By Prudence Minayo
Jade Collections is a family retail shop that specializes in selling clothes to children, women and men. 15% of their clothes are sourced locally while the rest are from the Far East and Europe. They have several branches in different parts of the country including Nairobi, Thika and Eldoret plus hundreds of employees. This successful clothing business is the brainchild of Banice Mburu who is also the co-founder. According to the businessdaily, Banice’s father, billionaire Mzee Samwel Mburu, is the owner of Jade Collections.
His is the profile of both the father and his daughter as told by WoK.
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We begin with Mzee Mburu.
Mzee Samwel Mburu
Little was known about Mzee Mburu until his grandchildren, Kevin Wakaimba and Ivan Wakaimba, sued him for a slice of the family fortune. The two accused their grandfather of sidelining them after their father, Sammy Wakaimba, died in a grisly road accident 31 years ago. The brothers told the court that Mzee Mburu evicted them from their father’s 100 acre farm in Eldoret town.
Kevin and Ivan now want the courts to compel their grandfather to share part of his fortune with them including Jade Collection.
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He is 80 years old.
He has 8 children.
Property, Businesses and net worth
Mzee Mburu has business premises and several flats in Nairobi. His business empire has tentacles in Nairobi, Nakuru and Eldoret and has prime plots in major towns across the country. His estimated net worth is kes7 billion.
According to Pulse live, one of his biggest banks in Kenya has rented out his entire building.
Banice Mburu Age & Family
She is fifty years old. Banice’s interest in entrepreneurship was ignited by her parents who ran successful businesses in Eldoret and other major towns.
The Jade Collections co-founder is a mother of one.
While in high school, her sense of fashion kept growing. She would visit different tailors in her Eldoret home town and buy materials. She would then proceed to sew her own designs. The successful businesswoman went to Kagumo Teachers Training College. Her parents were willing to send her to the United States for further studies but she declined and instead pursued business.
Banice started out as a teacher and worked at Flamingo Secondary School in Nakuru. She taught Geography and Agriculture. The fashionista was not content with teaching and often felt something was amiss.
During school breaks, she would travel to South Africa and use her savings to buy clothes. She would then hawk them during weekends and her free time.
Finally, she quit teaching and decided to join the clothing industry. Her first clothing stall in Nakuru would then be born. The stall did so well and within no time she knew she was onto something big. The stall also became too small to sustain her ambitions.
In 2005, she moved to Nairobi and opened an exhibition center at the Central Business District. This performed well until two twin tragedies forestalled her growth. First, due to allegations of money laundering, Charterhouse bank was put under statutory management. Her money, running in millions, was locked up in the bank.
The second tragedy was when a client who had ordered a 40-foot container of clothes cancelled the order when the container was in the high seas.
While this would have put down many, she took it in her stride and pressed on. She embarked on a journey to look for enough space to open her business. It took about a year before she was able to find the appropriate store space located opposite the Fire station along Tom Mboya Street, Nairobi. It needed a lot of work since it was in poor condition, but that did not stop her.
In 2008, the first branch of Jade Collection began operations with 25 employees. At first, she had no experience in hiring professionals and ended up hiring friends, family and neighbours. She soon realised this was a costly mistake as some of them were not cut out for the job. She then hired a recruiting agency to train her employees.
Jade Collections expanded to Thika in 2013 and in 2014 opened a store in Eldoret. Apart from just her love for fashion, Ms. Mburu wanted to create a clothing brand that was simply Kenyan. It saddened her that back in the day the main retail clothing stores were South African.
In September 2021, the retailer began a restructuring process in order to downsize store space. This was necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic which saw a lot of businesses’ profits plunge. Jade Collections was not spared as the CEO said the profits went down because during the pandemic buying outfits was not at the forefront of people’s needs.
In the restructure, the founder said they planned on relocating physical stores that occupy larger spaces to smaller spaces. This move was in a bid to lower the cost of maintenance and rent. Early 2021, Jade Collections was operating stores in 8 branches, three in Nairobi CBD, Mombasa road, Westlands, Thika, Eldoret and Kisumu.