Nairobi Hustle: Mum’s Art and Craft lessons nurtured the designer in me
Wilson Wanjohi is not your ordinary cards designer, he makes handcrafted pieces with ease, a skill he got from his mother at a tender age.
Growing up, Wanjohi’s mother was an Arts and Craft teacher who made sure her own children emerged the best at the subject.
Unknowingly she was nurturing a talent that would later grow to the brains behind Wawili Creations, a company that deals in handmade cards and gifts.
“I started as a hobby; immediately after completing my course in graphic design at Kenya Polytechnic I would make handmade gift items while running a printing business,” Wanjohi told Nairobi News.
Wawili Creations started in 2010 as a joint venture in which Wanjohi brought in his expertise in printing business, while his partner brought the designing aspect.
In 2014 each founder went solo and now Wawili is solely owned by Wanjohi who has since hired four people to help with designing, cutting and bead work.
He sources for the materials locally at Gikomba market and Kibera.
“Our challenges include pricing, this is because the cost of doing business in Kenya is high and so when working on a handmade card our pricing is higher compared to the imported Chinese ones. Some customers have come to accept the work that goes into handmade items,” he said.
Wanjohi believes in seeking employment before becoming an entrepreneur so as to learn from great business people who are making it.
“It’s good to gather some experience, get somebody who is established learn some skills then from there maybe you can venture out. Gather some experience working for somebody as there is a lot that goes into managing a company and you will get experience than can help you avoid some mistakes that your employer made while at the same time making informed decisions,” he says.
Wanjohi’s craft focuses on giving every item a unique look by focusing on the smallest details to ensure the customer is wowed by the end product.