23-Year-old Caroline Kibati of the mskibati.com fashion blog is making waves as the style influencer to watch out for in Kenya. Ms.Kibati who is the perfect definition of beauty and brains is a Bachelor of Business and Information Technology Degree holder and is currently pursuing her Diploma in Business Management at Strathmore University.
She began blogging in December 2013 quickly securing her place as one of the most influential go to fashion bloggers in Kenya. She was nominated for this year’s BAKE awards under the Best Fashion/Beauty/Hair/Style Blog just a year into her blogging and emerged 3rd place.
There’s no denying that Ms. Kibati’s is a woman on the move in the fashion world and her style is practical. Her blog consistent, well thought out and her photographs very professional. Her short stint in blogging has seen her work with top brands such as Barclays bank, Samsung, Nakumatt, Microsoft, Hilton Hotel Nairobi and the list is endless. We caught up with her for a little chat on what inspires her style, the secret behind her success and a little advice for bloggers looking to monetize their blogs below.
1. What made you venture into fashion blogging? My desire and love for fashion as a way to appreciate and express ourselves. The ability to be able to help celebrate and encourage women to be proud of who they are no matter how different they look and feel through fashion. The power to be able to share the message of being able to embrace what makes each one of them different in a world that is tries to make all women look and act the same. All these through the language of fashion blogging.
2. How would you describe your style? My style is chic, urban, and practical.
3. What are some of your current fashion obsessions? Oh my. I’m obsessed with a lot. Currently Midi A line skirts, Waterfall coats, Fringe fashion (on both clothing and shoes and bags), fish tail dresses..I could go on and on and on!!!
4. Who is your number one fashion inspiration? Internationally, I’d have to say Victoria Beckham. She stayed true to her style since forever.
5. Balancing school, social life and keeping a consistent blog is tasking how do you manage to do it? I’d say its all about managing your time right and maximizing on all the little free time I get. It’s difficult but eventually, you get the hang of it all.
6. What is the secret behind the success you have witnessed so far after such just a short period into it? Consistency. I could say this over an over and end up sounding like a broken record, but I’ve learnt that the only secret to success is consistency and staying true to who you are.
7. One thing people do not know about you? That I’m left handed perhaps?
8. What is the most memorable event that has happened thanks to your fashion blog? I would definitely have to say my blog awards nomination just one year into blogging. I was able to secure a nomination in one the most prestigious awards in Kenya, BAKE Awards. I came in 3rd in the best fashion blog in Kenya category, but the nomination itself was a win.
9. Do you believe the fashion blogging world is overpopulated and what is the biggest mistake Kenyan girls are making when it comes to blogging ? Definitely it is. But then again we all have our different reasons for going into it. The mistake most Kenyan girls are making is going into it before understanding their bodies and what works for them first. There’s a lot of imitation going around and that loses the originality of personal style blogs in general. There’s also a fad of some sort that people are doing it just to be known and to make money. But once they get to understand how much work, time and effort goes into it, they quit. Understand the industry first. Establish your unique point. Then decide whether it’s something you’re passionate about. Then the money will follow.
10. What is the most frustrating aspect of fashion blogging? What I’d like to call a creative mind block because you constantly have to be creative in your work and give people a reason to come back tomorrow for new content. It happens to the best of us but eventually we work through it.
11. What would you say that is the greatest satisfaction of being a fashion blogger? Interaction with people most definitely because through these interactions I have been able to acquire networks I never thought I would have and learnt a thing or two from different people I get to interact with.
12. Where do you see your blog in the next 2 years? In two years, I would love to have increased my blogging skills to a level that will enable me to train others on how to do this; I think that as much as there are many bloggers out there, there are very few professionals at it. I love blogging, and I’ve found that I really enjoy mentoring the younger generation on ways to transform it into a business, so I would be thrilled to be able to combine the two – blogging and training or mentoring. In the long run, I want my blog to become an internationally recognized voice in the fashion industry.
13. What tips would you give upcoming bloggers on monetizing their blogs? Be consistent. Work for free if you have to in order to build your brand. The only way you can get your name out there is through a lot of consistency in your work and sometimes to build your brand, to get that content, you will have to work for free because its something you’re passionate about. Eventually, it all pays off.
All photos courtesy mskibati.com