Today we feature Sylvia Moraa on Pearls And Heels. Sylvia Moraa is a Graphic Designer, Printing & Brand Consultant, and CEO of the Tech Hub Group of companies which comprises, Tech Hub Services, Tech Hub Creations, Tech Hub Enterprises and Tech Events. She is a Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Muthaiga and a mother of 3 handsome boys.
1. Describe your typical day?
I wake up at 5:30 am; to get myself and my three boys ready. I then ensure the nanny and the other two boys aged 5 and 31/2 have everything they need and head out to drop my eldest who is 9 at school by 7 am. I get to my office by 7:15 am, say my prayers, check my diary, check emails and prepare a schedule for the day, then by around 10 am go out for meetings and run around to check on productions and meet clients. I hardly have time for lunch as lunch hour mostly finds me in traffic or in meetings, but I try my best. I pick up my eldest son from school around 3:30-4 pm. The other two are usually dropped home by the school van earlier. I get home by 5:30 pm then we spend time together, do homework have dinner by 7:30 pm and take them to bed by 9 pm. More often than not, I get back to work, finish off with emails, and correspondences for the day, recheck if all is done as planned and go to bed at midnight.
2. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Other than finishing my Degree course in B Com. at UoN and pursuing further studies, I’m not sure I would do anything else differently, considering where I have come from. I know what I’m passionate about (Design & Art) and in the process of doing that I discovered I enjoy and have skills in sales and marketing. I have since applied that to turn my passion & talent in the business.
3. What would you say are the top three skills needed to succeed at your job?
Print media is vast as it depends on which category you want to be in. Studying Graphic design and understanding the software involved. Having a wide understanding of print media & processes involved, and having an eye for detail is ultimate. Being an artist gives you an upper hand when pursuing graphic design since creativity will come naturally from that.
4. As a professional how is it working in Nairobi?
Working here is great but could be better. The amount of time wasted in traffic is too much, Power cuts are such an inconvenience especially when you have deadlines. If these two were improved, a lot could be saved and we would be able to do more and produce more as a country. In addition, appreciation of the service industry is wanting. We need to appreciate and respect what other people do and know its worth and its contribution to the economy and society.
5. Is Nairobi open to what you do or what could be better?
Yes, Nairobi is open to what I do. It is quite a common trade when it comes to printing but what Nairobi needs to open up to is appreciating quality and standards. What sets a business apart is its brand and how it’s represented. Most businesses simply ask for a job to be printed without considering if the artworks are per the company brand guidelines. If it will represent them well when put out and if it will in turn communicate what they stand for and desire? Is the paper used and finish going to be satisfactory to the specific needs and is the desired quality going to be met? Print production and branding Consulting is something I have learned and come to appreciate from my 9 years of experience in the business as it enlightens the client and enables them to have their corporate look streamlined.
6. What motivates you?
God, my kids and my passion for what I do. In consulting and printing & graphic design, every project is different. You always learn something new, meet new people and help meet their desired targets. God gave us all a talent which we are to use to serve society.
7. How do you define success?
Success is when you get that ultimate satisfaction that what you are doing has served its purpose. Having that inner peace and joy. It is when you have touched someone’s life directly or indirectly. When you have mentored someone by providing a platform where they can confidently discover and exploit their potential.
8. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
From my younger years, my greatest inspiration was my mum, Eunice Kerubo. She moulded me to be who I am in terms of hard work, virtues, morals, perseverance, focus, humility and going for what you want in life.
In business, I am greatly inspired by my main mentor, Jay Manek. He is humble, achieves what he has to, does it perfectly and still has time to give back to society and be there for others. Probably the only man I have seen who can super multi-task and still do the tasks to perfection. Every time I get stuck, I seek his wise counsel, he always makes time from his super busy schedule to listen and guide me. He will always say things as they are without mincing the ugly parts so that things I may have overlooked and no one else will be bold enough to tell me… he surely will.
9. What is your favourite aspect of your job?
Planning things and watching them fall in place. Planning is an art. Perfect planning with consideration of all worst-case scenarios gets you prepared for everything.
10. What would you say are the key elements to being successful?
Self-discipline, self-belief, listening keenly, planning, reading widely, and faith in God.
11. What advice would you give somebody just starting out in your line of work?
The first thing is to be sure of what you want, do your market research, consult widely, find your strong point so as to stand out, and know which direction you want to go because once you are clear about it then all else will fall in place. It may be easier said than done but it is possible.
12. What has been your most satisfying moment in terms of your career?
Finally setting up an advertising agency; Tech Hub Creations, this year and its associate companies for office supplies and events. In September, we branded the Rotary Zone 20A institute and received great appreciation from the Rotary President, the Secretary-General and other leaders for the best branded Rotary event in history.
13. What makes you happy?
A happy client, seeing my children happy, being a joy to my parents and those little messages I receive from young ladies and friends when they say I have helped and inspired them in one way or another without knowing. It is very fulfilling.
14. What are your hobbies?
Watching rugby, relaxing with friends, listening to music, motivational talks, nature walks, photography and networking.
15. What do you do in your non-work time?
I’m a workaholic but I try to relax once in a while and do mother-child stuff. Visit my parents and take the kids to different places so they learnt to appreciate diversity.
16. Where do you see yourself in around 10 years?
I should be 40 something by then and I have a target of being on the cover of Forbes magazine someday. Socially I want to change lives and help divorced and separated women to access counselling and legal assistance. I am currently running an online platform for people going through separation and divorce, where we come together, advise each other, and share experiences. I would like to see a change in the attitude of society towards divorcees, single parents and those separated.
In my career, I want to set up Tech Hub Academy of design and branding. Its purpose is to breed talent, see students graduate and give them a place to work. I want to give kids from high school a workplace experience. Help them understand the opportunities available, so they can figure out what they want early enough and present themselves well. I want to be there for our artistic youth, help nurture their gifts and get people to appreciate art and the existing talents.
You can interact with Sylvia Moraa on Twitter at @MoraaSylvia.