Growing up in a fairly unstable background, it would be almost impossible to have the kind of bubbly personality Sharon Wangari has. However, Sharon, 19 years, defies expectations to be the upbeat, optimist young lady that she is.
Growing up, she moved around a lot which meant changing schools a lot too. Not being able to settle down coupled with the traumatic separation of her parents when she was in class two made her into a bit of an introvert. She was a good student inspite of this.
Times were hard financially when she was left with her mother and older brother. They got through school with help from Consolata Parish that would chip in with their school fees.
She knew in high school that she wanted to major in economics because she was passionate about money.
“After missing the points needed for the government to sponsor me after completing my secondary school education, I decided to get a job. My intention was to raise enough money to pay for CPA exams. I would study to be an accountant then work and end up paying for my own university Economics degree.
Working as a receptionist for a start-up Beauty college did not pay me enough for the CPA exams and after a few months I had began to lose hope in this dream.
I tried to get Consolata Parish to sponsor me even partially but they only sponsored those who were continuing students in University.”
At this point, things were not looking up.
A glimmer of hope appeared when Phyllis, the lady who would help out in Consolata to enable her to get funds for fees, handed her the form for Akirachix. She filled out, went for the interview and from that moment, her life took a turn for the better.
She joined Akirachix not having the slightest clue about IT but soon after fell in love with it.
She quickly knew that she had a passion in programming and design.
In March this year, it occurred to her that she had never learnt how to save money in all her life.
She sought out advice from Susan one of her instructors who proceeded to help her open up an account.
“I didn’t have any form of cash inflow that would enable me to save money and I let Susan know that. To this she proceeded to show me a picture of bracelets on her phone and asked me if I could make something of the sort. I told her I could definitely try. She asked for a sample the following week. I brought her one and she was highly pleased. I realised that I could actually make something that other people would be interested in buying and that is where my business began.”
She tried her best to stand out from the crowd by not settling on replicating the designs that had already been in the market. Her creativity paid off and more and more people where getting interested in her designs.
Some of the challenges that she goes through include having a hard time accessing the materials that she needs to make the bracelets because they are expensive. She is able to overcome this challenge by not limiting herself to making ornaments using one type of material( brass charms) but switching it up and using what is available and affordable (leather, kitenge).
Sharon was able to get into the bracelet making and selling business because she is and has always been very good with her hands. Since her earlier years, she would spend her time watching her mom do crocheting and all types of knitting and gained interest. Even with her small brother, she would draw just for fun.
Her interests are not restricted to these things though.
Sharon is passionate about the middle ages and she could also tell you anything about greek mythology. This was sparked from her love for reading while in high school. Meeting with Shakespeare’s works went down as one of her biggest milestones in life.
Aside from being a medieval junky and greek mythology guru, she loves listening to music and watching comedy movies.
“One of the things I love about being in Akirachix is the chance that I get to be around brilliant minded ladies who have made it as entrepreneurs. They inspire me a lot and frankly, it’s just awesome!”
The secret to her apparent psyche for life despite her life experiences?
“If you can’t beat them, beat them because they are expecting you to join them so you have the element of surprise…” She said with a laugh.
“ ..but seriously. I really cannot afford to feel sorry for myself. There are so many people who have gone through worse things than I have. Be happy people! You owe it to yourself to be happy. It’s the one thing that you have control over”
To place an order for her bracelets you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org