Kephah Oira has made a mark in Kisii town with his uniquely designed table and chair linen cloths.
The father of four, who hails from Nyankongo village - located just a few meters from the town centre, says he has no regrets over venturing into this business.
“I started this business 15 years ago here in Kisii after I got retrenched from Kenya Seed Company in Nairobi,” he said.
Upon his retrenchment, Oira was paid Sh3,000 to a lady in Nairobi who taught him all the processes needed to make it in the sewing industry. He then came back to Kisii and immediately bought a machine and got into business.
Right from the beginning, Oira would design pieces of clothing in different styles, using various materials then display them as a way of attracting customers.
“I would go to Tanzania where I would buy high quality material that I then use to make swing linen table covers, sofa sets and chair covers which I would then sell in sets,” he said.
The business grew in leaps and bounds and over the past 15 years, Oira has continued to carry out his work with diligence, serving his clientele faithfully.
Today, his monthly income is Sh100,000 and can rise to as much as Sh300,000 depending on the number of orders he receives.
“I get orders from as far as Nyamira, Kisumu, Migori, Kericho, Nairobi and other parts of the country,” he said.
He also taken it upon himself to mentor others and has as a result, freely trained 20 young boys and girls who have expressed an interest in the business. He also goes on to ensure he helps them buy a sewing machine and they stand on their own two feet.
“Most of these young people come from poor, needy backgrounds and I train them for free,” he says revealing that he is ready to help anyone who is willing to venture into this business without asking for any payment.
Despite all the benefits that he has enjoyed from the business, Oira says the work is not without its fair of challenges which he has learned to deal with in order to put food on the table for his family.
“Most of the clients are arrogant and impatient which can sometimes demoralise me as I do my job. Some are also not willing to pay the stipulated amount and I have learned to let such as these go,” he says.
High competition is also a factor as more and more people emerge offering a service similar to his.