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I’m in this trade to stay – shoe maker

Sammy Wandai is not your average youth.

A young entrepreneur who began his shoe making business in November last year, Wandai makes shoes decorated with African fabrics such as the Maasai shuka and kitenge, all from scratch.

Equipped with a sewing machine, he makes up to 10 pairs a day. He buys the fabrics in the CBD at least twice a month.

Other materials include rubber for the soles which he buys at Sh800 a metre, glue at Sh1,400 for five litres and thread.

How he started

“It wasn’t expensive to start the business as I had saved some money from my previous side hustles. The only costly expense was the sewing machine which was second hand. The other materials were and continue to be pocket friendly,” said Wandai.

He has wooden shoe fitters from sizes 35 to 42. Each fitter cost him Sh600 a pair.

He targets customers aged between 15 and 30 years.

Most of his clients come from the Upper Savanna area as well as Tumaini, Umoja, Fedha and Pipeline areas in Eastlands. Prices range between Sh1,000 and Sh2,000, depending on the design and fabric used.

He said business was booming because of his affordable prices. Similar designs would cost at least Sh2,500 in other markets.

Make bags

He also makes clutch bags, hand bags and back packs. The least he can fetch for a bag is Sh800.

When asked about going back to school, he said: “I earn Sh40,000 and above in a month and the money is too good to even think about going back to school.

Maybe I will think about it in future when I will have expanded my business as I am already doing.”

His workshop is on Donholm Road opposite Mara Savanna estate where he lives. It is open from 6am until 7pm.

“One does not have to be dependent on others to be financially stable. Just make use of your skills and talent. It is rewarding especially when you can make money out of it at the same time,” advised Wandai.