Early Beginnings

Gabriel John’s passion for fashion was ignited during his high school days. Growing up in Kenya, Gabriel attended a day school where weekends were reserved for civilian clothing. Even then, he stood out, often donning full official attire, complete with a tie, much to the amazement of his peers and teachers. This unique fashion sense earned him the nickname “dress to kiss.” His passion for fashion continued to flourish as he progressed to university, where he consistently wore affordable yet unique attire. It was during his fourth year at university that Gabriel took a bold step, turning his passion into a business venture by hawking men’s blazers and accessories such as ties and lapels in hostels, despite the illegality of the practice.

Establishing Le~Gabrielle Collections

Founded in 2017, Le~Gabrielle Collections (LGC) is a fashion design company that offers a wide range of official and casual clothing for men, women, and children, alongside shoes and various wardrobe accessories. The company also specializes in branding services, including customized hoodies, t-shirts, mugs, bottles, and umbrellas. LGC’s mission is to provide superior design, quality, elegance, and value to global customers, with a vision of making modern fashion accessible to everyone, regardless of budget. At its core, LGC believes that quality and responsibly produced fashion should not be a matter of price.

Product Offerings and Business Model

Le~Gabrielle Collections offers a comprehensive range of fashion products and services. The company designs and sews custom clothes based on client specifications and sells ready-made clothing. In addition to apparel, LGC provides branding services, creating personalized items such as mugs and bottles. Revenue is generated through the sale of these products and services, with profitability sustained by purchasing ready-made clothes at low prices and selling them at reasonable margins. The business model also includes sewing custom clothes and offering branding services at profitable rates.

Understanding and Meeting Market Needs

LGC’s target market is broad, encompassing men, women, and children, as clothing is a basic necessity. To understand and meet the needs of this diverse market, Gabriel employs strategies such as encouraging existing customers to provide referrals, offering price reductions on certain products, and providing free delivery and giveaways like branded pens and keyholders. Customer feedback is actively sought through suggestion boxes and direct conversations, ensuring the company can adapt and improve its offerings continuously.

Differentiation and Unique Value

What sets Le~Gabrielle Collections apart from its competitors is its unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. Gabriel ensures that each client receives the exact services and products they desire, tailored to their unique specifications. Additionally, LGC builds strong relationships with its customers by offering gifts such as branded pens and mugs. The company’s dedication to quality and customer relations has helped it carve out a distinct niche in the fashion industry.

Milestones and Achievements

Since its inception, Le~Gabrielle Collections has achieved several significant milestones. Gabriel has dressed top Kenyan celebrities, including prime-time news anchors Trevor Ombija and Rashid Abdallah. The company has also designed outfits for numerous weddings and special events. Gabriel’s entrepreneurial efforts have been recognized with multiple award nominations, including the FOYA Global Awards 2023 for Fashionpreneur of the Year (Under 30), the SOYA Africa Awards 2023 for Most Promising Startup of the Year, and the Total Energies Awards 2022 for Startup of the Year.

Overcoming Challenges

Gabriel’s journey has not been without challenges. Financial constraints have been the most significant obstacle, with the current economic climate making it difficult to expand and stock the business adequately. Fluctuations in customer traffic, bad debts, and high remittance charges have also posed considerable challenges. Gabriel has addressed these issues by avoiding offering products and services on credit, thus eliminating the problem of bad debts. However, the struggle for consistent financial resources remains a hurdle.

Embracing Innovation

Innovation is at the heart of Le~Gabrielle Collections’ strategy to stay ahead of industry trends. Gabriel has embraced technology by using special software to record sales and manage stock. Additionally, he leverages AI-generated outfit designs to create unique pieces for clients, ensuring the business remains cutting-edge and competitive in the fast-paced fashion industry.

Sustainability and Social Responsibility

LGC addresses sustainability by using readily available, natural fabrics to create its clothing. The company also engages in social responsibility by partnering with other firms for community events such as Miss/Mr. Nairobi. This commitment to sustainability and community involvement helps build a positive reputation and aligns with the company’s core values.

Long-term Vision and Growth

Gabriel’s long-term vision for Le~Gabrielle Collections is to become a household brand known for offering high-quality wardrobe products. He plans to achieve this by consistently delivering exceptional goods and services, thereby earning the trust and loyalty of customers. Gabriel envisions expanding the brand across major African cities, ensuring sustainable growth through a methodical and customer-focused approach.

Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Gabriel’s journey offers valuable lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs. He advises them to seize opportunities whenever they arise, stay alert, and be prepared. He emphasizes the importance of starting with available resources, embracing the organic growth of the business, and being relentless in the pursuit of their goals. Gabriel’s mantra, “The perfect opportunity will always come when you least expect it. Stay Alert and be ready,” underscores his belief in perseverance and proactive action.