W : Can you please introduce yourself?
V : My name is Veronica Rachiedo, I come from Siaya county and after finishing high school, I came to Nairobi to look for employment and that’s how I landed in this industry.
I started as a receptionist in this craft workshop, worked there for some years, then i decided to start my own workshop in 2014 after developing a lot of passion in the crafts.
We started with bone and horn because they were locally available and unique and in away, we were recycling these materials and preserving the environment
W : Who are you working with at the market ? How are you separating tasks. What changed since you started ?
V : I work with different clients both locally and some internationally. I also work and coordinate my work with different workshops and artisans depending on the volume of work that we have.
I started the workshop with only two artisans, but over the years, we’ve grown and now I have 8 artisans Working in my 2 workshops, that is, the bone and brass workshops.
W : Did anything change with people like WAPI? helping to reach a broader market ? Were you able to buy new tools or hire people ? Did it have an impact on your day to day life ?
V : I can say through the support of people like Soko, Wapi and others, we have greatly changed, we have bought new machines and tools to widen our capacity in production.
Through this hard work and determination, my income has increased there by making it a bit easier for me to take care of my family, pay my artisans, take care of the bills both personally and professionally.
W: What do you like the most in your job?
V : What I like most in my job is creating the beautiful products with my hands and seeing the appreciation in the client’s, that makes me happy.
I’m always happy also to see that through what we do, I’ve provided employment to these 8 people, who by extension are able to support their families, take their kids to school and get involved in development projects, that’s my greatest joy, touching lives directly and indirectly.
W : What are the biggest challenges?
V : The biggest challenge is being a woman in this industry dominated by men, I have to work twice as hard, but I gladly took the challenge😊.
Another challenge is lack of raw materials when needed especially horns.
Product duplication is another challenge where you design a product and before you know, you find it in the local markets at a very low price.
W : What’s your biggest dream ?
V : My biggest dream is to be able to buy a piece of land and build a bigger workshop, and widen our market.