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I have always loved art

By Shirley Genga | May 16th 2012

By Shirley Genga

Anne Oketch, 27 years old.

Anne Oketch

What do you do for a living?

I am the CEO of Cherry Red Interior Décor. We specialise in interior design and implementation of home and commercial renovations. We also import interior décor stuff as per our clients’ request or preference.

What was your childhood dream?

I have always loved art and design from the time I was a little girl. At the age of ten, I started making school bags, which I would give my sisters, cousins and friends. I would also decorate my mother’s house while she was away.

Where did you go to college?

I have a Diploma in Business Management from Kenya Institute of Management. I took this course to acquire the necessary knowledge to manage my business.

Is it important to go to school to study interior design or is talent enough?

An interior designer should have artistic talents and architectural knowledge to appropriately serve a client. Many people have creative talents to produce beautiful designs but professional academic orientation is also necessary to build up a good career prospectus.

What makes one a good interior designer?

A good interior designer should be able to interpret a client’s needs. They should have the ability to take those ideas and come up with something creative that will reflect a client’s individuality.

What is your job history?

After I completed high school, I worked as a freelance in interior design and decor industry for more than seven years. In 2009, I registered my company, Cherry Red Interior Décor, which has been in operation since then. I did this because I was growing and had started dealing with corporate companies.

What do you love about what you do?

Interior design and décor is a wide area to venture into. You can specialise in everything from bedrooms to kitchen tops. I also love colour scheming, matching and indoor lighting — these are the key areas. I am good in matching colours.

What is your most memorable job?

My most memorable job was a project I did for Crown Plaza Hotel in Upper Hill, Nairobi. I was to paint it and the time frame I was given was too short. I had to employ many casuals to help.

Challenges of your work?

Finance is a major hurdle. I get big projects that require a lot of money but when I go to the bank, the request for security is sometimes overwhelming and I am unable to meet the requirements.

Competition is also stiff. There are many interior designers. To the consumer, it is difficult to differentiate who gives quality but at the end of the day, those who offer quality services lose. Clients go for cheap services.

What advice would you give someone who wants to do what you do?

Just like any other business, you need to be passionate, have enough capital and hire experienced personnel.

What do you do for fun?

I love to travel abroad for interior design and décor exhibitions, I enjoy reading magazine and journals on interior décor, and I love socialising and swimming.

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