Online entrepreneurship is catching on and we have seen more and more people take advantage of technological advances to improve their businesses. It is not without some challenges though. One, purchasing or creating an eCommerce site is not withing everyone’s reach. Two, not everyone has the know how on the the intricacies of operating one and keeping it up-to date.
But what if merchandisers could be provided with an already programmed, easy to use platform for them to just plug in and proceed to do business? And for just Ksh.300/- a month?
Meet Wangeci, a Momprenuer who started her crocheting business in 2016 and has since been catapulted into a full on entrepreneur thanks to Goby.
Goby is an online store generator courtesy of WPP. Through Goby, WPP is seeking to enable access to technology and market by removing barriers to entry such as high costs associated with setting up an own website and marketing channels. The only condition is that such businesses must offer great products. By offering the platform, WPP hopes that the businesses will focus on what they do best – make their products and sell them to a waiting customer, all at the click of a button.
Wangechi calls Goby her rental online shop and she’s right. Here, we look at the store through her eyes.
What’s your name and what do you sell on Goby?
My name is Grace Wangechi Macharia. I’m in charge of Graca Crochets where I deal with handmade crochet or knit attires.
How were you selling before setting up shop on Goby?
Word of mouth mostly. Or I would make something, wear it, and someone would come asking whether I would make such for them and I would take it from there.
How did you hear about Goby and why did you consider it?
I just saw it on Facebook and decided to have a look at it. I realized that one of the benefits it offered was a website and since I could not afford one, I decided to use Goby’s existing website and e-Commerce shops.
What is your motivation to not only crochet, but also crochet as a business?
For starters, my products are handmade and therefore very unique. They are not items you can easily find with someone else especially in Kenya and Africa at large. They’re attractive.
Do you have a background in design?
I was never taught. I just thought of it and nurtured the dream by crocheting with a lot of different yarns and colours. I later hired a teacher to come and teach me more but they never appeared, so I went on YouTube and taught myself everything. So basically I am self taught from YoutTube.
Are you specialized in crocheting or will you venture out into other products with time?
I do not intend to venture out. I’d like to stick to crocheting and maybe knitting using needles. But I don’t see myself using machines. I prefer using my hands because that drives my passion more.
When did you start using Goby and how impactful has it been in your business?
I started using Goby this year and so far so good because for one it communicates seriousness in business. They see the confidence in me. On top of that, Goby has given me a platform where I’m able to interact with many more clients, and even sell to strangers in counties all over the country. I’m no longer restricted to Nairobi.
What’s your capacity to deliver on big orders? Say you got an order for a wedding?
I’m in a group of fellow crocheting enthusiasts from all over Africa. I’ve made a network of people to work with in Kenya so even when I have large orders, I still have a backup of people helping me to deliver.
Other than Goby, do you also still do direct sales to clients? Say on Facebook?
Yes. My old way of marketing where I wear something that I’ve made and someone likes it and makes an order still works. I cannot tell them that they have to go through Goby so I still take direct orders.
How is payment done? Is it embedded onto Goby?
No. The good thing with Goby is that there is direct transaction between a client and myself. So I’ve put my contacts on the website. If you get to my link you get direct to me and not to Goby. Goby is not like a middleman. Theirs is just to enable me to get clients that’s all.
Would you say Goby has had a good impact on your business?
Yes. Big time. Goby has given me some exposure that I never thought I would come across. Even this interview is a platform and a privilege and I’m grateful.