Dolly Mungai: The Kenyan Who Shops For Billionaire Aliko Dangote, Paul Pogba

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Dolly Mungai: The Kenyan Who Shops For Billionaire Aliko Dangote, Paul Pogba
Dolly Mungai Image/Fotophreak

By Kimani Kuria 

You might be asking, Who is a personal shopper, and what do they do? According to Dolly Mungai, her work involves shopping for others for a living. Personal shoppers can purchase a variety of items including furniture, groceries, with a majority dealing in outfits and accessories. 

Dolly Mungai started off at Harrolds as a salesperson and in the process built herself a reputation with top global brands including Balenciaga and Gucci. Her passion in fashion was an inherent quality since her formative years when she would spend hours digging through fashion magazines. She has grown this passion into a multi-million business empire in the United Kingdom and looks to further that in her time in Kenya having recently moved back.

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Early Life

The fashionista celebrated her fourth birthday in the London. Dolly’s mother had landed an opportunity to study therapy in the UK, a decision she took without second thoughts. In an article published on Fotophreak, the personal shopper recounted how her interest was sparked at a young age.

“From a tender age of 6 I have always had the love for fashion. Every time we would go shopping, I would always end up at the magazine section instead of looking at toys as was the norm for young kids my age,” read part of her story in the online publication.

Dolly is thirty-two years old as of 2021 and attributes her work ethic and success to her mother. She describes her relationship with her mother being a deep connection transcending friendship. Dolly’s mother taught her about womanhood, finances, courage, and a deep and honest connection with oneself. Some of the dyslexia challenges she faces include difficulty remembering things like appointments and passwords and struggling with reading and writing. With this she has overcome many challenges and is taking on greater challenges – a societal mindset change. She hopes that with her move back she will impact parents and the general society to deal differently  with dyslexics. 

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Career

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Dolly Mungai built networks with YSL, Prada and other reputable brands while working at Harrolds as a salesperson. She started getting referrals and was soon on a solopreneurship journey. Her main motivation to practise solo was the amount of money she was making for her employers. She quit her job at 20 years to venture own her own as personal shopper. 

Her new business model was not capital intensive as all she needed was a few business cards and ran her business from her bedroom. In her own words, “I had landed my dream job as it involved offering a service instead of a product. I went down this route knowing that I was already a product.”

Her job entailed closet sorting, taking clients out for shopping trips and sourcing new outfits.

With a transparent and honest approach to her capacity as a personal shopper, she has travelled to fifty three countries and worked with the world’s biggest names. These include the Crystal Palace team, billionaire Aliko Dangote, Manchester United’s Frenchman Paul Pogba and retired football legend David Beckham’s wife and Victoria Beckham.

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On Dyslexia

Dolly Mungai is not only a fashion guru and budding entrepreneur, but also an activist seeking to inform people on dyslexia. According to Mayoclinic, learners with this disorder have  difficulties reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words. Some of the signs of dyslexia include late talking, learning new words slowly and a delay in learning to read. Dolly had a difficult time retaining numeric memory, and keeping track of timed matters.

In an interview with Amina Mohammed, Dolly said that she wanted to demystify dyslexia in Kenya citing that in Africa, there was a misinformed opinion of dyslexics. Successful celebrities and personalities such as Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Jobs, Octavia Spencer, and CNN News Anchor Anderson Cooper were diagnosed with Dyslexia but went on to achieve greatness.

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