Faith Avia is the founder of DIY Love Kenya. She believes that everyone deserves a little beauty and joy in their life and she does this by creating beautiful and unique pieces that bring joy to others. Our purpose as DIY Love Kenya is to create, make and craft items that make other people’s lives a bit more pleasant and beautiful.

  1. Describe the business – What do you do and where are you based?

We are based in Nairobi. We create and craft items that make other people’s lives a bit more pleasant and beautiful. Our products are mostly décor items that are used at events, parties and occasions. We also have a crafting for kids’ program where we occasionally hold crafting classes for kids because we want to encourage a crafting culture among the young ones.

  1. How did the business get started?

The business started in 2015 and we mainly did décor for weddings and home décor accessories. I had been crafting for some time as a hobby and I would get interest from people about my products. Soon people started asking for items for birthdays, parties then weddings. We did events for a few years then added the crafting classes in 2017.

This year we are rebranding to The Handmade Life because we believe creating a business only around our DIY does not allow us to do as much. We want to provide quality handmade local products for occasions and enable others to make their events, occasions, parties more customized easily, affordably and conveniently.

  1. Is there a set of skills you need to run a business like this? Which ones do you have?

To begin this business, you need to have a curious mind, interest and just start. Unfortunately, there is no formal training available. Crafting professionally is a new career form, it’s not really defined. To be a crafter means to be a maker and the only way to become good at a craft is by creating and making.

The quality of your work improves with time and you discover new niches every day. However, skills that would be advantageous for this business would be design skills, content creation, event management and photography. I have these skills among other professional skills from my previous training as a marketer.

  1. What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced? Lessons learned?

The biggest challenge for me was figuring out how to turn this new-found hobby into a business. I struggled with it and finding a focus was hard because I didn’t really know what options were available to me. That is one of the reasons why we are rebranding, I want others following me to be fully informed on the different forms of crafting as well as what skills each form of crafting needs and were they can get quality handmade crafts for an affordable price.

I also struggled with knowing the value of my products and services. Because we were known for DIY, there was the notion that diy is free and we really struggled with pricing and communicating that, or products have value and that they are handmade.

The biggest lesson that I have learned would be that when you begin your work, it is never that good, but you have to keep at it. Your work will grow as you grow. It’s okay to try different things, change your business direction and course correct along the way. There is no straight path to a successful business. As you grow, your business grows and changes, be open to change but do not lose sight of your goals.

If you operate a business just on good faith, you will make massive losses. Some people, given the chance, will take advantage of your naivety. Be professional, build lasting relationships with your clients but always remember that it’s business and at the end of the day you need to make a living.

  1. What has been your proudest moment/achievement so far?

Every year I try to add a new element to what we can offer, I try to apply the new skills I acquire over time and let go of what I believe may not benefit the business in the long run. Transitions are hard for any business, but we have managed to make them successfully.

We began with doing mostly weddings and party décor and we did this mostly in 2015 and 2016. We managed to do very many weddings and events and in 2017 we added the crafting classes to our services and those performed well seeing that 2017 was a bad financial year. This year we are optimistic about our new additions.

  1. Where would you like to see the business go over the next 3 years?

The next three years for us are actually very exciting as we want to push ourselves farther than we have in the past. Starting this year, we are creating products that we want to have in the shelves in the local supermarkets, craft stores, bookstores and on our upcoming online store.  We really want to expand our reach from customized work to products that are still handmade but produced in larger quantity for more people. We think it’s a shame that the party section in the supermarket is filled with imported goods, from the cards, party hats, party cups to gift bags. We don’t have much variety and what is available is mostly dated. For the next three years we want to mostly focus on product.

  1. What advice would you give anyone looking to take the leap into running their own business?

I would advise them to write down their dream, see the vison, then just start. The vison is what will carry you when things are bad or hard and no one else can do this for you. This one is on you, everything else you can probably outsource. Secondly, if you have a day job just don’t quit it to start your business. Transition slowly as jumping into the deep end can kill your dreams. Business is hard but if you stick it out you might find something beautiful in the end.

Bonus Question

  1. What would you do with a capital injection of Ksh 5,000,000?

I would start with investing in product creation and getting products in the market faster and also get a core working space for crafters where they can access modern crafting equipment and have space to create.

To get in touch with Faith or to get more information on DIY Love Kenya, see their contacts and social media accounts below.

Facebook: DIY Love Kenya

Instagram: DIY Love Kenya


Also look forward to their new site that we will be launching soon in the coming months.


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