Tabitha is weaving her way to the bank
During the day, Tabitha Kamunya works as a medical researcher and at nightfall, she wears her other hat, that of weaving.
She has not always been artistic. In fact, growing up as a middle child in a family of five, Tabitha hoped to be a doctor but when she failed to get enough points to enable her to study medicine at the university, she settled for microbiology.
When she was in fourth year at Kenyatta University, Tabitha, 25, was already working as a research assistant and loved her work but the only problem was that she felt constrained by the fixed hours.
After she graduated in 2012, instead of looking for a job, she opted for freelance research and writing, which she took up with various companies in the UK, US and the Philippines. This was her only source of livelihood for a year.
When she was furnishing her house a year later, she had a hard time finding a carpet that was unique and which suited her specifications.
After searching locally and online, she resolved to weave her own mats and carpets. She took up a short weaving course, bought a sewing needle and threads of variuos colours and got down to work.
“The results were amazing and everybody who came to my house asked me where I had bought them,” she recalled.
She seized this business opportunity and when she wasn’t writing or doing research, she’d weave mats and post photos on Facebook and the sales were amazing.
“I now enjoy working with my hands,” she said.
Like any new venture, it was difficult to get started but slowly, through word of mouth and through the social media, her business has grown and has employed three assistants. She gets orders from as far as Finland.