Meet Joy Nguru, the young entrepreneur carving a niche in crochet jewelry among other material jewelry. Joy is a creative who comes up with beautiful, elegant and most importantly unique designs. She usually has items in stock for sale but clients can also order as per personal preferences and the items will be stitched in agreed time. Joy can and will make custom jewelry like rings, earings, bracelets and other accessories in your favourite colours and designs. She can also custom make the same to match outfits for weddings and other occasions. We met her up and asked her a few questions and this is what she had to say.
What’s your motivation to join the jewelry business?
My main motivation is simply because I love jewelry .Ever since I can remember I have always adorned jewelry and wanted to make some unique pieces other than what is available in the market.
Do you have a background in design?
I don’t have any background or training in design at all. What I do is purely out of interest, talent and passion which by the way I discovered I had in me just 5 months ago when I began making jewelry.
Crocheting is a very wide field. Why accessories as opposed to items of home décor or clothing for example?
It was easier for me to begin with accessories because it dint require a lot in terms of skills and training as opposed to designing clothing and home décor and also because I saw a gap in the jewelry market that I wanted to fill and crocheting came to mind because of its uniqueness.
Do you intend to expand your range of products to include items as mentioned above or any others?
Yes I intend to. I am passionate about anything artistic and creative, so most definitely I will unveil many more products in the near future and also venture into the fashion industry fully.
What’s your capacity to deliver on big orders? Say a client wants jewelry for a wedding or some other occasion of that sort?
It depends on the number of orders that would be for one particular occasion and the time limit given because at the moment I only work alone which is a bit of a challenge .However with time I’ve been able to increase my working speed so I’m able to make about 15 pairs of earrings a day including maybe 2-3 bracelets, which is a huge improvement as opposed to when I began.
Do you work with other designers to enhance both yours and their products? If not, do you plan to?
Being that the business is only 5 months old, I haven’t started working with other designers yet. I found it better to build up and perfect my skills first but I’m of course open to working with them in future.
What is the market uptake about your business? Has it been well received or have you faced skepticism from some quarters?
You may have noticed that my pieces are very colorful and vibrant. So far I have received a lot of positive feedback from the younger ladies who form part of my largest clientele however skepticism is part of business and is expected especially the older ladies who rather prefer the usual type of jewelry and haven’t fully embraced my kind of creations.
Where do you source your raw materials from?
The raw materials are all locally available.
What do you think of the future of the fashion industry in Kenya and with emphasis to your kind of designs?
If embraced, then the fashion industry is bound to grow and evolve since these types of creations haven’t been done yet. It will serve as a major boost in the industry.
Are you facing any competition that you’re aware of in the very specific field of crochet jewelry?
No, I haven’t come across any other crochet jewelry in the market, but maybe with time, someone who’s seen my pieces may want to try out. Competition is inevitable in any business, what is needed is to come up with strategies of staying on top.
What challenges do you face in your day to day running of this business?
One of the major challenges is making a huge number of pieces within a specified period of time especially while working on orders.
Another challenge would be the lack of commitment from some clients in the sense that I may get orders which after working on, the client may decide not to purchase after all because of different reasons like change of specific designs.
Lastly, I haven’t yet established a permanent working base so I have to deliver the products to clients regardless of where they are situated.
More of Joy’s work can be found on her Facebook Page here.