[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you happen to meet her working, you will be surprised by the way she does it smoothly to perfection and taste of her client. Shelving her ambition of becoming a teacher after dropping out of school, life took her to a different path, her passion and source of livelihood she ever regrets.

“I loved working with children since I was young and also thought teachers make a lot of money,” Consolatah Wangui smiles, before serving a waiting customer.

Born and brought up in Kiamaina village on the outskirts of Nyahururu town in Laikipia County,  the last born in a family of three says her enthusiasm to become a teacher was for the love of children and not glory. “My parents were self-employed operating a carpentry shop in the informal settlement. I used to help my father paint the furniture and this exposed me to this work that I pride in today.”

“I dropped out of school in form three when my parents separated. I had to stay with my mother, with my father withdrawing all  support, including payment of my school fees,” ever smiling 31-year-old Wangui stated.

She began working as a house girl which did not last long and was later employed in a carpentry shop where she began saving for her own business for two years.

With the help of her mother she was able to open her own workshop at Kiamaina village, and never looked back on her dreams.  Her plan was to purchase old furniture and renovate them for a better price during resale.

Last year, she moved to Nyahururu town where she opened a bigger workshop as she believes that the big population and demand from new residents moving to the area will bring higher returns.

Negotiation skills

Her business is different from others as she welcomes buyers in a calm way and has good negotiation skills. The finishing of her dining sets, tables, beds and luxurious chairs only attract more customers to her shop.

The business is rapidly growing and she has employed four people to help her. In a good day, Wangui goes home smiling with not less than Ksh 10, 000, glad that she is able to pay her workers and bills.

When she was starting off, many of her friends were against the idea as they felt capentry is men’s occupation.

“If only I was faint-hearted, I could not be this far. Many of my friends and even relatives were against it but my mother supported me and encouraged me to follow my passion. Now two of my friends who were discouraging me are my workers,” she says with a hearty laugh.

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She also stated that she is not faced with many challenges as there is an abundance of tree in the area, adding the only challenge is only that some customers like to bargain and end up not buying.

“I believe by the end of next year, I will be operating a big electronic shop in Nyahururu area,” said Wangui. She advises the youth, who are unemployed, to be clear about what they want to do with their lives.

“Know what you want to get, when it gets tough, let the tough keep going. Have faith and passion and keep going no matter the situation and one day you will make it,” she encouraged them.

Apart from being a carpenter, she is also a Sunday school teacher where she pursues her other passion of spending time with children, who she believes are a source of joy.

“I preach to the young generation and like spending time with them as they always make me happy,” she concludes.

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