Joan Mwai: Turning Passion into a Business while on Campus

Presentation is key. As much as we are told not to judge a book by it’s cover, we tend to do exactly that. Visual appeal plays an important role in the products we choose to buy. It is also the factor we make conclusions on a package, such as a person or home.

Joan Mwai, a second-year student at Karatina University studying Communication and Public Relations is the lady to get in touch with for quality, colorful mats. From door to bathroom mats. She does it all.

“I already had the skill. I never thought I could turn it into a business. This is where my best friend came in. She encouraged me to get myself out there and sell the work of my hands. I then started in September 2017.”

Would your best friend give you this advice? Food for thought.

The only raw materials needed to produce these beautiful mats include tapestrine, thick thread, and a crotchet.

“My entire capital came from the savings I had. Once I started, my friends could not believe it. They did not think this was the kind of business I would venture into. You know the youth and their judgemental attitude.

“My family, on the other hand, was very supportive. They were happy that I had found my niche. It would keep me both busy as well as generate some cash from it.

“Generally, I make the mats on orders. Most clients prefer to choose their own colours and designs. This gives me the opportunity to understand their wants and create a piece to impress them.

The price range varies from Ksh. 1000 – 3000 depending on the piece

“It also helps me to explore boundaries I would normally not think of. It enables my creativity to grow.”

It takes about two to three days for a mat to be complete. She makes small, medium and large mats depending on the order. The price range varies from Ksh 1000 – 3000 depending on the piece.

Would you like your name, a family member’s or even your friends on? Not to worry. Joan got you covered. All you have to do is make an order.

“I use tapestrine, thick thread and a crotchet.” These are the raw materials that in the end transform into a beautiful mat.

“I reach out to new customers through my Facebook timeline (Mwai Joanne), Whatsapp as well as from the word of friends and family.

“The biggest challenge so far is I haven’t been able to tap exclusively into the market. This year, I’m looking into expanding the business. I will go all out.

“When I am not making mats or in school, I take time to visit the orphans or the sick in hospitals. I’m very passionate about people. I would encourage everyone to spare some time for the community.

“I’m very close to my family. Whenever I can, we share special moments. Family is everything. My friends are also an important part of my life.

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