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Alice Kivuva: The Minds Behind Kenya’s Unique Africa-inspired Sports Apparel Brand

Alice Kivuva is the founder and CEO of FiveStars Africa Sports, an apparel company dealing in cycling, gym, triathlon and athletics attires.

She established the company in 2017 with the intention of creating a comfortable, stylish and fashionable active sports wear.

Besides this, Alice wanted to promote the African culture by incorporating beautiful African prints into their designs.

Here is her story as told by WoK.

Alice took up cycling in 2015.

While she embraced the idea of being kitted, Alice had a hard time finding cycling kits that were comfortable and stylish.

It is the desire to have a stylish and unique cycling kit that saw her establish FiveStars Africa Sports Apparel in 2017.

“Believe that ethnic diversity adds richness to a society, I’m being able to look at our heritage and cultural diversity for inspiration on getting to share that with the world through sports, fitness and fashion,” she said.

Alice started her business with a capital of Ksh 100,000, and initially targeted the local cycling community although it was not big at the time.

At some point, she had to shelve the plan for a later time when the cycling community in Kenya had grown and more people were into it.

“My first option was local production but looking at the numbers and the kind of capital investment it would require, it would have been impossible to get started,” she recalled.

When Alice eventually got into business, she started with a small range of cycling kits, triathlon kits and athleisure apparel.

She mentioned lack of financing as the major challenge in her business.

“It has not always been easy and there are times that I have suffered major setbacks, delays and had gaps in supply due to inadequate finance, slowing down the growth process significantly,” she said.

FiveStars Africa Sports models PHOTO/Original

According to Alice, it is for this reason that she decided to stick with online shops and working with outlet stores instead of having a physical store.

“We are currently working towards setting up a local production base. This will enable us to migrate some of our processes in the country as we grow our markets, have better control and create employment in the process,” she said.

In terms of production, Alice sources her fabric materials from Asia and Europe, and personally handles all the artwork and designs.

“We seek to shine spotlight in particular to the Kenya Cycling Community. There is an under-representative of the sport in the international scene not because the talent is lacking but because proper structures need to be put in place,” she said.

FiveStars Africa Sports produces and sells among other sporting gear, cycling gear and accessories such as jackets, jerseys, windbreakers, cycling bip shorts, shorts, gloves and socks.

Alice has worked with First Lady Rachel Ruto, Nairobi Women Rep Esther Passaris and corporates such as Standard Chartered Marathon, Commonwealth games and UCI Paralympics Championships.