Maggy Nyange is a part-time lecturer in one of the universities in Mombasa. The mother of one has an educational background in human resource and has worked for several companies in various capacities in the last seven years.
"I am also a final year student pursuing my MBA in strategic management," says Ms Nyange.
After the government closed all learning institutions due to Covid-19, Ms Nyange, like most other Kenyans was taken aback. She, however, did not sit down and have a pity-party. She decided to tap into her creativity.
I have a very creative eye. I love colours and beautiful spaces," explains Ms Nyange on her new venture of making flower pots.
Ms Nyange has converted her balcony into a workshop where she is making flower pots.
"I use cement to mould them and then paint different designs on them," she explains.
"I also get time to bond with my son as I work," says Ms Nyange.
But how did she settle on making flowers pots?
Her creative journey began late last year. Ms Nyange loves decor, which led her to start selling throw pillows in October, last year.
"My pillow business was born out of a need to spruce up my living room,” she says.
Everyone loved the results, sh tells Enterprise, “and I decided why not do the same for my friends and family at a small fee?”
That was going well as it complemented her lecturing job until the coronavirus hit the town, pushing her to think of an alternative.
"I realised I had so much time at hand and wanted to do something meaningful with my time. This quarantine has been a blessing in disguise. I realised I could add some more colour and decorations in my living room," she narrates.
"I wanted something that would complement my curtains. I am a lover of flowery plants, so right there I figured out I could do flower vases and adorn them with the flowers of my choice. And the idea of making flower pots was birthed. An idea that has perfectly complemented my pillow business in these challenging times.”
Ms Nyange says she started her pillow business with almost zero capital.
"I had a little money to buy throw pillows for my house but decided to do it differently. I looked up for the designs myself, bought the materials and identified a tailor I could work with. The tailor did a fantastic job and I used the pillows to market my creativity,” she says.
“So when I have friends and family visiting, I let them know I can tailor-make for them designs to suit their living rooms. My first client paid Sh2,500 for the pillows, and that's the cash I used to purchase more materials for the next order."
Ms Nyange does a lot of window shopping and is familiar with what the market is offering at reasonable prices. Stung by the creativity bug and armed with thorough online research, Ms Nyange decided she was going to create her own unique flower vases. All she requires was cement and different colours of paint to produce a vase.
"It takes about 48 hours for the vases to completely dry," she says, adding the vases go for between Sh500 and Sh3,000.
"I give my clients the option of chosing a vase or a vase and flowers."
To ensure she doesn't run out of ideas, Ms Nyange goes through various online pages to inspire her creativity. "My husband has been very supportive and keeps encouraging me to pursue my passion," she says.
"When Covid-19 comes to an end and life goes back to normal, I will come up with strategies on how to introduce my 'Covid-19 baby' to the market."