“Being born and raised in the UK has both advantages and disadvantages. My most frequently asked question is where I call home; my answer is that I have a jewel nationality. Kenya is home and so is the UK. My mother being a free-spirited woman, her fruit could not fall too far from the tree.” This is the story of Kenyan Fashion Stylist Dollyquintter Mungai.


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“The story of my life began when my mother landed an opportunity to study therapy in the UK, and she took it without looking back. For me it was an adventure and for her it was the scariest thing having to move from the environment she was used to, to a totally different set up. The cultural way of life, language, environment, food and so much more was totally different in the UK. I had my fourth birthday in London, a bit low key this time, which for me was a quite odd; since I had gotten used to being in the company of a large number of family members during such occasions. As days moved into months and months into years, we settled in London and it became home.

Apart from fashion, Dolly enjoys riding and shooting targets as a sport
Apart from fashion, Dolly enjoys riding and shooting targets as a sport

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. And it always turned out that I would pick a fashion magazine. Flicking through pages, looking at the bright colors and textures of fabric which I knew nothing about then, but could only touch. The color of the Fashion models always caught my eyes and this gave me another hobby.

My love for fashion I would say started there. From staring at the outfits in the magazines to watching people whenever I’m traveling, and paying attention on the color and fabric of their outfit. I would look out through the window to see what people wore. I enjoyed this even more although I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking at. I loved watching the strong black women in my family get dressed up; their sense of style was so diverse. My grandmother always had this beautiful embroidered silk soft head scarf, that she used tie round her head so delicately, while my mother stayed inspired in her 90’s styles; Tommy Hilfiger jeans dungarees, and her box braids. At this point, I knew this is what I wanted to do. So I would always give my opinion on what they should wear. And I could tell my opinion really counted.

Fast forward to my working life. I worked in a Fashion store called Harrods. It was the center of fashion where big brands like GUCCI, Prada, YSL and many others were located. Clients in Harrods were on a different level as you had women and men from all over the world. The world became my runway at this point. I enjoyed every minute working at the fashion shop. But then I needed more. I quit my job at the shop at the age of 20 and started my own business – a personal shopper.

Starting my own business didn’t need a lot of capital other than a few business cards. All it takes is to have in-depth experience and strong clientele. 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. It entails closet sorting. This new venture opened doors for me as my world of fashion deepened my understanding. My interest and niche in this industry continued to grow as I understood culture before coming into fashion. My upbringing had played a big role and for me this was a beautiful thing. With all that I had learnt I wanted more. I wanted to run my own business; and I knew I could do it in spite of being dyslexic.

I took that leap of faith and stylist Dolly was born. I started by running my small business in my bedroom. I started off by designing my business cards. My services would include closet sorting, taking clients out for shopping trips and sourcing new outfits. I loved and enjoyed this each and every day. Having moved from my childhood dream of flicking through magazines and now flicking through peoples closets; my clients. My job enabled me to travel to over 52 different countries; both in middle east Asia and the west. This is where the magic started as my love for peoples closet expanded even more. My knowledge and experience in fabrics and texture took an upward turn. Travelling gave me an outburst of what it was to truly understand fashion and culture as they go hand-in-hand.

Proud daughter of a Yemeni father and a Kenyan mother. Dolly speaks Arabic, Swahili, English, Kikuyu (vernacular) and is currently learning Mandarin
Proud daughter of a Yemeni father and a Kenyan mother. Dolly speaks Arabic, Swahili, English, Kikuyu (vernacular) and is currently learning Mandarin

Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. Stores were closed. Some of the measures and policies enacted meant I couldn’t travel, I couldn’t sort out my client’s closets, and I couldn’t go shopping. My whole business concept was on pause for over a year. And being the true entrepreneur that I am, I sat down and brainstormed on what best I could I do. I needed new strategies to save my business without necessarily travelling, and without being there physically. I resorted to zoom with my existing clients. Using zoom, I called and started sending out packages for different types of outfits. This was made possible as I already had the connections with different fashion stores. Revamping my whole business to online was very challenging as it was not what I had been used to. I was on the verge of giving up and going on to try different things. I had to shift my business to online, which was a bit difficult for me as I love interacting with my clients in real world.

My future plan for the business is to take over the East African fashion market; bringing in luxury products and basic good quality products at affordable prices depending on one’s needs and preferences. I also aim to be a fashion ambassador in my hometown and let those that haven’t been given the opportunity in life, get it through me by expressing themselves through fashion.”



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