Meet Christine Khasinah- Odero, Founder of Supamamas. During her first pregnancy she discovered the lack of information sources dedicated to motherhood and infants. This began her entrepreneurial journey into leadership. She is passionate about what she does. Her life has been characterized by following her heart and striving to be better.Let us delve into the world of this phenomenal lady.
C: How does it feel like being among this year's Top 40 Women under 40?
CK: Being a top 40 under 40 was an honour and felt wonderful to be recognized.
C: You have received several remarkable awards since starting Supamamas. You have been a finalist in CEOs Magazine Most Influential Women in Business and Government Africa 2013& 2014 and among Kenya’s Top 5 Women under 40, 2013 UP Magazine. How would you describe the feeling?
CK: Supamamas is yet to reach its 5th year milestone and am glad to have brought the vision to life to impact women especially mums who come for the events. Winning the awards makes the effort worth it in knowing that what we do does make a difference. The awards have elevated Supamamas and with the recognition we continue to strive to be better by the day.
C: How has life been growing up? Walk us through your life from childhood to today.
CK: I grew up in Umoja estate in Eastlands as well as in Kilimani in my early youth. I am surrounded by 5 great siblings and great parents. My father especially is my friend and has continued to encourage me throughout. I schooled in Western at Butere Girls after which I did my first degree at USIU-Africa and MBA Marketing from Liverpool University. I came back to Kenya in 2004. My life has been characterized by following my heart and striving to be better. I have grown by reading a lot and having the guts to try out new things. At all stages of my life whether the ups or downs, I refuse to be defined by my circumstances.
|Christine Khasinah (left) with Muthoni Ndonga of Blankets and Wine (centre) and Elizabeth Bisher- Simiyu of Slim Therapy (Right)|
C: You are one of the exceptional women blazing a trail in the entrepreneurial world. What has your journey been like, from leaving a managerial position, starting your first business and eventually founding Supamamas?
CK: When I came back from the U.K armed with the Masters Degree I truly believed doors would open. However the reality is that so many Kenyans are qualified and are very well educated and the situation is even more saturated today. I started out my career as a marketing executive in an ice cream making company, and later on held jobs in tours and travel. During this time I opened my first business, a tour company, which failed in 3 months after which I had to go back to employment in a job I was over qualified for. This was at a high end garage which day in day out mainly featured administrative tasks including being the Personal Assistant to the company owner.
Despite the setback I did my job well and 2 years or so later decided to start a company and be an entrepreneur. The company was to create events for mums.
C: How was the transition from the corporate world into business?
CK: The transition for me from Corporate to business was a leap of faith. I wished I had mentors or forums I could go and share with other women starting out in business. I worked hard and built useful networks.
C: What has it taken to build Supamamas to the brand it is today?
CK: What it has taken to build Supamamas to what it is today is giving myself permission to experiment, try out new themes and knocking on doors without giving up. It took several months to get an event sponsored or have brands to have confidence to come on board.
C: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from a mistake you have made in the past?
CK: The most important lesson I have learnt from the mistakes that I have made is that the biggest mistake is not learning from it. I keep learning.
C: Supasisters is a remarkable initiative that brings together women passionate about giving back to the society and mentoring the next generation of girls. What was the inspiration behind launching Supasisters?
CK: SupaSisters brings together women who want to give back and grow the next generation of girls because mentorship does make a difference in helping people believe in themselves and that they can also succeed if they put their mind to it.
C: What is your view on the importance of mentors for young people in all aspects of their lives: professionally, socially, and holistically?
CK: An opportunity to be mentored is so golden and can help you learn and give you direction in what you want to achieve. Mentorship is so important especially for those considering becoming entrepreneurs professionally. Socially it's also important as it gives you clarity of who you want to be and help you build a personal brand.
C: Supamamas has been involved in community service and outreach programs such as giving back at Nyumba ya Tumaini, community service at Kenyatta National Hospital and supporting Cerebral Palsy Society of Kenya among others. What drives this passion to reaching out to the less fortunate?
CK: Giving back is something I am passionate about on a personal level and as a Rotarian. It is a culture I cultivated early and incorporated in the business. As I thrive as a business person I would also like to give back.
C: Rooted in your business philosophy is Gandhi’s challenge to “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” You are under 40 and you have achieved a lot, what drives you to achieve all you have?
CK: I am driven to find my best self. I am a self starter and love to trying out different ways of doing things until I grow. I am ardent believer of investing in yourself to keep growing. And in addition in order to get the best out of people, the best has to start with me.
C: If you could describe yourself in one word, or using one animal or thing, what would that be?
CK: I describe myself as resilient, as an animal- a phoenix perhaps, the bird that rises from the ashes and soars higher and higher.
C: Tell us something unique, different or quirky about you.
CK: Something that I find unique about me is that I’m an extreme introvert and extrovert. I am easy with people and at the same time very lonesome - I operate very well in my own company.
C: What legacy would you want to leave?
CK: That I made a difference in people's lives through being generous and compassionate.
C: What is your definition of success?
CK: Success to me is being at peace and achieving the goals I set.
C: The purpose of Calibrated Blossom, the blog, is to inspire young people to seek and chase inner perfection, encourage a shift in mindset and spur people towards their goals. What is your take on this?
CK: I can totally feel your vision and hope many people will begin to see that inner perfection is what spurs growth in other areas of one's life. Like Napoleon Hill said "whatever the mind conceives it can achieve.” The mind is truly powerful and the first place to shift your mind set.
C: What is your advice to young people on saving and investing?
CK: Start early- and make saving and investing a habit rather than doing it because other people are doing it. Also before spending, ask yourself if you really need to or just want to.
C: What is your message for young people out there? For all the young people struggling to figure themselves out and for those who have embarked on their voyage towards achieving their dreams?
CK: I would tell the young people out there to DREAM, DREAM BIG, TAKE ACTION and move beyond the thinking stage. The only way to see your dream coming to life is taking the bold step to working on it and being diligent and persistent.