Enda, a brand of running shoes assembled in Kenya, is entering the European market and is currently available in Italy and Spain.
Weldon Kennedy, a British-American entrepreneur, founded Enda together with Navalayo Osembo-Ombati, a Kenyan lawyer and accountant who is the company’s CEO. She graduated in London and also worked in other countries. Both of them live now in Kenya.
The brand started four years ago with only one model sold through a crowdfunding campaign. The Kenyan government subsequently provided some funding to help take the project up to the next level.
The U.S., where Enda has its own sales team and DTC program, made up about 90 percent of Enda’s turnover last year, with the balance sold mainly in Africa and through its own international web store. After making its first appearance at ISPO Munich in January 2020, it enlisted an agent for the Italian market and a distributor for Spain.
The Italian market is covered since last September by Marco Rocca, who knows the running market well. He took care of Brooks Running’s distribution in Italy for 14 years until 2016, first as an agent and then as the brand’s country manager.
Rocca has collected orders for about 2,000 pairs of Enda shoes from 47 specialty stores for the spring/summer 2021 season, but they are only being delivered now from a new distribution center in the Netherlands because of the supply chain disruption caused by Covid-19. Giorgio Garello, a former colleague of Rocca who has also worked for Asics, is now helping to push the sell-through by marketing the brand through the social media.
The Spanish distributor since March is Sport Different. It plans to sell around 1,000 pairs from its inventories this year, having taken orders from 16 points of sale so far and hoping to add five or six others.
Enda’s collection for the current season consists of two models for road running and one model for trail running in the three colors of the Kenya flag and with specific lasts for men and women.
Enda has been certified as a climate-neutral company. A portion of the purchase price for each pair of shoes goes toward a local foundation to finance local projects chosen by a committee of experts every six months, with input from the brand’s customers.