Louisa Wanjiru: We Started Our Gifting Business With Ksh 1 Million, Lessons Learned

Louisa Wanjiru Ndathi is the co-founder of Giftcellent Services where she holds the position of a managing director.

Giftcellent Services is a gifting service that specialises in crafting and delivering personalised gift hampers to individuals and corporates.

Speaking to Daily Nation, Wanjiru explained that they set up a corporate gifting platform after their research showed that a big percentage of the Kenyan workforce feels undervalued and under appreciated by their employers.

Here is her story as told by WoK.

Starting the business

The idea to start the gifting venture was mooted by her business partner’s idea.

They hopped onto the benchmarking and research process and after realizing it’s potential, they decided to put their money in the business.

With Ksh 1 million capital, Wanjiru and her partners established Giftcellent Services, purposely targeting the corporate sector.

Although they also serve individuals, she explained that they aim to strengthen the connection between employers and their employees, and companies and their clientele through gifting.

“Most corporates on the other hand waste millions of shillings in gift items that turn out to be of no real meaning or value. We came in with a corporate gifting platform that aimed to bridge this gap by curating meaningful gifts at an affordable cost while boosting our clients’ sales and improving the overall organisational mood

“Most corporates we approached immediately bought the idea of employee engagement through gifting,” Wanjiru explained their business idea.

She explained that she experienced challenges while starting off including failure to establish a cash buffer.

“This made it quite hard for me to meet big orders from customers. From what I have learned, I would resist the urge to scale up too first in the initial phases. I would also stop delivering goods without a guarantee of payment,” she asserted.

Wanjiru, however, explained that getting her first big order was motivating and affirming.

“This order was very unexpected given that I was competing against major industry players at the time. I’ve also mentored several women to start small and grow slowly in business and this has been very gratifying,” she said.

Wanjiru who worked in the corporate industry for over 10 years noted that she finds entrepreneurship more fulfilling.

“This is a motto that has kept me going whenever I have doubts. I have also learned that in business and life, it is important to realise that true happiness lies within oneself

“As such, don’t waste your time and effort searching for peace and contentment out in the wild when you can derive it from the things you love doing,” she said.

She further mentioned that she is currently working on her saving and investment skills.

“I have taken small realistic steps that include conscious spending that is based on a budget and specific money goals

”This has compelled me to start living within my means and have the discipline to say no to unnecessary expenditure and impulse purchases,” Wanjiru said.

Giftcellent Services has gift categories for men, women, kids, dads and mums.