First things first, who is Joy?
I am a 26 years old fashion blogger and actress turned scriptwriter. I am the daughter of the most amazing woman I know, my mother Mary Mwiandi and the younger sister of one of the most loving women I know, Sheila Gakii. I am unapologetically a shoe addict. I am loud, love to laugh and talkative to the point that you are forced to love me. Hehe … I don’t know..I’m just Joy Kendi.
Tell us a bit about how www.justjoykendi.com came about and how long you’ve been blogging?
I started blogging about 3 years ago after mastering the art of secondhand shopping in Kenya. I started my blog to show young women that style is not only easy it also affordable.
What has been your most fulfilling achievement as a fashion blogger and what are some of the future goals for your blog?
I love everything that has come from my blogging. All the great job opportunities, the award nominations and more. But the most fulfilling part has to be when I meet a reader and she tells me how I inspire her and her style. That is the most amazing feeling.
Who are your 3 favorite African fashion bloggers and what do you love about them?
Louis Phillippe De Gagoue of www.louisphilippedegagoue.blogspot.co.uk : He is just everything. I can’t describe it. I just love how he is himself.
Skinny Hipster of www.skinnyhipsterblog.com : She always keeps her style fresh, clean and simple.
New Hispter style of www.newhipster.co.za: Everything about her style speaks to me.
Describe African fashion in 3 words
Bold, proud and unique
What is the biggest challenge about fashion blogging?
The biggest challenge about fashion blogging is keeping your blogging style fresh and eye catching. Fashion blogging has become a very big thing in the past 2 years. Fashion blogs are opening up everywhere and you have to keep trying to find a way to stay relevant.
What valuable lessons have you learnt from blogging and do you blog full-time?
No I do not blog full-time. The biggest lesson I learned from blogging is staying true to yourself. Your readers can always tell what post is “you” and what post you put up as a way to get more readers… and as you try to get more readers with a new “swag” that is not you, you end up losing the readers you already have.
What’s the blogging atmosphere like in Kenya?? How do brands perceive bloggers?
Blogging as a way of life has grown tremendously in the past couple of years. Companies are finally starting to see how much pull bloggers have with the public and they are finally starting to use them as a way to get their word out there…basically advertising.
In general, do you think African fashion bloggers are valued/well-recognized in Africa? What do you suggest could be changed?
I think fashion bloggers are well recognized and valued but the only problem I have noticed is that the bloggers who are the more recognized and valued, a majority of them are from South Africa or parts of West Africa, specifically Nigeria. I think there are a number of amazing bloggers from other parts of the continent that deserve higher recognition.
Have you partnered with any brands or fashion houses? If so how do you discern which brands you choose to work with?
I’m in talks with a specific fashion house at the moment and the way I choose which to work with is who’s fashion/style speaks most to me. I have talked to others before who were not my style and the one thing I tell myself is “ Don’t force a partnership”. If it is not right, it is not right.
How do you deal with the negativity/ comments and opinions of trolls on the blog and does it sometimes affect you?
Well, when it comes to the trolls of the internet I have just learned to ignore it. I will read the comment, maybe there is some constructive criticism, but if it is just unnecessary meanness I just learned to ignore and delete. There is no need to surround myself with any negativity. And yes it does affect me, but not as hard as it used to…. I’m human. I’m not made of stone.
Any word of advice for all the bloggers out there who look up to you and follow your blog?
Be yourself. Don’t try to change who you are for anyone else.
If you were given the chance to dine with 3 people in the world, who would you pick?
Karla of www.karlascloset.com – She was the first fashion blog I discovered and she it still my favorite.
Beyonce… Because it’s Bey… I don’t think I need to explain why.
What inspires you most in life?
My mother. She is everything to me. She raised two girls on her own, while working 2 minimum wage jobs, while getting her PHd….Who does that? Only an amazing woman. She inspires me to be a better person. She inspires me to be successful. She inspires me to be a better woman.
My country of origin is…
I love Kenya because…
Kenya is me
Fashion Week(s) I’ll love to attend is/are….
New York Fashion week.
Three fashion/beauty items I can’t live without…
Filling in my eyebrows. My mother always taught me that you are never fully dressed until you fill in your eyebrows. Even if I am not wearing makeup that day. I need to fill in my eyebrows.
A lip colour, any lip colour, nude, red, purple doesn’t matter. I just need to have a lip colour.
sunscreen. I know they say good black don’t crack but why test it?!
If you could tell your 16-year-old self something right now, what would it be?
Please put down the doughnut. It will take you forever to lose all the weight you gained.
The camera I use is…
My personal style is unique because…
It’s all me.
Tell us 3 fun facts about Joy that people wouldn’t know of…
I think everyone already knows everything about me. I’m a pretty open book. But I had to pick 3 things it would be :
I am a shoeaholic. It’s gotten so bad that I still have at least 10 pairs of shoes I’ve never worn. And I’ve had them for at least 5 months.
I’m a “cheap” date. Meaning I am very easy to please. People assume that I’m extremely high maintenance but I’m not. The simple things in life make me happy.
I used to be a bit over 25kgs heavier. I was super round. Lol.
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