The Story of Michelle Wanjiru Kabiru

Michelle Wanjiru Kabiru, 24-year-old Kenyan

Michelle Wanjiru Kabiru
I am an accessory designer. The business started back in 2016 August, being unemployed and frustrated I decided I had to do something to survive. I went to a cyber cafe browsing through I saw someone posted on facebook about African accessories and they needed recommendations, to my surprise nobody knew where to find them so I made it my mission to find them and sell. Luckily I stumbled upon a video on youtube how to make Ankara accessories. I watched it a couple of times till I grasped the art. My first attempt was good but I faced a huge challenge because I used the wrong materials, therefore, they couldn’t be presentable enough for the clients. Days after I went to every tailor in my little town called Nakuru and collected every waste material and that’s how it all began. Day by day I mastered my craft and little by little build up my business from scratch, from bangles, earrings, chockers, headwraps.

Early 2017 I opened up a facebook page “Products by Pearl” that has really helped me advertise my business. Through this platform, I have had clients all over the country. Facebook is the largest online platform in Kenya, therefore gave me an upper hand because it had more views.

My plan for my business is to diversify my craft to fit all genders and ages, I recently was challenged to do Sketch-up 3D modelling software and I hope to learn and implement.
One thing that’s very interesting that I have learnt from this journey is the art of believing in yourself, most times when I was rock bottom the only thing that kept me going is the faith that I put in what I was doing.
I get inspiration from God and my family, one thing I have said to myself over and over again is that I have no option but to drag myself out of the poverty Its either I make it or I make it.
Since I started I have achieved a couple of stuff one of them is I won the Global Humaniq challenge 2018 in Africa, this enabled me to be sponsored to attend the Launch of their documentary in London. My, the experience changed my life completely.
I have also been featured in a national newspaper as a promising entrepreneur 2017 and in Junior Achievement Kenya magazine 2016 that students in High school to be their own bosses, this opened up an opportunity to present my business in the global entrepreneurship forum in 2016.

My dedication to my business opened up an opportunity for me to work with Junior Achievement Kenya to assist in business development in the schools and so far its been so fulfilling to see young minds transformed.