Building a startup is an art and what’s better when startups are built from art.
Over the past few years, the startup industry has seen a boom in creative business. Once startup was a domain of people from technical and business background only, but recent years seem to be going in a totally different direction.
This industry is progressively becoming more artistic as evidenced by more local artists crossing the threshold of art towards business and presenting their work to the world as a product.
Take David Jeremiah Kachepa for example. He is making a living out of art through David’s Art Studio and Gallery.
At only 25, Kachepa set up the company and already employs three people. His main product: wall murals.
“People love them and they are in high demand,” Kachepa told Weekend Business.
Armed with a certificate in painting from Soche Technical College and majors in fine arts, Kachepa started operating David’s Art Studio and Gallery from Chilomoni Township in Blantyre.
“I always thought that art and business can go a long way when together,” he explains.
The natural-born painter took to interior wall mural designing, pencil sketching because there was high demand for the art.
“Very few people can do this kind of work. I am one of the few people who can do interior design in homes, hotels, lodges, schools and different business places.
“In homes I work out on designs suitable for sitting rooms, dining, master’s rooms, kids rooms and ceilings while on pencil sketches I do pencil portraits and landscapes. Ceramics involves working out on flower vases and animal figures and statues,” Kachepa says.
To him, distance is not a barrier, so long as he has been contracted to dosome works, distance is just but another opportunity.
At the start of his business in 2012, Kachepa had no capital but remained hopeful of his idea.
“I only had the idea since that time I had a strategic plan before I finished my school, I only thank the grace of God which started working with me from that time because some fear came in me showing me the failure I can have through the path I took but I was determined until I saw little by little things changing and started promising,” he says.
The downside to the business, Kachepa says is the shortage of materials.
“Most of the material I use cannot be locally sourced. I have to import, so that’s a challenge to the business,” he explains.
Apart from that, there is also lack of appreciation of artworks by fellow Malawians.
But to counter the challenge, Kachepa is marketing his art skills and products on the social media.
“I have a Facebook page called David’s Art studio and Gallery. People can see my work and also contact me through the page,” he says.
From the art business, Kachepa is slowly expanding his business by venturing into other service-based activities.
“I also now own a farming business and a grocery store. All these have come out of the art business,” he says, smiling. n