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FROM PASSION TO BUSINESS: MEET GRACE KIBURI, THE CROCHET GIRL CHANGING THE GAME IN FASHION DESIGN

Crochet, a needle art that has been around for centuries, originated in France during the 16th century as a simple method for making lace, tablecloths, petticoats, collars, and doilies. The art has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, thanks to its versatility and ease of use with different types and textures of yarn available. Today, it remains a fashionable and creative way to accessorize your wardrobe or beautify your home.

One person who has taken this art to the next level is Grace Kiburi, a Tourism and Travel graduate from Mount Kenya University and founder of Gees Crochet.  Gees Crochet is a registered business with MSEA that specializes in creating stunning crocheted items like scarfs, hats, sweaters, ladies beachwear, newborn outfits, and trendy fashion designs, among others.

Grace’s love for creative art made it easy for her to learn how to crochet from her mother, who used to do it as a hobby. But Grace’s journey hasn’t been an easy one. After completing her first diploma, she couldn’t secure a job, so she started selling clothes sourced from Eastleigh to keep herself busy. Unfortunately, employment didn’t come her way, and she decided to do another diploma to boost her career in tourism and travel. During this time, the boutique business was not doing well, and that’s when she decided to venture into crocheting.

Grace Kiburi showcasing her crocheted outfits that include scarfs, hats, sweaters, dresses among others.

During the first two weeks of her training, her mother was involved in a terrible car accident that left her immobile and hospitalized for over two months. This ordeal brought a stop to her crochet training. But with her resilient attitude, Grace didn’t give up. She started watching YouTube tutorials and crocheting items to show her mother in the hospital. This experience made Grace fall deeper in love with crocheting, leveraging her natural artistic talent and newfound hobby into a thriving business. She became an expert, selling her designs to new moms, individuals, and even established musician artists such as Hart the Band. She would attend lectures during the day and then crochet clients’ orders at night using raw materials such as yarn, Ankara, laces, and beads to accessorize the outfits.

Crocheting is a time-consuming process that requires a lot of manual work. With orders pouring in, Grace decided to source for manpower to help with production. She even quit her job at two major tour companies to fully venture into crocheting. Her hard work and dedication have paid off, as she has recorded tremendous sales from the beginning of May 2021.

Grace credits the success of her company and the growth of her client base to online and social media advertising and the endorsement of celebrities and influencers who have made her brand visible. She has recently invested in a knitting machine from the proceeds of the business as she plan to plans to further expand her product line.

Grace currently operates from her home and delivers the orders using Pick-Up Mtaani that is widely spread across Nairobi and its environs, she also delivers outside Nairobi at a fee depending on client’s location. If you’re interested in purchasing a crocheted item, Gees Crochet’s price range is between Kshs. 250 – Kshs. 4500.

If you would like to place an order or inquire about Gees Crocheted outfits, kindly contact her at 0727636869 or click on this link https://msea.go.ke/crotchet-apparels/to see her business portfolio. The business is on Instagram as @the.crochetgirl and Tiktok @crochetgirl254 #BuyKenyanBuildKenya.

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