Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

New life for old wheels: Craftsmen turn bicycles into stylish furniture

From Florence Obondo, for CNN
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1044 GMT (1844 HKT)
Ojey's Designs Limited is a Kenyan startup specializing in making contemporary furniture from old bicycle parts. Ojey's Designs Limited is a Kenyan startup specializing in making contemporary furniture from old bicycle parts.
HIDE CAPTION
Bikes turned into furniture
Bikes turned into furniture
Bikes turned into furniture
Bikes turned into furniture
Bikes turned into furniture
Bikes turned into furniture
Bikes turned into furniture
Bikes turned into furniture
Bikes turned into furniture
Bikes turned into furniture
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ojey's Designs specializes in making modern furniture from old bicycle parts
  • Launched in 2012, the business lists bars, hotels and restaurants as clients
  • Click through the gallery to see the Kenyan startup's creations

Every week, African Start-Up follows entrepreneurs in various countries across the continent to see how they are working to make their business dreams become reality.

(CNN) -- For many, bicycles are meant solely as a mode of transportation, a quick and convenient way of getting from A to B. In Kenya's capital city of Nairobi, however, a group of craftsmen take the functionality of bicycles a step further -- by transforming them into eye-catching modern furniture.

From its spacious 5th-floor apartment overlooking Nairobi, Ojey's Designs is a business fashioning elaborate chairs and tables out of old bike parts -- from rims and tires to spokes and pedals, the different parts are all welded together to form the base of the contemporary furnitire.

"We do the bar stools, the bar tables," says Martin Ojwang, the startup's founder. "We do chairs, the cafe chairs and cafe tables -- those ones can go to the hotels."

Martin Ojwang, founder of Ojey's Designs.
CNN

Read this: Old boat sails turned into uplifting art

Having worked as an accountant for three years, the young entrepreneur decided to change career paths in 2012 after crafting his first creation: a beautiful coffee table made from a bicycle rim.

Ojwang then quit his job and set up shop in the large balcony of his apartment where he's now making furniture on order.

"When we started Ojey's Designs I was alone and then I employed some two people for assisting," says Ojwang. "Right now, we actually have four employees and we have four casual workers who come when the production is high."

Click through the gallery above to see Ojwang's creations and check out the video below to find out more about Ojey Designs.

Read this: Old boat sails turned into uplifting art

Read this: From flip-flops to rubber masterpieces

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
November 3, 2014 -- Updated 1448 GMT (2248 HKT)
War long made Goma a difficult place to live in, but one woman has set out to change that -- and she's using soft croissants and fresh coffee.
October 29, 2014 -- Updated 1153 GMT (1953 HKT)
When you think chocolate, you probably don't think Uganda. But if two local entrepreneurs have their way, you will soon...
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1246 GMT (2046 HKT)
If someone has shined your shoes in a South African airport, it's probably thanks to Lere Mgayiya.
September 8, 2014 -- Updated 0924 GMT (1724 HKT)
Meet Kemi Kalikawe, the owner of Naledi Lifestyle Store which specializes in fashion and household items in Dar es Salaam.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1044 GMT (1844 HKT)
On the streets of the Ugandan capital of Kampala, scores of vulnerable children face uncertain futures.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1400 GMT (2200 HKT)
A student works on a laptop in Nigeria.
Five digital natives from five very different African nations have come together to transform the continent's approach to education.
September 3, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Translating local charm into eye-catching designs, Definition Africa is a booming t-shirt retailer staying true to its Ugandan roots.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1046 GMT (1846 HKT)
Janet Fredman Designs transforms modest materials such as seeds, wood and leather into high-end jewelry.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1006 GMT (1806 HKT)
A chocolate truffle torte cake is seen in Vienna on April 20, 2013. Cakes and pastries are a very popular feature of Austria's cuisine. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEIN (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP/Getty Images)
A lawyer by day and cake maker by night, Sungeni Mtalimanja turned her passion for baking into a business.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1044 GMT (1844 HKT)
In Kenya's capital city of Nairobi, a group of craftsmen are transforming bicycles into eye-catching modern furniture.
August 6, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
Meet the ingenious entrepreneurs wanting to get a slice of Nigeria's wedding industry cake.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
The dandy look has long been associated with the style of the quintessential gentleman. But certain gentlemen in various parts of Africa have now taken the look to the next level.
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 1407 GMT (2207 HKT)
A general view of the Hout Bay harbour covered in mist is seen on May 8, 2010 from the Chapman's peak road on the outskirts of Cape Town. Chapman's peak road is the coastal link between Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope. When following the African coastline from the equator the Cape of Good Hope marks the psychologically important point where one begins to travel more eastward than southward, thus the first rounding of the cape in 1488 by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias was a major milestone in the attempts by the Portuguese to establish direct trade relations with the Far East. He called the cape Cabo Tormentoso. As one of the great capes of the South Atlantic Ocean, the Cape of Good Hope has been of special significance to sailors for many years and is widely referred to by them simply as 'the Cape'. It is a major milestone on the clipper route followed by clipper ships to the Far East and Australia, and still followed by several offshore yacht races. AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA (Photo credit should read GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)
A Cape Town start-up which offers tours of the city in 3G Wi-Fi equipped vehicles, allows clients to upload holiday photos instantly to social media.
See the full coverage of CNN's African Start-Up -- the show that follows entrepreneurs across the continent making their dreams become reality.
ADVERTISEMENT