Reaching for the Stars

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Gaceri Kirimi, Co-founder , Destello Laundry Cleaning Services.

Gaceri Kirimi is a budding Kenyan Entrepreneur reaching for the stars and striving to make her company not only about the money, but about making lifetime connections and impact in the market place. She is the co-founder of Destello Laundry, a cleaning services company helping Nairobi’s busy professionals and families to deal with the chore of doing laundry each week.

How did you get started as an entrepreneur?

The entrepreneurial bug was hot in the blood. It was just a matter of time before it erupted and manifested itself. I have had a share of ventures, but the one that made me get shivers and goose bumps was after my co-founder Muthoni Okuthe and I, on a lunch date one afternoon, toyed around with the idea of starting a laundry business as a side hustle… Destello Laundry Cleaning Services was born and as they say, the rest is history.

Tell us more about Destello Laundry Cleaning Services?

Destello Laundry Cleaning Services is a proudly Kenyan, premium on-demand wash and fold laundry service in Nairobi. We pride ourselves in offering a superior customer experience to our clients while taking care of their laundry needs. We offer professional, reliable, quality laundry services to upwardly mobile young professionals, families and small businesses.

What inspired you to start Destello?

The lack of reliable and affordable laundry services in Nairobi inspired us greatly. What with the unreliable Mama Fuas? We wanted to give our clients reliable convenience and a superb Destello sparkle Experience, which would literally knock their socks off for another wash with us!

Why Destello?

We greatly value our clients and stemming from this, their feedback on our service is invaluable and taken with all the weight it requires. Client feedback helps us to improve on our operations while making sure our clients get full value for their money. We  understand that our clients value their items and we are always honoured to have them trust us do their laundry, and as such, we always assure them that we love their clothes as much as their do and put in stringent measures to loose only the dirt!

Achievements so far?

Oh my! If there’s anything I’ve learnt in business is that it is not easy… Celebrating Destello’s small wins gives us the strength to push on, to be better than yesterday. We started out with just a handful of clients, now we have a small army of clients who are mesmerised by the quality of our work and keep sharing our name. We are forever grateful to them. We started out with one household machine, no drier, working from home, no employees yet here we are making it one sparkle at a time! When you believe in your dream, and your brand, everything is possible.

Any challenges faced?

Most definitely! Challenges in business, and in life so to say are given, however how you deal with them give you the muscle to live to fight another day or simply crash you…Starting out, our biggest challenge was how to get clients on board. We had initially targeted salons as our main segment but with time we realised that this segment was not our visionary client and we had to regroup and re-strategise. Furthermore, since we had no proper physical address, getting people to trust us with their dirty laundry in the literal sense was another challenge that sparkled away once we started getting five star reviews on our facebook page!

What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?

Seeing how far Destello has come, small strides, but growing each day into a super brand. Seeing our clients almost cry when we close especially for the December holidays, makes us know that we are indeed a lifesaver and our clients more than appreciate our services. Besides, learning from our mistakes and using those as learning curves to improve on our operations. Most of all the “Thank you very much” feedback always lights up our world as we take great pride in our work of adding a sparkle to your laundry!

What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?

In the very present, we are trusting God to open up doors for us to move to a bigger space which will allow us to buy more machines, which will in turn reduce our turnaround times and overall increase capacity to spread the Destello sparkle to even more clients! Seeing Destello brand grow to be the preferred on-demand laundry service provider beyond Kenya will definitely be a high!

What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?

Starting a business is no easy fit,  it’s an adventure worth going for, that brings both joy and tears in equal measure, but we must never give up; no one got anywhere by giving up! To top it all, you must believe in your brand, you can’t sell something that you don’t believe in!