Nancy Machira – C.E.O Magnificent Interiors
“I always loved to arrange things and I used to love sewing pillows so much so that when my mother hid the needle I would sneak it out, sew and return it before she came back” begins Nancy story, who giggles ever so often when she remembers those moments.
The story begins in form 4 when a lady who knew she was an artist and even more an interior designer from the onset, is not just disappointed but has to come to terms with what everyone was saying “Interior design…? How will that sustain you?” Not being able to find a mentor and not wanting to be labeled an outcast, she finally succumbed to pressure - society’s pressure - and enrolled for a course in administration and secretarial studies in Strathmore University.
As fate would have it, after completing her course she entered formal employment for 12 years in her field of study but something in her wasn’t quite settled and as a result she begun to develop headaches and counter headaches! This “unsettled-self” if we may, caused her to be restless, and the constant headaches pushed her so much to the corner she had to see a neurologist.
The neurologist knew full well that he did not possess the answer to Nancy’s problem and came out bluntly and told her the “…the answer to your problem lies within you.” To Nancy this came as a shocker “what on earth does he mean?” She thought, but it also begun in her a quest to search for the answer within her.
She was then drawn to her first love and this time, undeterred, she begun to search for a school that taught interior design. Amongst the schools that came up was Elle Interior Designers and following the still small voice with her she set off in pursuit a cure for her unsettled heart. Without second thought she enrolled for an Interior Design weekend course this marked the beginning of her new settled life.
Midway through her course, her lecturer mentioned that they were planning a financial freedom forum (3F) and all the students were welcomed. Having heard what the seminar was all about she knew she MUST attend. During the seminar, speaker after speaker was, as though seeing inside her, speaking to her and her alone! The take home message was you have to begin and you have to begin NOW.
Well, without hesitation and full of faith she begun by sending mail to prospective clients and as surely as the sun rises, she got her first client! It came as a surprise to her but she had come too far to look back now. After meeting with all the members of her client’s family and understanding the project scope (themeing and color scheming, paintwork, sourcing for part of the furniture, curtains, bedding's !) she resolved in her mind that the project will act as her testimony of God’s faithfulness and therefore she wasn't going to charge the client for concept development as well as project management.
Nothing comes easy; she put in a lot of hard work and extra hours to ensure that everything came out extremely well. After a month it was done and it was beautiful, very striking, it was Magnificent! Looking back now she tells the story with a hearty smile, with a breath of relief and a lot of thanks giving in her heart.
The Swahili say “Chema chajiuza…” (Direct translation: the good sells itself…) and sure enough it did. From her first project, she got another project just be a visitor walking in! And while doing the second she remembers vividly another client who walked in and asked “you mean to tell me a lady did this job?” She was speechless!
She’s planning on leaving formal employment to pursue her dream. Magnificent Interiors- a business she formed in October of 2012 currently runs as a sole proprietor but in her words she says “I will not stop until I get an international client!” and “given the chance I would be more than willing to share my knowledge in mentoring others.” She loves doing residential interiors but is also planning to venture into hospitality and commercial projects.
In her final words she says “There is no point in hiding who you really are. Listen to what people say about what you are good at; look beyond their comments, for therein lies your purpose. You don’t have to be in what society labels a “sustaining career…” in order to succeed, follow your heart and do what you enjoy; that is success.
Here are some images of the project she did...