Have you heard about the way Wangari Nyanjuri is making her start-up go viral? Ms Nyanjuri is a Kenyan creative designer, graduated in 1997 as a bachelor in fine arts, experience in design and packaging, and experience in the advertising and marketing world, all of this before starting her own company called the Black Butterfly, which was dedicated to design. She had a side hustle of printing shirts, and while everyone was laughing at the colloquial proverbs in the city, she was figuring out a way to make money off of them.
How did it all start you may ask? Wangari explains that over a long period of time, she would celebrate and even laugh at these phrases that define Kenyans, but she one day decide to make a batch of t-shirts and fridge magnets with these phrases. Some of these informal phrases would be comments like “tuma na ya kutoa’ — meaning include withdrawal fees when sending mobile money, ‘Wacha niende nirudi’ (I’ll be back), ‘Stuck in traffic’, (I’m in a small meeting), ‘Hii joto ni ya mvua’ (this heat is a precursor to rain), and ‘Are we together’.
Wangari was interviewed by Business Daily, and she explained that she is a lover of everyday life. She is also clearly proud of her countries culture and phrases, so it was the perfect combination for her company to start.
Her brand has become quite a success, and thanks to it, she has now been able to expand over to notebooks, gift bags, door handles, laptop stickers and even phone cases with the quotes. Wangari is also responsible with the environment, and has been able to give back by donating Sh50 with every purchase of her products.
She is the perfect inspiration for all of the women who are thinking of starting a design company, and according to Wangari, there is still plenty of space in the market for good designers!