Fashion blogging is big in Kenya. Previously many looked at it as a hobby but over time it has turned to a business venture that is earning good number of people a living. To stand out among the many in the field, it takes consistency and good content. Maureen Bandari, the Funshion Mistress, is one passionate fashion blogger and over time she has diversified into hair and beauty care to become a name to reckon with. We had a chat with her about career and future and here is what she had to say;
1. You have mentioned in your blog that the name Funshion Mistress is a fusion of Fun and Fashion, what is inspired you to pick this name?
Wow, I came up with that name over five years ago. I was still in campus and very creative. I thought about it for two weeks because I wanted something that reflected my style at that point in life. In campus I was having fun with fashion trying to create my own style, I was just living for the moment, dressing according to how I felt, mixing everything and never took it too seriously. So I figured I am having a lot of fun with fashion hence the name.
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2. You blog about fashion, beauty, hair and skin care, why did you pick these fields?
Initially it was purely fashion. Then over time I grew an interest in skin care and once I was getting more compliments about my skin, I slowly inco-operated it on the blog. Two years later and several YouTube videos later I took make-up and hair seriously for my own benefit. Then of course the endless questions you get from readers like which lipstick is that or what do you use on your hair etc. gave birth to the other categories.
3. Having earned a degree in Bio-technology, do you have a career in Biotechnology?
Yes and no. Well, my degree enabled me to secure a job in the scientific world and to be specific in pharmaceuticals and not necessarily in research, Lab, DNA and all that biotech stuff.
How do you manage to do it and blog at the same time?
It used to be a little difficult at first because in college I had all the time in the world to blog but now I had to use my time wisely. I am always working. During the day I have my job to do and in the evening and weekends I’m working on my blog and creating content. When you have passion for something, you will always make time. It’s not easy but it’s manageable
4. Many fans have, through their . on the various platforms, have mentioned that you bring maturity to fashion blogging. In your opinion has fashion blogging been trivialized?
Yes and no. With the rise of fashion blogging there is bound to be a conversation around it and occasional downplay in this category of blogging. A lot of blogs get dismissed truth be told. However with the growth of blogging in the country, fashion bloggers have become a force to reckon with in the fashion industry and this is good growth. I try to be myself and enjoy the journey and hopefully most fashion blogs will get the respect and recognition they deserve.
5. What are some of the challenges that you have faced in the years you have been blogging?
a. Paying for locations to shoot. Some outfits require an amazing background to compliment the look and sometimes you are asked to pay for the venue
b. Having technical issues on the blog that you just don’t understand.
c. Sometimes you are not inspired at all and your readers are expecting content from you.
You can . of the challenges I have faced here thefunshionmistress.com/the-struggles-of-a-fashion-blogger/
6. How did you overcome these challenges?
First of all, I know why I blog. There is some form of satisfaction I get when I do. Honestly I have no idea what I would do with my free time if I wasn’t a blogger. That keeps me going when things get tough because I am able to remind myself how far I have come and I can’t let go now. Readers who genuinely care about my craft do help me overcome it all as well not forgetting my family which provides moral support.
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7. If you had to pick a country anywhere in the world to settle, which one would it be?
Kenya. I’m patriotic like that. I value family so I will settle wherever my family is.
8. How do you spend your down time?
Haha. I love sampling delicacies so you will probably find me checking out new restaurants. It’s either that or I will be on YouTube checking out old Beyonce music videos while trying to learn that choreography. I think I’m half way through with Upgrade U ?
9. How have you managed to maintain consistency over the years?
10. How has blogging changed your life?
First of all I am such a shy person and courtesy of blogging I have attended several events and networking gigs which have sort of helped me work on that. Secondly it has made me learn to remain humble. When I meet my readers in the streets and they are happy to see me. It humbles me everytime and I don’t let it get to my head because I am nothing without them. Lastly, my blog has made me very ambitious as a person and given me a sense of business acumen I wouldn’t have had from anywhere else.
11. You are passionate about skin care, what are some skin care tips that are a must have for every woman?
Drink as much water as you can everyday, Use sunscreen on a daily basis especially if you are going to be exposed to the sun a lot. Find products that work for your type of skin and for you to do that, You need to know if you have oily skin, dry, sensitive or combination skin. More information on this can be found on my blog. Lastly, to have a radiant skin, do exfoliate once in a while.
12. What is the best fashion investment you have made thus far?
Apart from all my pair of shoes, I have this evening gown I bought last year. It was a gift to myself for something I had accomplished and I literally had to close my eyes and buy it and do it quick before I change my mind. Hopefully someone is reading this so we can go out to dinner and sample both the food and the dress.
13. Who is your Kenyan fashion icon?
That has to be Annabel Onyango. She has been very consistent over the years and I love how she dresses out of the box sometimes. I also like Nancie Mwai and Silvia Njoki among other fashionistas.
14. How far do you intend to go with the blog, a cloth line or make-up line?
A clothing line is possible in the future. It will all depend on how dynamics unfold but definitely I will want to make something for myself in the long run.
15. A word to all young people who would like to pursue fashion blog.
There is space for everyone, just find the direction you would like to take your blog and be consistent. Also just have passion for what you do and let it guide you through out your journey. It’s not as easy as it looks so be ready to put in work.
Catch up with the Funshion Mistress go on to her blog thefunshionmistress.com.