The aviation industry is one of the worst-hit sectors of the economy by the Covid-19 pandemic as all domestic and international flights were grounded.
This left nearly all people working in the industry including pilots and flight attendants jobless, with airlines such as Kenya Airways sending their workers on unpaid leave.
Geraldine Gitau, a pilot working for Kenya Airways, is one of the travel industry’s employees whose jobs were affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
But unlike most of her colleagues who are struggling to make ends meet amid the pandemic, Geraldine took the opportunity to advance her perfume business, where she now earns her daily bread.
In an interview with Nairobi News, Geraldine said she is glad that she founded Scents by Geraldine in 2016, which has come in handy in this difficult time.
“I am lucky to have started this perfumery business a few years ago even though it isn’t really where I want it to be but at least I have a fallback plan,” Geraldine said.
Although she admits the business has been badly affected by the pandemic, she says she is able to earn something and retain her workers.
“My amazing team at Scents By Geraldine agreed to take a pay cut that way I kept their jobs secure. Communication and transparency with them is key,” Gitau said.
The idea to set up the business was as a result of her travel to many countries, where she experienced different cultures on perfumery, and sampling perfumes.
“I have had the wonderful opportunity of travelling widely, meeting people, experiencing different cultures, and sampling perfumes out there.”
“I love perfumes and so when it was time to start my business, I dived into what was natural,” she added.
Scents by Geraldine is home to Kenya’s first original designer perfume.
“Like any other business, starting is never easy. You have to have a passion for it otherwise you will easily give up. It has been a struggle creating brand awareness and changing perceptions that a quality fragrance can be made by a Kenyan.”
“The reception has been great in the Kenyan market. Our low-cost perfumes have also been received very well as they are both original and affordable,” she added.