KENYA: For the past ten years, Jeremiah Shatimba has used flowers to put food on his family’s table.
Strategically located at Nairobi’s City Market, the 49-year-old florist says he ensures his flowers, sourced from farmers in Naivasha and Nakuru, are of high quality.
“Being a florist is not an easy venture because you need to understand the tastes and preferences of your customers so that you can reap from it,” he says.
Before going into this trade, Shatimba had worked for three years at the Intercontinental Hotel in housekeeping department, flowers section and it is here that he gained his knowledge on flowers.
He says he started off with a capital of Sh10,000 and on the first day, he sold flowers worth Sh5,000. And while in the initial years he worked alone, today he has two workers.
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“We reap big during Valentine’s Day in February, and in the months of April, August and December. When business is good, we make a minimum profit of Sh7,000 and when it is bad, we fail to sell anything,” he says.
Due to stiff competition Shatimba says he has mastered the art of getting flowers which can last for up to a week.
These flowers range from Sh1,000 to Sh6,000, depending on their size and design.
“Flowers are there to create a certain atmosphere and people always use flowers to express their love and affection to their significant other.
We apply creativity in our work to help our customers realise their emotional needs even as we keep them happy,” he says.
The father of seven opens his business at 6am and closes it at 7pm. Through this trade, he has educated his children and even bought a piece of land in the outskirts of Nairobi.
While extolling the benefits of being your own boss, Shatimba says people who aspire to venture into business should be ready to face challenges when starting out.
He however, encourages them to persevere saying this is the only way to reap big.