‘My name is Seanice Nabwire and I run a women’s clothing store called Glitz And Glam Kenya that stocks women event dresses and sheer stockings. We are located at T-mall on Lang’ata road in Nairobi Kenya.
My Business Journey
I started my business in December 2019 after identifying a gap for affordable Haute Couture dinner/event dresses and the unavailability of quality sheer stockings in the country. In my initial startup days, all I could eat, drink, sleep and think was this business, how to get the right products in, how to get the right staff, how to break even. I envisioned being a billionaire in my first year of business then going on vacation to Bali for my first ever big break! then reality happened. Fantasy is very different from reality. I can categorically say that business is not for the faint hearted. There are days or even a week, I could go home having not sold a single item. Those were tough times. But I have learnt along the way that indeed tough times do not last, but tough people do.
Highs and Lows
My biggest break was when a certain Influencer asked people to nominate a shop that can dress her for a certain Red Carpet event. Someone nominated Glitz and Glam Kenya. In the days that followed , the Influencer came to my shop and asked if I could dress her and I said a big yes! Let’s just say that I sold out all my ball gowns for the week and from then on, my shop has been associated with haute couture ball gowns/dinner dresses. This particular lady is the reason I went viral and whoever nominated me…be blessed. I have never known who you are but may your cup never run dry.
Reflecting on my lowest moment, this was even before the Covid Pandemic. At T-Mall where my business is located, the departure of the anchor tenant meant that the mall had less traffic. This translated to almost nil walk-ins to my shop and it’s from this that I realized social media marketing can be a business life saver. Social media marketing works. I learnt how to push my business online. It might be slow at times but it definitely works.
I am glad I started my journey in business and certainly, as time goes by I keep learning something new. I know that I have barely scratched the surface of entrepreneurship but I am certainly getting better at it. I have lost money because of buying too much of stock or receiving wrong orders, All in all I have learnt lessons about life and business that would have taken me decades to learn. Slowly and surely, its starting to pay off.
The pandemic has made me have a 180 degrees view when it comes to running a business. I have learnt that you should never stop advertising. The returns might not be the same as pre-Covid times but it means that you are still visible out there. People still see you and that once they need your particular product, they can always reach out. Keep at it. Don’t ignore social media, whether it’s by paid advertisement or by posting in different Facebook groups, Instagram, Tik Tok or twitter. Times are changing so we move with it.
Technology plays a big part especially now that shops have almost zero walk ins. We rely on social media to get most of our clients. We rely on Whatsapp groups to post our products especially on market days. Such a group example for me is ”Supamamas” on Wednesdays they have market days where I periodically post. Plus, attending their events has been a great way to advertise. If it wasn’t for technology most probably I would have closed shop.
These are some of the top business tips that have worked for me that I can share with women in business.
1. Re-invent yourself as change is inevitable.
2. Create a demand for a product then invest in it
3. Focus on your customer service
4. Always think ahead
5. Stay healthy and motivated
As I sign Off, let me leave you with my favorite quote on Entrepreneurship:-
“Entrepreneurship is like a man riding a lion. People think, ‘This guy’s brave.’ And he’s thinking, ‘How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?”
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This story has been sponsored by HerVenture in Celebration of World SME Day 2021. HerVenture is the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s mobile learning app. It provides women entrepreneurs of small and growing businesses with the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to successfully grow their enterprises. (Download the app and stand a chance to win a Ksh. 10,000 Shopping Voucher . Go to the Supamamas Facebook Page.