Daglo Arts was founded in such circumstances that the memories are still etched in Glory Mwilaria’s mind. In the initial stages of her business in 2015, Mwilaria displayed her jewellery and paintings on the walls of a timber retail shop where she worked.
Her love for art sprouted in high school when she would sketch portraits of renown personalities, and blossomed while in college where a friend not only taught her to draw but also introduced her to beadwork.
“I wanted to turn my talent into business so during the day I worked at the shop, attended classes in the evening and at night I spared some time to weave beads and paint.
“I sold them to colleagues and used the money to supplement my college fees,” she said in an interview at her shop in Meru town.
The journey to establish the business was the biggest risk of her life. After quitting her first job, Mwilaria secured another one with the National Construction Authority (NCA). “I was offered the job and placed on three months probation. It was good but then I started thinking: ‘I am going to be chained to this job for years. What about my dream of setting up a business? It’ll go up in smoke’. I was faced with a dilemma but at least I knew what I wanted,” she said.
Ms Mwilaria used her third month’s salary to rent a stall and quit the job to start her business. This was in early 2016 but this was not the first time she was taking a risk.
While still in college, she had operated a cyber café and computer training college, although she was not a certified trainer. “I had just begun my studies so I borrowed a computer, opened a cyber café and started training form four leavers and children during holidays.