THE FOUNDERS FEATURE: CHRISTINE KHASINAH
Christine Khasinah is an Award-winning entrepreneur and is the CEO of Supamamas, an Events and Marketing Company that provides a platform for companies that target mums to connect and market to them. Importantly, it’s a platform that empowers mums to strive to be the best they can be through inviting impactful notable speakers and experts that mums come to listen to at the events and online content. Supamamas is a key platform for parenting resources through content put together on its website and Facebook. It was started in 2011.
What motivated you to start Supamamas?
I had just had a baby, was working in a male dominated field from Monday to Saturday and felt isolated and unfulfilled. I felt motherhood could and should be an enriching experience and once we become mums it shouldn’t be the end of our dreams and aspirations. With my marketing background,I was trying to figure out what I could do to make this motherhood journey more interesting for myself and other mothers. I talked to a few mums and said let’s have a mums club, have fantastic events, get awesome shops that can partner with us and give us some discounts. First meeting, 20 mums came and everyone was very excited. The second meeting, only 4 mums showed up. I still decided to push through, and held my very first event in October 2011. It went well and everyone was excited; we had a decent turn out.
Without a plan B or C I tendered my resignation and decided to focus full-time on this: At that time it was called Super Mums. On December 3rd 2011 which also happens to be my birthday, we were set to have an event dubbed the “Mum Market” where mainly mums were showcasing and we expected other mums to turn up and shop from the exhibitors. While setting up the tents the night before, it was raining and the tents kept falling down. Nonetheless, I went home, slept and I was the first person at the venue. Around 11am the event, which had more than 16 exhibitors, only had 5 visitors! 1pm…2pm…3 pm…the number rose to maybe 10 visitors. The exhibitors were restless and I was cracking.
At around 5pm, the number had not increased and I looked for a private spot and had a complete meltdown; I was completely shattered. The exhibitors were consoling me while I packed my things in the car and silently swore to myself I would never ever do this again.
Christmas came and while everyone else was happily enjoying the festivities, I was in a very dark place-depressed. Then February of 2012, I just decided to snap out of it and do something. I started drafting a concept of a: "Single Mums Valentine” event because I felt they were often overlooked on this particular day. And I went for it. That was my first successful event with around 23 mums. Eight years later, we have had more than 65 events in Mombasa, Kisumu and Nairobi, with some years having two events per month. Depending on the events theme we can turn up to 100-150 women and our biggest event has been a kid’s fun day with a total of 600 attendees. We have created a space where mums feel appreciated,connected and welcome. There is a certain positive vibe about events hosted by Supamamas.
Our journey online has not been easy, we used to have a Facebook group, but eventually killed that to build a Facebook Page that currently has 76,000 fans and are also in the process of growing our Instagram platform. It’s been a journey of trying many things and staying consistent in finding what works when it comes to events and information shared online. Consistency has helped us attract sponsorship and support from local and international brands.
How do you recharge or rejuvenate?
Self-care is very important. I love to run; that’s my alone time to think and recharge. Recently, I went to Zimbabwe to run the Victoria Falls marathon as it was on my to-do list for this year. Last year I took three days to go to Rwanda. 24 hours on the road then run for 3 hours 55 minutes, rested a little and then was on my way back home on the road for another 24 hours. At this point I was a second time mum, hardly sleeping. I slept all the way to Rwanda. I think that was my deepest sleep ever. I think mums need to appreciate themselves and all that they do. I have found ways to incorporate my rest time with an activity I love and to include some adventure to it. Mum guilt is real. I do my best to give my best to my family, my business and myself.
How do you think being an influencer has changed you?
I am what you see; there is nothing I am changing. I don’t feel the pressure to be anything other than what I am. What matters to me is that we, as human beings, are content with who we are. I have somehow found my tribe of people who accept me as I am; people who are authentic and self-aware.
What would you say to young girls who are trying it out in business and trying to make it in
Intelligence and hard work never goes out of style. Invest in building character. Invest in learning: buy books or go online and do your research especially in the areas you are weakest and cannot find mentors.
What do you think I’d be most surprised to find out about you?
Despite my very sporty self, I can’t ride a bike and I can’t swim. Even with all my classes, I am still at the shallow-end and using a floater.
What is your go to look?
A fitting black dress. I think black is classy, elegant, oozes confidence and lots of character. For a pop of colour I do red or yellow.
How should a Supamama embrace fashion despite the stereotyping of what is a perfect woman’s
Most of us don’t snap back to our pre- baby bodies when we enter motherhood. Looks really affect how we feel and what we think of ourselves, but it’s important that we embrace and work with what we have. It’s important to also engage and work with a stylist that can train you on what works for you and your body. Also take care of your skin; we are not getting any younger, drink a lot of water,hydrate and exercise self-care. I strongly believe 50% of your outfit is the confidence you wear it with. It powerfully elevates anything you do, say and wear.
What are some of your wardrobe essentials?
A few power outfits of any colour, a nice black dress, sneakers, a pair of cute black heels, a contact with a good make-up artist who understands you and a stylist who can help you bring that outfit to life.
What do you find hard to throw out of your wardrobe despite it not being in fashion anymore
or not fitting you anymore?
Bell-bottom jeans! I have a few vintage pieces that I can’t seem to throw away.
How would you describe your style?
At one point it was very African, and then it moved to edgy and sexy. My overall style in one word would be - confidence!
(In recognition of her work, Christine Khasinah has been awarded various awards including: Zuri Awards Finalist 2019 Innovation award, Diar Awards Finalist, Entrepreneur of Excellence Award).Country Winner 2015 CEO Magazine Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business.CFC Stanbic Rising Star Entrepreneur Finalist 2015. Business Daily Top 40 Women under 40 2014 And CEO’s Magazine Finalist Most Influential Women in Business in Africa SME Category 2014 & 2013)
Article By : Caroline Kuria
Dressed By: Sarai Afrique Fashion House.https://web.facebook.com/saraiafrique/