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Entrepreneur makes big switch from IT to interior décor

Trained as an IT specialist Linah Odero has cut out a niche in interior décor through her passion for unique designs.

It all started when she had to think of a unique way of storing shoes in her house. She thought of using PVC pipes  to create a shoe rack that had a unique design, one she could not find at local shops.

“I had to start researching on the possibility of racks made out of pipes and indeed I found some leads thanks to Google,” says Ms Odero.

Ms Odero recalls the travails she went through to get the finished product.

“At first I used normal paint. It chipped when I applied it on the pipes, giving me an unattractive rack. So I had to scrub it off and ask for advice,” she says.

Her frustration led her to find the spray paint which was perfect for plastics and left a glow on the surface. She also found out that liquid nail glue was the ideal adhesive to hold the pieces together.

First clients

Ms Odero liked her final product and often showed it off to friends who came to her house. This small accomplishment turned into a business idea when a friend requested that she buys the rack or gets a customized one made for her.

It was the first rack that Ms Odero made for an outsider and it led to the start of Aposh Home Décor Company.

 She calculated the amount of capital she would need to start and saved Sh 10,000 from her salary.

She then started marketing her racks through her Facebook account. To her surprise, she ended up getting several orders.

“At some point I had to pull down the Facebook updates because the orders were too many for me. It was after few months that I realised I could make more money in décor. I had to make a decision to quit my IT job and focus on interiors,” says Linah.

Aposh Home Décor Company came forth in 2013 and the young entrepreneur diversified to make wine racks, chandeliers and bulb flower vases.

She made the products from the comfort of her house in Kitengela and delivered them to clients in Nairobi. Over the time, Aposh Home Décorgrew  to give returns of up to Sh 100,000 per month.

“I have two assistants who do the cutting and smoothening of the pipes but for the finner details I do them on my own,” says Ms Odero.

Her racks are designed with big spaces that can fit up to four pairs of flat shoes. A rack  with nine spaces goes for Sh 4,500.

Online based

Ms Odero runs the business exclusively online through her Facebook page Aposh Home Décor.

“I will never open a shop due to the convenience of clients shopping online. It reduces costs like shop rent and salaries,” she adds.

Though she admits it is challenging to get people to trust you online and make deposits on ordering, she plans to set up a website that will enhance her credibility.

“There has been a lifestyle change among Nairobi residents and so online shopping is the future in business,” she adds.

Upcycling concept

Aposh Home Décor majors on using waste to come up with a unique quality interior décor accessory.

As opposed to recycling, the upcycling concept does not involve the dismantling of the waste product and gives it better quality.

“The bulb flower vases for instance are made out of blown bulbs that are often disposed off,” says Linah.

She has developed a network of friends who bring her the bulbs and bottles for the candle holders.

“With this idea, I have managed to reuse items that could otherwise have been disposed and harmed the environment,” she adds.

For the friends who supply her with the waste materials, Linah sells them accessories at a discount.