Student profile: Tiffany Wangari, owner, Knot Donuts

By Tiffany Wangari

Tiffany Wangari, an International Business and Administration student is the founder of Knot Donuts, which she founded after taking a gap year in 2021.

“The concept of donuts in form of knots came to me while I was making the regular American donut on one of my ‘I should probably do something productive today’ days during my gap year in 2021. Baking has always been an interest of mine and as I grew older, I got more in touch with my creative side and took up drawing and painting. Therefore, I like to think that Knot donuts is a result of both those interests combined,” she says.

“Before starting the business, I often gifted these donuts to close friends and family and each time they enjoyed them. I was determined to share this donut experience with more people and started improving the recipe to make it the best it could be. I shared the idea with my mom, who despite her initial hesitation, ended up being my biggest supporter. Her concerns were around if there was really a market for donuts in Kenya and how I would be able to sustain the business, which now when I think about it are things everyone should do great research on before starting any kind of business,” she adds.

At the time, she didn’t think about it much and went ahead and created an Instagram page and posted that the donut shop was open. Tiffany hoped that she would get a good reaction and that donut lovers would find her, and they did.

“I forgot about the part of the business where one buys supplies and plans orders therefore I only had the two boxes I had put the donuts for the content I used to advertise and my mom’s house ingredients. This of course was barely enough because for that weekend only I got about fifty orders! I was between being extremely happy and extremely overwhelmed, but I got all the orders done,” she notes.

The turning point for her business came when she came across an advert for a flea market, which gave her a platform to introduce the business to more people. The decision to take part in the flea market was made on the go, and she decided that she would take part in it by making 100 donuts that she would sell at the weekend event.

“I was unsure because I remembered how stressful the launch weekend was but with a small push from friends and family, I did it. The flea market was amazing and that is where I met Regina Newman, John Newman and Ronnie. Later, I came to find out that they were the owners of Kazuri Beads and they presented me with an amazing opportunity to partner with them. I appreciate them because they have supported me as I opened the shop and although it is up and running, they have continued to mentor me,” she says.

The success of the shop, which opened on December 2022 pushed me to change my major from Data Science to International Business Administration because it was more aligned with my interests. .

“It feels amazing to have a space where I can be expressive through my donuts. There is definitely a lot of skills that I have learned in school that can directly be applied when it comes to running a business which makes me very glad I am doing a business course. This pushes me to work very hard in school because I know how useful what we are learning in the classroom is. I’m excited to see Knot Donuts grow, I’m excited to take the lessons as they come and most importantly I am excited to complete my degree at USIU-Africa,” she concludes.

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