perfect fitting bras locally. I went for a Bra Fit training course in the UK. I got accredited as a Bra Fit Stylist by Panache Lingerie. My passion is to see fuller busted women embrace their curves, feel amazing and confident by wearing the right fitting bras with beautiful and colorful options (not just black, beige and white). I believe that the foundation of any good wardrobe is underwear.

”Today I look in the mirror and see a woman that has learnt to love herself unconditionally, a woman who has learnt not to be too hard on herself and a woman who has learnt to embrace her curves.”

When you launched your business, did you have prior knowledge on how
you could run one? How did you make it work
?

Yes, I worked at Deacons Kenya Limited a retail company that run the franchise for Woolworths, Truworths, Identity, Bossini, Mr. Price amongst others. I left my Banking job to try my hand at Retail. I was appointed as the General Manger of Truworths and Identity where I was trained and exposed to running a retail business.

 How long have you been in business? And what would you say has been
the most rewarding highlight of your journey so far?

We have been in business 2 ½ years and the most rewarding moments is seeing customers delighted about knowing their bra size because we do free professional bra fitting sessions. They walk out in their new bra which not only gives them the lift & support but make them feel powerful, brilliant, beautiful and confident.

What new innovation have you introduced to your business?

Offering Free Professional bra fitting sessions to women and girls, we are keen on ensuring they know the importance of wearing the right bra size. As we believe that the foundation of any good wardrobe is underwear. In addition, we have created a premium shopping experience where ladies feel comfortable, understood, appreciated and empowered.

What message are you trying to pass with your business and how can
you measure the impact so far?

Mycurves wants every woman to feel amazing and confident and to confidently say ‘I love mycurves’. We have received and continue to receive amazing and inspiring customer feedback. We are growing with our customers and they inspire us by embracing their curves and living to their fullest potential.

What will you say is responsible for your success?

An amazing team that continuously strives for excellence both in how we source and market our products whilst ensuring we are always offering superior customer experience. We also credit our success so far to amazing customers who have supported us.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in the course of running
your business, and what’s kept you going?

Sourcing capital to scale, getting good quality goods with consistent quality, recruiting staff who embrace the vision of the business.

What has kept me going is God and believing in the vision that I have for the business; family and staff members who keep encouraging me. Meeting and interacting with other entrepreneurs who have scaled ahead of me issuing guidance, listening ear, advice and sometimes a much-needed reality check.

What’s your five-year plan for your business?

To be the leading Lingerie store in East Africa. To be surrounded by an amazing team of staff members who will drive the vision into existence.

What do upcoming female entrepreneurs need to do to be successful in
this path?

”Feel the fear but do it anyway” is the starting point. As women, we over think things to the point we can’t move forward with our ideas. You would rather try and fail than not to try at all. Its not you who fails it’s the idea.

We are our own worst enemies we doubt ourselves we self-sabotage and don’t always support other women.

Having said that we need to strive for excellence, work hard nothing comes easy I am not there yet but I can tell you have to put in the time, passion,love, pray without ceasing, and you must know the business you are going into as much as possible ..do your research, keep learning from your mistakes laugh and cry but move forward, the devil is the details,  keep your eye on the finances , know your stock, empower your staff and be patient.

 

The LLA Lady Boss Series is a weekly interview series that highlights the achievements and entrepreneurial journeys of African female entrepreneurs. The idea is to showcase the Leading Ladies who are transforming Africa and the African narrative through enterprise and business.

It is an off-shoot of Leading Ladies Africa, a non-profit that promotes leadership, inclusion and diversity for women of African descent.

If you know any kick-ass women of African Descent doing phenomenal things in enterprise, email lead@leadingladiesafrica.org, and she could possibly be featured.

 

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