Tedd Josiah: Ex-Music Producer Making Upto Ksh29,500 Per Bag Selling Leather Bags

Tedd Josiah: How Ex-Music Producer Is Building 'Jokajok' Luxury Leather Bags Empire
( Tedd Josiah posing with one of his Jokajok Luxury Leather Bag, photo courtesy )

Tedd Josiah is the founder of Jokajok bags, a line of luxury bags that is proving irresistible and giving the likes of Prada, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana a run for their money.

The Ex-Music producer who has over 100 hits to his name is quickly becoming a household name in the Kenyan leather industry thanks to his stylish leather bags.

So loved are his luxury bags that top government officials today proudly rock them. Chief Justice Martha Koome and former Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina have been spotted flaunting one of his best selling brands, Wendo Tote bag.

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Here is his story as told by WoK.

How JokaJok leather studio came to be

On September 30, 2017, just three months after delivering their daughter Jameela Josiah, Tedd’s wife, Regina Katar, a fashion enthusiast, died of childbirth complications.

Mr. Josiah then plunged himself into the entrepreneurial world as part of his grieving process and that is how JokaJok came to be. The brand derives its name from the initials of his name, his late wife, and their seven-year-old daughter.

“During this journey, I realized different phases require different personalities of me. I became, not only a mum but an entrepreneur, leading me to changing my career while in my forties to becoming a bag maker.” Tedd says.

After the first bags came out of the stitching machines he shared the product on his social media platforms and it was not long before the brand got a buzz. However, it was not all rosy.

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The start-up began with one stitching machine, a slash cutter, and an artisan. He sold only two bags in the month the business started.

“I sold one to a pilot and a banker. Each of those bags was Ksh39,000 but I am glad they believed in us,” he says.

Today his home houses the JokaJok leather studio-where they work 24 hours. Shifts are neatly planned to ensure production never stops until it’s Sunday then the routine resumes the next day.

“The leather studio is more spacious than where we were before. We had to move because the business grew and we wanted a decent place for clients who ask to visit the factory,” he says.

How JokaJok bags are marketed. 

Mr. Josiah is a big believer in the power of social media, something he learnt while working as a music producer. The father of one uses Instagram, as his main marketing platform, to reach new clients far and wide.

JokaJok’s Instagram page so far has over 28,000 followers and his personal Instagram page has over 309,000 followers.

“I have never marketed my product any other place other than on my socials and it gives me so much satisfaction to see people believing in a Kenyan brand and willing to put aside a Gucci.”

JokaJok bags up for grabs

Mr. Josiah produces a wide variety of stylish bags from leather cigar pouch, laptop bags, to handbags to suit your every different need.

Wendo Tote, a feminine bag named after JJ, is JokaJok’s best seller.

“Wendo means love, it’s our bestseller. It costs Sh2,400 to purchase the leather alone, now put into consideration all the other factors of production before you can have a finished product, I strongly believe it’s a bargain,” Tedd says.

The prices of the bags range from Ksh 9500 to Ksh 29,500. 

“Leather is expensive to work with, it is a luxurious product because processing and creating hides is an expensive venture. But also you purchase it per square foot and whatever the size of the hide is, is what you buy, it’s never cut into little pieces,” he says.

Since the first bag rolled out of the stitching machine, JokaJok bags popularity have soared and with it the company’s manpower.

“The team is growing with demand, we currently have seven full-time employees. We also outsource when the workload is excess,” he says.

Today, JokaJok not only sells locally, but also internationally. Tedd says he has customers in Nigeria, South Africa, the US, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Dubai, and South Sudan.

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