Recycling designers making a difference

Aska Orlale (left) and Taleni Matheus, young entrepreneurs using recyclable waste to make beautiful decorative products out of ordinary rubbish.

Aska Orlale and Taleni Matheus are female entrepreneur who want to make a difference in the world by beatifying it with what others see as garbage. They believe that it is never to early or to late to start a business and to turn everyday problems into business solutions.

Their business M&O Décor manufactures decorative products from recycling and upcycling materials. On the sideline, they also run an event planning and management company. It is a close corporation of 50/50 shareholding between the two of them.
Aska Orlale (22) is a student at the Polytechnic of Namibia and her vision is and always has been to become a millionaire by the age of 26. “Bill Gates wanted to be a millionaire at 30, but instead became a billionaire at 31, so why can’t I also dream it,” she said.
Taleni Matheus is a 24 year old marketing student at the International University of Management. They are both members of the Young Achievers Empowerment project, which was where they met each other.
“We are very creative and business oriented individuals, humble and down to earth, and we have a common goal,” they said. They advise entrepreneurs especially women to choose something they are passionate about, and make money while doing it. “They say behind every successful man there is a woman, now imagine if you are the one at the forefront,” said the girls. They are also inspired by seeing young people doing big things and it tickles their minds making them think ‘why can that not be them.
They reiterate that they have always been creative young individuals and always had passion for business as early as when they were in primary school. “After entering competitions and seeing that the judges liked the idea, we decided why not just start the business, there is no harm in trying, and seeing that waste is a global issue, we decided to start making a difference by beatifying [our world] with recyclable waste instead of dirtying [it],” emphasised the girls.

Their main obstacle as a business is not startup capital because they are in the top five of the Sanlam Innovation Works which won them N$20,000.”The challenge facing us now, seeing that we do business from recycling, is running around collecting empty glass bottles, plastic bottles, shoe boxes etc. It is really difficult to do all these without a vehicle, taxi fares become costly and this is now our biggest expense.” they said.
They plan to target the corporate market to make use of their services, at the same time so that they can spread the spirit of recycling. Secondly they plan to launch their business and other businesses in an innovative manner, to get their products onto the shelves of shops to get exposure. “We want to have our own décor shop, and a creative school for young children because their imagination is limitless and it is great to groom them at a young age,” said the duo
Their proudest moment is being part of the top 5 Sanlam Innovation Works competition and they are equally proud to have been part of the AddVenture Spark-Connect hosted by Team Namibia and FABlab.