Business Owners Report: Kemris


Your name: Nkemakoanm Guyse

How many years have you been living life in the Foreign Service?

8 years.

Where have you been posted?

New Delhi, India; Kingston, Jamaica; Abidjan, Ivory Coast; and Yaoundé, Cameroun.

What is the name of your business?


Briefly describe your business:

I am an emerging designer known for telling survival tales (like my own) through my fashion collections. Having immersed myself in fashion for nearly two years, I have worked hard to unveil the first collection titled “Unbreakable” illustrating both strength and bravery. As a Nigerian born global nomad you will see a touch of my roots, travel, and survival in the beautiful pieces.

Why did you start this business?

To create a brand that supports survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

When did you start this business?

15 February 2013

What makes you stand out from your competitors? What makes your business unique?

Kemris brand is unique because there is no other business like it. No brand has chosen to use its platform to engage in issues regarding childhood sexual abuse.

How does your business fit into the Foreign Service lifestyle?

As a foreign born spouse who has been fortunate to travel to countries where fabrics are entwined in the new cultures I was encountering gave me the unique idea of using fashion to tell survival tales and provide others the comfort to have well needed conversations. Fashion is a common language and an important way to communicate.

What has been your biggest challenge with your business so far?

Explaining how Kemris isn’t a charity but a social business enterprise.

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

My 2015 Summer/Spring Collection on the DC Fashion Week Runway.

What resources have been particularly helpful to you when you were starting your business?

My network overseas has been very resourceful. Travelling back to India to look for fabrics was like a trip back home.

Which resources do you use to maintain your business?

Shopify (Online e-commerce) and various social network platforms.

Any advice for any EFMs thinking about starting their own business?

Find a passion and let that drive you. Ask questions and take advantage of the new family (network) both within the government and outside. Make friends with the locals.

Are you on LinkedIn?

Yes, see my profile here.

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