She quit her job as a sales consultant to pursue her passion in a male-dominated field of arts.

For Lucy Wanjeri, there is no turning back on her passion in art and self-reliance.

Sometimes last year, Lucy Wanjeri Njuguna made that very bold move that most employees dread so much in life by quitting a well-paying job in a leading mobile service provider to pursue self-employment as an independent artist repurposing used vehicle tyres into very beautiful furniture.

Friends and family alike were shocked at the fact that she took this big, life-changing leap, with the skeptical lot waiting at the sidelines for that downfall.

Her journey in life started immediately after school when she joined Winton House of Music for some music course.

She later got a teaching job at Oshwal Academy in Parklands as a music teacher for one year before she decided to pursue a career in singing.

“I started singing in studios and recording music. I then joined Harry Kimani’s Band as a backup vocalist for a while,” she explains.

Quit job.

Things didn’t work out well for her at the band and she later quit to start selling mitumba clothes at Gikomba market till 2013 when she got a job as a Sales Consultant for a leading mobile service provider.

Some of Lucy's recent works.
 She was posted to work in Nanyuki and it was during her 4-year stay in the town that she came across a video on You-Tube that changed her thinking forever.

“I came across this video on You-Tube where a guy was recycling old tyres into beautiful and comfortable furniture, something that got me so interested. I have been to arts since my primary school days so when I saw this, I just got glued,” she says.

She decided to try out by first making one for herself.

“Using borrowed tools from a friend, I made my first table that I put into my living room. I got so encouraged when friends visited my home and admired the table and asked me to make similar tables for them,” she adds.

Her first business came from close friends and through networks from close circles, she got more and more orders, something that made her decide not to renew her contract with her employer when the current one expired last year.

Lucy's latest project.
Due to several challenges she experienced in Nanyuki, Lucy decided to shift base to Maziwa area in Kahawa West where she now operates from.

Lucy says that she is so inspired by Ola Banke, a Nigerian lady doing the same stuff and prays that one day, she will hit big in the industry just as Banke has in Nigeria.

“Since November last year, I have been doing this job and I can assure you that there is no turning back. The prospects are good and it is my dream that I will grow the business into a big company with branches across major towns,” she says.

Challenges.

Lucy reckons that even though the business is doing well, financial constraints and connecting to potential clients have been her greatest constraints.

Lucy in her workshop.
“Some of the materials we use are expensive especially if one is buying in small quantities. This restricts me to very small profit margins as you know, you can only sell product according to the current market rates.”

She also admits that her work at times is faced with stereotypes who view it as a man’s job and won’t come to terms to the fact that a woman can do any quality job.

Otherwise, the sky is the limit for Lucy and she says that she is so determined to beat all odds.

Thinking outside the box.

To the youth, Lucy advises them to think outside the box.

“Opportunities are all over the place only if you look for them and exploit every chance that comes your way. What kills our dreams is the fear of the unknown but let me assure you that fear is an invaluable tool. Fear does one of two things, it will either stop you or fuel you into doing something. Rather than giving fear the power to paralyse you and bring your dreams to a halt, embrace it and perpetuate it into action,” Lucy advises fellow young in her parting shot.

You can reach Lucy on Facebook via Lucy Lu or Luce' Krafts. You can also contact her through +254 726 116 287.

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