A while back, I happened to meet two lovely ladies in Diani; their friendship, humor and style was very infectious and it resonated well when we decided to do a photo shoot at the beach for their blog. I decided to get a little bit up close and personal with them after the shoot, to find out more about Nguoz and what it entailed!
Q1. So, tell us more about Nguoz; what is it all about, and what was the inspiration behind that name?
Sheila ; Well,we initially wanted to call ourselves ‘the Garment mistresses’ but a friend and mentor told us to instead use a name that was catchy,relevant and to the point and he suggested ‘Nguoz’,we liked it and it stuck’
Lynn; Yeah when starting out we scoured all over for a name which would be fun and catchy but also capture the essence of what we do and where our interests lie, and with time the name “nguoz” came to fit the bill haha I’ve just remembered the garment mistresses was going to be abbreviated to TGM
Q2. Is it one of those passions that you’ve both had for a while, or did you wake up one day and decide to create Nguoz?
Sheila ;It is a passion we both had for a very long time,procrastinated about then finally decided to execute our idea
Lynn; We had spoken about Nguoz for about 1.5 years before we set up the website and committed to pursuing our passion in fashion and plunged into the Kenyan blogosphere, we are still learning new things everyday as we work with different and very talented bloggers as well as photogs such as yourself.
Q3. We have so many fashion blogs in Kenya lately, and people might think that Nguoz is just another fashion blog; what makes Nguoz stand out from the rest?
Sheila; Well,if you look at most of our posts,there is a deeper message beneath just looking pretty and posing for the camera,we have done posts on sensitive issues such as Women empowerment eg the African Princess Warrior and ‘Water,Fire,Earth
Lynn; Yes as Sheila has said, it is about social messages as well and not just fashion, for example the post Masked is about self examination and improvement. We are also launching nguo initiative which will be a project done in conjunction with homeless in Nairobi, the specifics are still under discussion and I hope for the best
Q4. You both work secularly, how do you manage to juggle between work and Nguoz?
Sheila; We both have crazy work schedules but we always find time on weekends for our shoots,we also try and do at least three outfit posts per shoot
Lynn; Sacrifice is a must for passions and for dreams, when you really want something you make time for it and that’s what we strive to do, we are looking at being more consistent in the coming months
Q5. What vision do you have for Nguoz in the next five years?
Sheila; To be a household name on the fashion front not just locally but also internationally
Lynn; to be an inspiration to other upcoming bloggers, especially those with unique ideas, don’t listen to nay sayers, keep your head down, do the work and be consistent, the rest will come.
Q6. You both are very creative with your accessories and outfits; do you have any plans of launching designs of your own in the near future?
Sheila;Yes,definitely……working on it already
Lynn; I have already launched my clothing line, “Adora for Nguoz”, showcasing my designs, it will be up on www.nguoz.com soon, the inspiration behind it is simple elegance with a touch of haute couture, it’s a mixture of pieces with varying textures and styles, I hope you shall be able to share them on your page and even get a few pieces for yourself hahaha
Q7. Between Sheelah and Doreen, who is more likely to cheat on a diet?
Sheila; Definitely Doreen….she eats Pizza every day (hides)
Lyn; Hahahahaha this is actually true, sad but true lol I am a junk food addict but I’m hitting the gym pretty hard from the beginning of August, fitness is crucial, Sheila eats like a hog but never gets fat
Q8. Who are your inspirations when it comes to fashion and why?
Sheila; I am a huge supporter of local fashion and I admire Nancie Mwai especially after her comeback and also Joy Kendi….that Bih is just fiiiiiiierce
Lynn; My fashion inspirations locally would be Anne Mcreath of Kiko Romeo, her pieces are exquisite, as well as Wandia Gichuru from ViVo. Internationally I would say Givenchy, their designs are fearless and they don’t mind imperfection to create beauty, I can also mention Victoria Beckham who is a fashion Icon in every way, Maison Valentino, Ralph and Ruso are soooo good they make me blush with their keen attention to every single detail, not to mention Balmain, Mario Testino among many others who inpire me daily to lose myself inside my imagination and continue to create.
Q9. With your busy schedules, how do you both manage to maintain a perfect beach bod, or do you bathe with unicorn tears and feed on Idris Elba’s smile?
Sheila; I recently started going to the gym and work out at least four days a week,but to be honest,my bod is just genetic,I thank my mama for my good genes(vanity alert)
Lynn; Hehehe vain much Sheila? I have mastered the art of breathing in and holding my gut in for hours lol but mine is just luck, I am hitting the gym though cos I feel like my luck is running out faaast!
Q10. What wise words would you give a creative trapped in a boring 9-5 schedule, who’s still afraid of taking the plunge?
Sheila; Just do it…..take the plunge…..
Lynette; Close your eyes, imagine that you never tried, never risked failure, never stepped out of your comfort zone. 10 years, twenty, still nothing. How would that make you feel? A wise person who struck out on his own told me it takes around 5 years for a new idea to stabilize and barely start to be income earning, do you want to start your 5 years now or when you are 30,40 or 50? Read the story of Vera Wang, its never too late but start now if you can, because you can. Start where you are with what you have.
Always remember, “GREAT THINGS NEVER CAME FROM COMFORT ZONES”
A few snippets of the photoshoot we did at Leopard Beach. Be sure to check out more of their designs on www.nguoz.com