Most parents face the challenge of buying new uniforms for their children every now and then, as a result of theft in schools.
To guard their children against theft, the parents opt to label the uniforms either manually or through substandard printers which destroy the quality of the uniform. Sometimes the ink is easily removed, and the problem of uniform theft remains unresolved in most schools.
For 10 years now, Maxwell Otumba who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Nairobi, has been helping such parents and even schools eradicate the vice through his name-labeling company, Bellerouze Outfitters.
The Company which is located at Space Apartments along Mai-Mahiu Road in Nairobi West, specializes in quality and affordable school uniforms, professional uniform labeling services (embroidery), and selected books and stationery.
“Because the uniforms are sourced from the same supplier, they are identical in terms of colours and shades. The children need to know which item/uniform belongs to who to avoid mix-up, and for senior schools like high schools to avoid theft,” says Otumba.
“In high schools, the “pinching” is done by bright students who want to spend most of their time in the library. They just go to the lines and pick the clean uniforms, wear them for a day or two and then dump them for ‘new’ ones. Pinching is a school slang for stealing or exchanging school uniforms by cheeky students.”
Otumba has invested in modern technology and machinery in his work, shifting away from the traditional ink labeling which is still used by most schools and companies.
“We offer computerized name-labelling via embroidery. We normally stitch on the uniform, and that is a permanent branding which is difficult to remove,” he says.
The labelling is done according to the client’s specifications, with some preferring visible labelling while others prefer ‘hidden’ labelling. The hidden labelling entails the use of camouflage colours, as he explains.
Hidden labelling, according to Otumba, is useful in protecting minors especially from kidnappers, who can easily identify them if their names are fully visible on their uniforms.
To further protect the learners, Otumba advises parents to use either admission numbers or initials in labelling, instead of the official names.
Labelling of a single item can take a maximum of five minutes, according to Otumba. However, for bulk orders, the clients have to place an order after which they are given a timeline to pick their items.
Bellerouze Outfitters has been providing outdoor services for some schools especially in Nairobi including Alliance, Moi Educational Centre, Sunshine Secondary School, Light Academy and several referrals from Nova Pioneer.
“I have been coming to Bellerouze and they have been very supportive, by giving us very good uniforms in terms of quality. They also have very timely delivery periods and on top of that the value-add. They usually do the labeling using very neat embroidery,” says Hotensia Kaniu, one of Bellerouze Outfitters’ clients.
Since its inception, Bellerouze Outfitters has labelled hundreds of thousands of uniforms, both for individual clients and even schools. The Company also does corporate branding.
“Our client base is unlimited since it entails a parent looking for a solution, and once they know where they can get the solution they walk in and we advise them on how they can tag them and we get them tagged,” he says.
Source: Chams Media YouTube.