Founder and CEO of Mjine Home Company
Taria has always loved scented candles. She describes the scent of a candle burning as “a warm friend”. She had bought several overpriced candles from shops in Nairobi, which she felt did not “do the job“.
Having gotten pregnant with her now-husband while in her last year at a Christian University, the school asked her to discontinue her classes until the baby was born as she was not “married“. The school even pulled its scholarship forcing her to save up for the remaining part of her education.
In a somewhat defiant fashion or maybe inspired, she used her semester fees that her husband had set aside to start a candle business being something that she knew and loved. Mjine Home Company was born in late 2017. She began by selling her candles to friends and family who then referred their friends and family.
“ a good candle is like a warm friend”
“I make the candles myself. For the wax, I know a lady who sells natural honey from Mwingi, I asked her if she could introduce to her bee farmers so that I could get wax from them. For the other parts of the candle, I import.”
Social media is the biggest marketing platform. However, In January 2018, she attended her first pop up market where she sold out. Since then she has attended several other pop-ups where her candles are a hit!
In the beginning, I was making the candles myself but now I have 2 sales girls; 2 people that work with me at the workshop and a rider. In the last year, we have experienced immense growth. I even paid that semester fees and I’m now about to graduate.
She regrets not having the best customer service at the beginning of her business as she was juggling being a new wife and mum and running a new business. She believes that customer service is integral to any business and has since invested in improving it.