The JW Show is one of the most coveted and well attended events in Kenya, graced by celebrities and fashion idols. The show has created a space where fashion entrepreneurs: models, photographers, make-up artists, stylists, bloggers, magazine writers and editors, fabric designers and choreographers just to mention but a few to have their works celebrated and highlighted.
Made in Kenya by Kenyans is Jeffrey’s tagline to emphasize on, support and encourage Kenyans to buy and wear Kenyan designs. Last year’s event, saw people from different parts of the world embrace the Kenyan touch and made it a talk in the city. We were privileged to get hold of Jeffrey Wilson, a fashion entrepreneur and the carrier of the vision behind the show.
He is sharp, cool, calm and composed.
Nice suit! And nice shoes! My icebreaker.
Made in Kenya by Kenyans.
Remarkable confidence. We dive into our business.
Jeffrey was raised by his grandmother who passed on in 2016. He gives little about his background and mentions God as the main figure in his household besides friends who have been through thick and thin with him. He was an accounting student at Strathmore University before he dropped out to pursue Event Management as a freelance in 2012.
I started out at a friend’s club. Joseph Musymi. He believed in me and my dreams and generously gave me a platform to soar. It was all merry at the beginning. My first crowd had fifty people and the more I did gigs, the more people I attracted. Good and bad. Sponsors, partners, friends, name them took note of the vision and wanted to walk with me, but most of their intentions were not right. I thank God for the wisdom and the guidance he provided when I was naive.
My plight in entrepreneurship is not any different from any other youth. I have had my fair share of financial struggles, disappointments, failures, testing every venture that would give me the best push. The JW Show idea came to me in a dream. I love to spend quality time in my sleep because that is where my ideas sprout from. Kenya has a lot of potential in the fashion and creative industry but we lack this recognition and that is the gap I decided to narrow. The show last year saw people last from different parts of Africa and the world embrace Kenyan designers. The house was fully packed, colorfully dressed individuals in Kenyan attire to embrace and support more of their own. I was even awed! Where have they been all this time? Among the audience we had Betty Kyalo, Valentine Nekesa, Chakana Fashion D, El Afryq D, Liz Njoroge, Chakana Fashion D, just to mention but a few. It was fulfilling to have such an amazing show and I give it up to the sponsors, friends and partners who genuinely supported the dream.
The show has been recognized internationally, more sponsors are coming on board and we have managed to create employment for people in the creative industry: models, photographers, designers and bloggers. We are indeed grateful to God for the far we have come and we cannot wait for the more He has in store for us!
I believe very much in myself. I believe I am the most powerful prophet to myself. I give myself direction and channel my energy to hit the mark. I am my own mentor, but I do not disregard the lessons I pick from my day to day interactions. To my fellow youths, it is important to be true to yourself, your passions and dreams. Have absolute faith in God and He will fulfill the desires of your heart. Further, in order to have a sustainable industry, we need strong collaborations, to appreciate and support one another.
Needless to say, Jeffrey Wilson and his entire team are in the highway to creating a stable industry by connecting Africa and the world through fabric and design. He exclusively wears locally tailored designs. The JW show is one to always look forward to in the fashion calendar. Coming up on the 28th February is a Media cocktail launch event for all those in the Media industry. For reservations send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give a call at +254724748796.
You can connect with the JW show team on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @thejwshow.