KATY, Texas - While millions have walked away from careers during the pandemic, starting their own business, it's a lifelong dream for many. A Katy woman, who stepped away from a career as a corporate attorney to spend time with her family, is now finding time to follow her passion.
Annette Njau is standing in the middle of her boutique showroom, showing off a brightly-colored handbag.
"Everything about this bag is, literally, perfect," she says.
The House of Takura, as the business is known, is actually a converted bedroom in Njau's Katy home, where she markets her African-themed handbags, eyewear, and apparel.
"I wanted to do African fashion, but I wanted to do it on a very modern scale," says Njau.
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Her family emigrated from the African nation of Sierra Leone, when she was a child, but that heritage was a vital part of her life. Dabbling in clothing design, during college, became a passion-project, later. It has now given way to the product line she sells online, made from fabrics and seamstresses in Africa.
She says that authenticity is an essential connection, "I had the opportunity to move over here and make a better life for myself. Most people don't get that opportunity, so we have to provide opportunities for people where they feel like 'Hey, I can actually live here and make living'."
Njau also donates a portion of every sale to organizations, in Africa, that are committed to improving lives by providing clean water, education, and nurturing orphans. It's an ambitious venture that's been made more challenging, during the pandemic, when sales were harder to come by.
She cannot, however, imagine turning back. "This is all of our funds in this business, and it ties up a lot of opportunity to do other things, but because i love it so much, I just power through."
Annette Njau is also trying to help local small businesses, by buying small accessories, from them, and including the items in orders she sells, with instructions on how customers can find more. The House of Takura can be found online, on the Facebook Marketplace, and Instagram