Have you ever heard of International Women’s Day? It’s celebrated each year on March 8th, and is intended to honor the hardworking women around the world. It originally started in New York back in 1909 as a Socialist political event, and by 1917 it was declared a national holiday in the Soviet Union. It is still quite popular in many Eastern European countries, and is almost a mix between Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, with people paying respect to the impactful and beloved female figures of their lives. It is not uncommon for women to receive flowers, have the day off work, and maybe even get treated to breakfast in bed!
I’m sure we all have quite a few female role models we can think of who are responsible for making the world we live in a better place. One such person I’d like to highlight is Susan Murethi of the World Flower Council’s Kenyan Chapter. I first met Susan back in 2014 at the WFC Summit in Zagreb, Croatia. I was amazed to hear about how she started a flower farm outside of Nairobi, in Nayahururu, with the intention of creating jobs to keep her local community afloat.
Susan was tired of seeing people leave the community because there were no jobs or opportunities. She thought long and hard about what she could do to change this, and came upon the realization that Kenya is a leading exporter in roses. On top of that, she also realized that the climate and the location in Nayahururu were perfect to start up a flower farm. Shortly after, she and her husband created Suera Flowers Limited.
For nearly 20 years Suera Flowers Limited has been a successful driver in the community. It provides hundreds of jobs, and has grown to encompass 30 hectares, within which are the neighborhoods of Baraka, Nyota and Heikima, which translate to Blessings, The Star, and Wisdom respectively. The Core Values of Suera speak for themselves, as they are centered around the Home, the Company, the People and their Commitments. Suera is absolutely aligned with taking care of the community, ensuring the happiness of the employees and working topromote the longevity of the business, while at the same time producing high-quality, competitively-priced flowers.
As the business and the workforce grew, Susan saw the need to further satisfy and develop the community. She began to construct employee housing, to build a church and a school, and to ensure a hospital was in close proximity to the community. She even included a restaurant and a gas station for good measure. Dozens of employees have given birth in the hospital, and for a time Susan’s own son even worked as a doctor in the hospital, further adding to the “blessings” of the Baraka community.
In 2016, the World Flower Council Summit was hosted in Nairobi, Kenya. Before the official summit began, many WFC members enjoyed the opportunity to go out and visit Suera Flowers Limited and experience the beauty of Susan’s dream-turned-reality for themselves. Upon visiting the rose farm, it was evident that all employees take great pride in their work, and that they thoroughly love, appreciate and respect Susan for the amazing business-women and leader that she is.
Susan’s story is unique, and it serves as a great reminder of the power that lies within a determined woman. If you haven’t already, check out Suera Flowers Limited. Their roses are top notch, and the community behind them blossoms a bit more with each purchase. Also, take the time to surprise a special lady in your life with some flowers on March 8th, and share in the joy of International Women’s Day!
Learn more about Susan Mureithi and Suera Farm: www.suera.co.ke