After graduating from Daystar University with a degree in Communication, Susan Aquila Mburu delved into the world of media. But somewhere along the way, she had a change of heart and decided to start her own business. I had a chat with this 29-year-old mom about her entrepreneurial journey. MT: Tell us about your business.
Susan: My business is called Things & Things Kenya, whose core business is to equip, skill and inspire women on matters revolving around home keeping, beauty and health. I also create and sell art décor items such as scented candles and canvas painting.
Maryanne: From having the idea to starting the business, how was that?
Susan: My background is in the media, and once when we were in the middle of shooting a Sauti Sol music video when one of the ladies I was working with complimented me on my ability to have quick answers to just about everything, referring to me as a ‘things and things lady’. Soon after I started sharing my ideas and wisdom on various issues that affect the Kenyan woman through a free website hosted by webs.com. The internet had at the time many blogs which I felt were addressing issues from a foreign perspective, so I thought to localize it. The issues I blog on are relevant to Kenyan women.
Susan: Yes and no. I have a degree in Communication so I guess that has influenced my blogging. I still freelance in media. But the art décor items I create and make have nothing to do with my BA degree. It’s the passion for art that led me in that direction.
Maryanne: Many women say finding capital for their business idea is difficult. Was it the same for you?
Susan: It is incredibly difficult to find capital for a business. I’m still struggling to make ends meet since my business is still in the start-up stage. Were it not for the grace of God, my loving husband and parents, I wouldn’t have come this far. They have been my greatest support financially.
Maryanne: What is the biggest challenge working for yourself?
Susan: The fact that you have to rely on your own perspective to make decisions, which can sometimes be wanting because it’s affected by your state of mind at that moment, your experiences and limited knowledge. When you have a team you get to share ideas and then decided on the best way forward given the difference perspectives shared.
Susan: I’m married to one man who works for a media production company. We have a four-year-old daughter.
Maryanne: Has motherhood changed you?
Susan: Oh my goodness yes it has and a lot for that matter! I used to be a party person. Every day was a perfect day for a night out but now I’m home bound. I work from home and when I’m away an hour doesn’t go by before I think of my daughter and husband. I have become a mother, a cook and a home maker while before all I cared for was a cute clean house with noodles on the shelf.
Maryanne: What words of wisdom will you give to your daughter as she grows up into a girl, a woman?
Susan: “You are fearfully and wonderfully made and you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you so never give up. Identify what you want, take it to the Lord in prayer and then go for it.”
Maryanne: What advice would you give other mompreneurs?
Susan: Hang in there and don’t give up. Be patient because you will not realize the financial benefits as quickly as you’d like but in the end it is worth it. If your business is just about making money; walk away from it. You must have a greater vision.
Maryanne: Thanks Susan!
Previously featured moms in business: