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Jackee Kasandy: Kenyan Woman Minting Millions Selling Kiondo Bags for Ksh18K Each in Canada

Jackee Kasandy is a Kenyan entrepreneur in Canada, renowned for making and selling unique kiondo bags in the North America nation. Some of the bags are decorated with the signature Maasai shuka.

She relocated to Canada at 23 and eventually settled in Vancouver. During her trips to Kenya, she would go back to Canada with kiondos and scarves. They appealed to many people she came across and they would often compliment her.

In Vancouver, people were curious about the bags, prompting her to venture into the business of selling the kiondo bags. She set up an online store, Kasandy, and a physical shop.

Entrepreneur Jackee Kasandy, with a sample of her bag collection posing for a photo. |Photo| Courtesy|
Entrepreneur Jackee Kasandy, with a sample of her bag collection posing for a photo. |Photo| Courtesy|

“People in Vancouver are receptive, they care about making a difference in the world and are interested in handmade products, and they are curious and excited about the stories of the people they buy from.”

Jackee Kasandy sells African scarves, jewellery, wooden kitchenware, among others. The kiondo bags go for a maximum of US$150 (Ksh18,330).

She sells African scarves, jewellery, wooden kitchenware, among others. The kiondo bags go for a maximum of US$150 (Ksh18,330).

Kasandy co-founded Black Entrepreneurs & Businesses of Canada (BEBC) and serves as the company’s chief executive officer (CEO). She is keen to empower young entrepreneurs and in 2022, she launched a contest that saw awardees get Ksh3 million to start their businesses.

She notes the challenges of securing financial aid as a young entrepreneur and is determined to help others get past a hurdle that delayed her success.

“I was having difficulty accessing funding, being viewed by financial institutions and even investors as unfundable because of the system and how it works,” she recounted.

Growing up in Kenya, Jackee Kasandy was always curious about travelling the world.

A collage of kiondo bags sold by Jackee Kasandy. |Photo| Courtesy|
A collage of kiondo bags sold by Jackee Kasandy. |Photo| Courtesy|