Rati Vishal, a resident of Lugogo bypass, Kampala turned her gardening passion into a home job.
She sells different kinds of ornamental plants, planters, plant holders and garden art pieces.
Rati is a professional teacher with a master’s degree in fine art, interior design and landscaping.
She stays with her husband and son in a three-bedroom flat.
“Our landlord is good. She doesn’t mind me maintaining and using her property as my own,” she says.
When the family moved to Uganda from India about 15 years ago, Rati started teaching at an international school.
Alongside that, she sold paintings but the market wasn’t growing because clients found them expensive.
She also did interior design, specializing in designing nurseries and kids’ bedrooms.
“I started getting health complications and gave up interior design. It was cumbersome,” she shares.
Rati decided to concentrate on art and gardening. She set up a workshop in one of the bedrooms where she spends most of her day; painting pots for sale.
She also earns from landscaping.
“By 2016, I had collected many plants in my compound. I started selling them on Facebook to declutter,” she says.
Since then, Rati has not looked back.
“My art has boosted the clay pots industry. I buy those pots and paint them before selling them. Many entrepreneurs have come on board,” she says.
Rati has also inspired many people mostly stay-at-home mothers. They have adopted gardening as a business.
Rati used to hire gardeners but she gave up on them because they used to steal her plants.
She now maintains the garden with her house help. They spend four hours every day watering, potting and pruning the plants.
“This work is enjoyable once you are passionate. It’s also affordable. For example, water bills consume less than sh100, 000 monthly,” she explains.
Rati sells succulents, bromeliads, hanging plants, ferns, orchids and culinary herbs and spices among others.