Wachuka has a large pool of insights into design and building spaces. “I worked in the real estate sector before Ikigai (a co-working space with four locations in Nairobi) and a big part of my job was designing spaces. Taking blank canvases, watching them come to life, and then seeing people use them, interact and connect with them, and enjoy them is big for me.”
She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Bucknell University, Pennsylvania, US and a postgraduate executive certification in Project Management.
“I am very interested in people and culture. My background in sociology has helped me understand organisational behaviour, interpersonal dynamics (both with customers and our team), building trust, listening to and analysing perspectives, and using insights to better serve the needs of the organisation. Working in green spaces has been shown to boost creativity and productivity, and offer many mental, physical, social and emotional benefits, which is important to us.”
Wachuka says her sister (and co-founder) and she “have many things in common when it comes to what makes us tick, and this is what made us so aligned in starting the business together.”
"Be you, and never try to be a version of somebody else. I encourage you not to negotiate with yourself about your worth and capabilities; challenge yourself, lean into the fear, and step outside your comfort zone. We won’t know what we are capable of otherwise."
When she turns 40, she plans to prioritise the things that she has not been able to do in the build-up to the big four; her wellness, spirituality, and further discovering her life’s purpose. Her Ikigai.
“Having compassion and empathy while running a business is a strength. In the workplace, for women in particular, compassion and empathy are seen as a weakness. But they have a huge impact in leadership and running a successful business,” Wachuka tells younger women getting into the business. “Be you, and never try to be a version of somebody else. I encourage you not to negotiate with yourself about your worth and capabilities; challenge yourself, lean into the fear, and step outside your comfort zone. We won’t know what we are capable of otherwise.”
Three years on from her diagnosis of Long Covid, a chronic illness, Wachuka has been a great champion of the Long Covid community in Kenya by creating awareness about the illness, patient advocacy, and running a support group for this community.