The Kenyan firm turning empty bottles into works of art

When you see an empty wine bottle, very rarely is your first thought, ‘What wonderful art I could make with that’. Well, unless you’re David Chege.

What many people consider useless and a not-so-welcome reminder of better times has created a business opportunity for David, 30.

“The idea started when I saw empty wine bottles lying around my estate. I collected them for fun because I found their colours and shapes beautiful, and then I started decorating them,” he says.

His friends and family liked what they saw, and David saw the opportunity to turn his hobby into a money-making venture. He started collecting bottles from his friends’ houses and selling them back after giving them new life.

He started his business, House of David, with Sh5,000. He didn’t need much since he got most of the raw materials for free. “We now recycle anything that can create beauty for interior decor, including pallets, dead and dry wood, fallen leaves, dry flowers, twigs and seeds — basically anything that would have no value to the non-artist’s eye.”

He uses these bits and pieces to add interesting elements to wall hangings or elevate his wine bottles. He charges between Sh1,000 for individual pieces and Sh4,000 for gift sets.

“I make between Sh30,000 and Sh60,000 in a month from selling the pieces online,” says David.

He markets his products on social media because his business greatly relies on pictures, but he also has an outlet in Kahawa West, off Nairobi’s Thika Road. He also displays his products in his home in a bid to show their impact on interior decor.

“The main challenge I face is the lack of a proper market. People are yet to appreciate our art and we do not have trade avenues to help us market our products,” David says.

The company is barely a year old, but he is hopeful it will continue to grow.

“My dream and desire is to grow House of David into a unique design-hub sort of enterprise that mentors and hosts creative minds who have the same intention of conserving our environment,” he says. 

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