Surviving in the shaky creative industry of design

George Rotich

George Rotich, 30, the founder of Jewel Films Digital, at his office in Westlands, Nairobi.

Photo credit: Peter Changtoek | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Jewel Films Digital offers premium creative services; primarily graphic design, photography, branding, printing, and web design.
  • Based in Western Heights along Karuna Road in Westlands, Nairobi, the firm's clients are mostly Small and Medium Enterprises.

In 2021, George Rotich, 30, started a design and photography company. He had fallen victim to the Covid-19 layoffs in a company where he worked in the creative department.

He went ahead and established Jewel Films Digital, which offers premium creative services; primarily graphic design, photography, branding, printing, and web design.

“I am a graphic designer and photographer with a diploma in both graphic design and photography from Shaw Academy, Ireland. My company is an out-of-the-box creative agency that caters to specific creative needs for small and medium-sized businesses,” Rotich says.

Based in Western Heights along Karuna Road in Westlands, Nairobi, his clients are mostly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

When he started the company, Rotich had little capital, so he had to make use of the available resources.

“I acquired a high-performance computer and a professional camera to kick-start my business. I started alone and handled all the services. Currently, there are two in the company with two other designers working remotely,” he adds.

The designer previously worked as a creative in the corporate space. Then Covid-19 struck and organisations started reworking their budgets.

Most of them discontinued their marketing expenses and the creative industry suffered a blow that rendered most of the in-house creative talents jobless.

“Companies started to reconsider the practicality of maintaining in-house creative teams. Many of them preferred to outsource consultancy for creative expertise,” he explains.

“This led to massive layoffs, and that’s when I saw the gap to set up a business to cater to this specific need.” 

Before venturing into the business, he first researched on the market trends. He envisioned a company that would bridge the gap between SMEs in need of creative services and skilled professionals seeking flexible work arrangements.

Rotich says Jewel Films Digital loves to work with startups. However, acquiring new clients is a constant challenge they face in the competitive market. Balancing multiple projects, meeting deadlines, and juggling various responsibilities are other challenges.

“As an entrepreneur, balancing work commitments and spending quality time with my family can be challenging. The demands of running a business and the need for personal fulfillment require a conscious effort to establish boundaries, manage stress, and nurture personal interests outside of work,” adds the entrepreneur.

He says that he mostly gets clients through referrals from friends and previous clients. They also get clients from their social media platforms where they are always active and their interactive website too.

“Facebook is a versatile platform that allows us to reach a broad audience and engage with potential customers. With its emphasis on visual storytelling, Instagram is another valuable platform for showcasing our company’s products through captivating images and curated aesthetics. LinkedIn, conversely, enables the company to reach more business-oriented audiences,” he notes.

Jewel Films Digital charges vary depending on the scope of services offered and their duration. “Our prices are friendly and affordable even to someone who is just starting up a small business.”

Rotich now has over seven years of experience in the field.

“I have the skills and knowledge to help elevate your brand and communicate your message effectively. As a highly collaborative creative designer, I believe that the best results come from working closely with my clients to understand their needs and goals. I take the time to fully research and understand your business, target audience, and competitors, and use this information to guide my design decisions,” he explains.

“To give my clients an idea of my style and capabilities, they can visit my website at Whether you need a new logo design, brand refresh, marketing materials, or website graphics, I am confident that I can deliver high-quality, effective designs that will help your business stand out and succeed.

"In addition to my technical skills, I am a creative problem solver and enjoy finding unique, innovative solutions to design challenges. I am passionate about staying up-to-date on the latest design trends and always look for ways to pushing the boundaries to create something truly special,” says Rotich.

The entrepreneur advises those who intend to venture into such a business to hone their skills and stay updated with the latest techniques in order to succeed in the ever-evolving entrepreneurial landscape. He also advises them to ensure that they learn something new every day.

Rotich plans to solidify the company’s position as a unique force in the creative industry while making a lasting impact on businesses’ success.

“In terms of growth, I envision expanding the client base both regionally and internationally, leveraging remote collaboration expertise to serve a broader range of SMEs. Diversifying industry verticals will also be a focus for me,” says the entrepreneur.