“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Rob Siltanen
The first time I saw that quote I was sitting in the waiting room of Elite Digital offices at Peponi House, Nairobi, waiting to hear if AAR Credit had approved my loan to get a brand new Black MacBook. I’d first come across Apple Mac computers in campus as I was in an Art and Design school, and had also worked at my first job in an Agency for a year or so using the original big bummed 1998 iMac. Suffice it to say I was a privileged girl and here I was finally about to get a bite of the Apple for my own self.
I read that quote and felt tingles all over my spine, here I was earning my first salary and was already taking up my first debt to enter the world of the misfits and round pegs in square holes. I was as excited as Alice dropping down that hole into Wonderland. My loan was approved and I got handed the laptop but it was really mine 11 months later when I cleared the loan.
I go back to that time because I feel like that is where I really started my journey as a Creative Mind. I had no excuse not to create away at any given time and it lead to me getting into freelance design work. I got a bit serious with it when I got a corporate contract to layout their Financials for that year. Lord knows I only had the computer but here they were asking for Business Certificates, PIN Numbers, Business Bank Accounts… I grew up in two seconds and set up Indigo Designs.
Honestly, I didn’t like the name one bit but it was the only one approved out of a list of 20 (yes 20) names that I came up with. The process of getting a name out of the ever stuffy and full Sheria House was not as easy as now when you just search www.ecitizen.go.ke so any name you got approved you ran out like the wind with it.
So with Indigo Designs under my arm, approved work, received cheque and an ETR receipt disbursed to boot (via my own ETR Machine that I still have to date) I was good to go as a legit little businessperson and I was proud of myself. The year was 2008.
Fast forward 8 years and Indigo Designs grew up into Indigo Designs, Events and Activations (I.D.E.A) as I was trying to find my footing in the creative world post babies and as a legit entrepreneur. Then came Idea Agency Limited which now is the company’s final name, we have moved from Graphic Design to Branding and now to Publishing and our very first baby is The Hairpolitan Magazine set to launch in a few days, hours, minutes… nervous excitement!!!!
I guess looking back over my shoulder I realise I am back to the point where I started in that waiting room reading the quote on the wall. I was starting out then, not sure if I would even manage to finish paying for that laptop…not sure if buying it was worth it or if I’d even get any work to use it for; and now I look back at my portfolio and get amazed by the amazing ideas that I, together with others, have created and seen come to life. May the young lady who inherited that laptop go on to do amazing things with it.
Now I am here about to take ownership of this new thing… not sure where it will lead but certain the ride will be awesome! I can’t wait! And the real reason I write this post, however, is to say a big THANK YOU! To family, friends, and even strangers who have supported me over the years, sending work my way, working with me, having long chats over lunches as we try and figure this thing called life. Sharing ups and downs, encouraging each other, creating castles in the air, actually building some of them on earth…I treasure you.
To those who have called, texted, Whatsapp’d and Emailed to ask how it’s all been going, in general and in terms of Hairpolitan…asking if I need anything, especially funding… and for you to send the little you have that always, always goes a long way. You are the people who give a girl hope that she’s on the right track, may God bless you.
Thank you to whoever suggested my name for the African Women in Cultural Leadership (AWCL) Mentorship program… I have my suspicions (eyes person in Creatives Garage). The program so far has been fire on my bum, pushing me to do the things I said I would do… from my first meeting with my Mentor with whom I shared this idea with and she looked at me wondering why it wasn’t even already in existence. To the program organisers, my Mentor and fellow mentees, especially the mentees, you guys rock! Thanks for being with me in this path to Cultural leadership.
Thank you to the true Hairpolitans that bought into this idea, not through the 66-paged PowerPoint (true story) presentation, but by me just sharing a sketch of the concept while standing at a family function or at a polite visit to your home or at a long awaited brunch at Monikos or a Java looking through magazine layouts. You know yourselves… you are the reason I’ve worked hard to put this out there. You’ve provided content, ideas, time, energy, creativity and your beautiful selves to create something that was a distant thought a few months ago and for that I thank you. My major task is not only to grow the magazine but also to grow you guys as people, brands and businesses. Here is to the journey we’re all yet to take.
To my husband… thank you! You’ve heard ALL My 1,000,000 ideas since we met, and believed that they were all viable. Honestly, to have one take off must be a great relief to you! Thanks for the support. To my sons… the hours put in might have lessened the hangout time we’ve been having but you’re in my hearts always. Lastly to my Mum, all I can say… you have the greatest shoulder anyone could ever stand upon – I won’t let you down.
Lastly to God…and all these crazy ideas you keep puting into my head and above all the grace, strength and fortitude to see through. I would have never done this alone. I praise you.