TIMELESS JEWELRY. As we walk towards her home, she explains to us why one should buy her products. My beadwork is classic, timeless yet affordable, said Susan Gichuhi the proprietor of Carnelyan Ventures.
Man has worn beads “since time began”, in rituals and ceremonies, for beautification, for talismanic purposes or healing, to denote status, or as symbols of wealth. Beads were also used as trade items. In Africa particularly, history is inextricably intertwined with beads. Susan makes earrings, necklaces, bracelets, belts, and other accessories using beads. Art comes naturally and easy to me, I can stay late nights doing beadwork looking forward to the end product she says.
When she came for our Entrepreneurship training in March 2009, she had not settled on which business to start, but as the training continued, she finally settled on the idea of beadwork. The training session on creativity inspired her. Standing out from the crowd, being unique and satisfying the customer first are the principles she has continued to practice in her business to date.
We asked her about how she markets her products to which she replied, I get new markets from referrals; ladies appreciate unique items.
Susan’s future plans include opening a jewelry outlet shop as well as traveling to other countries to buy the raw materials. There is a lot of competition in the Kenyan market from local traders and Chinese beadwork has continued to infiltrate the market. The future for the beadwork industry in Kenya is great, as long as one remains creative. A good piece sells, she concludes.