P H E N O M E N A L  W O M E N


Interview Series 

 F I S A Y O  L O N G E 

Owner and Creative Director

Kai Collective 

What inspired you to start your own brand?


What inspired me to start Kai was that I have been a fashion and travel blogger since January 2012. And when I would travel, I would find fabric and I would get stuff made with the fabric that I found on my travels. And people who followed me would ask me where I got the clothing from. And it happened quite a few times. And I thought what if I, you know, make clothes and offered mine, I've always known how I want to feel in clothes. I've always loved clothes that make me feel like empowered, and strong and sexy, and confident. And I really wanted to put that into clothes, take more control of my career, and just put something beautiful into the world and use that as a way to connect with other women.


How do you balance content creation and running your own brand? 


Balance is really, really difficult. This is a question that I get often, but I'm just a really good multitasker. I'm not even that good at planning. But next year for my final year of Uni, I plan to plan much better to help me with juggling everything, I will say it is very stressful. I am anxious, a lot of the time, I am always stressed. So it is very, very difficult. But for me, I've always been the kind of person who if I want something, I'm going to get it by all means necessary. So I just do it, I just juggle. 


What do you think it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur?


 To succeed as an entrepreneur, I think that you have to be determined, I think that you have to be ready to fight, you have to be someone who gets knocked down seven times, gets back up eight times, you have to have that passion and that drive. And you also have to have an incredible work ethic. That's what I think it takes to succeed, it also really helps if you're intelligent.


What advice will you give a young person who would like to follow in your footsteps?


 The advice I would give to a young person following in my footsteps is to make sure that their brand has a really good USP, unique selling point so that it stands out in a saturated industry. And I will also say to just keep going every day, every time you think that you can't keep going anymore. Just keep pushing. There will be times that you think no like, why should I have to go through all this? I'm exhausted, wake up the next day, keep pushing.


Do you think it is easy to be an entrepreneur?


Oh, no. it is not easy at all to be an entrepreneur. In fact, it is one of the most difficult things I've ever done. And when people talk about oh, you know, just leave your job. You have to chase your dreams. I'm like, are you sure about that? Being an entrepreneur is really difficult, and it has really challenged me in every way. Physically, mentally, socially, it is very difficult. I am very grateful that I get to do what I love every day. But at the end of the day, it is still a job and it's a very difficult one. There's no days off.


How can women empower other women?


How can women empower other women? I think women can empower other women by just living their lives and showing that everything is possible, not accepting any limitations, and just doing what the hell they want to do. I think when more women are honest and do what the hell they wants to do and leave societal standards and abandon the fear of like judgment. I think that inspires other women to do the same. And it also helps to support other women who come after you and make it a bit easier for them to find success by giving them good advice and that type of thing. But honestly, I think the best thing women can do for each other is just to live their lives and do whatever the hell they want. Build whatever the hell they want, and accept no limitations. I really love it when I see women like that. It just makes me feel like I can do absolutely anything.

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