Craftsmen turn bicycles into stylish furniture

For many, bicycles are meant solely as a mode of transportation, a quick and convenient way of getting from A to B. In Kenya's capital city of Nairobi, however, a group of craftsmen take the functionality of bicycles a step further -- by transforming them into eye-catching modern furniture.

From its spacious 5th-floor apartment overlooking Nairobi, Ojey's Designs is a business fashioning elaborate chairs and tables out of old bike parts -- from rims and tires to spokes and pedals, the different parts are all welded together to form the base of the contemporary furnitire.

"We do the bar stools, the bar tables," says Martin Ojwang, the startup's founder. "We do chairs, the cafe chairs and cafe tables -- those ones can go to the hotels."

                       
                                         Martin Ojwang, founder of Ojey's Designs

Ojey's Designs Limited is a Kenyan startup specializing in making contemporary furniture from old bicycle parts.

Based on the outskirts of Nairobi, Ojey's Designs is crafting eye-catching chairs, tables and stools.

"Getting a shop outside, it's pretty expensive for someone who's starting," says Ojwang. "So for me here, my landlord is a good person I only pay for rent so I pretty much save on that."

"When we started Ojey's Designs I was alone and then I employed some two people for assisting," says Ojwang. "Right now, we actually have four employees and we have four casual workers who come when the production is high."

Having worked as an accountant for three years, the young entrepreneur decided to change career paths in 2012 after crafting his first creation: a beautiful coffee table made from a bicycle rim.
Ojwang then quit his job and set up shop in the large balcony of his apartment where he's now making furniture on order.

"When we started Ojey's Designs I was alone and then I employed some two people for assisting," says Ojwang. "Right now, we actually have four employees and we have four casual workers who come when the production is high."

Yet, despite access to bicycle parts, starting a business has not been without its difficulties.

Another challenge for the young entrepreneur is promoting his creations. "We do market online, and marketing online is a bit of a challenge because of trust that lays around online marketing in Kenya."

Ojwang is, however, optimistic about the future. "In the next five years we want to be known countrywide," he says. "<!-- -->
</br>We want to supply countrywide; we want to start branches with major cities -- basically we are looking to be visible countrywide."<!-- -->
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