In Nairobi, one small enterprise has set a path for itself to become the creative power house for up cycled furniture pieces in Kenya. From stools to chairs and tables, Ojey Designs Limited creates contemporary furniture pieces from old bicycle parts. The enterprise was recently featured on CNN African StartUp.
Martin Ojwang, a school-dropout, began by making furniture pieces for himself. According to him, “I wanted a unique coffee table and couldn’t find one so I decided to come up with a coffee table made of a bicycle design.”
For his first piece, Martin cut the materials and asked someone to weld the pieces together into a coffee table. After a friend saw the table and requested one, Martin focused on making custom pieces as a business. The business now employs four people full-time with casual workers adding to the workforce in times of high demand. The trendy furniture pieces are one-of-a-kind and maintain the aesthetic of the materials used to create them.
Using the balcony of his apartment building as a workshop, Ojwang has been able to save costs on renting a workspace in town, something which he says would have been too expensive for him at the early stages of his business. He also faces challenges penetrating the market even though he has access to raw materials and a steady online marketing plan. However, with a population that has limited trust for online sellers, Ojey’s exceptional designs have slowly attracted a large customer base. This doesn’t pose a problem to Ojwang’s optimism as he believes that in five years, Ojey designs will be visible country-wide.
See more of Ojey Designs’ pieces below:
For more information on Ojey Designs Limited, visit their product page here.