My name is Rita Kigera and I have been in business for the past 6 years. My business is called Glam’s collection. I sell skincare products and offer makeup services. My skincare products are herbal or made from natural ingredients. That’s my area of focus.
My business journey, like for most people has been a mixed bag of highs and lows. It has been full of joy, growth and a lot of learning, not only about doing business, but also growing as a business owner. What makes me proud is that I started my business with barely any capital. I used to see someone ask for a product online, and I would comment on the post then tell them I can get the product or offer a better option. If they needed advice on skincare, I would offer it too. I did not have the products in stock or even have a shop. But I always found a way to source the products; my customers trusted me because I offered information and I was very knowledgeable about skincare products and makeup.
Some of the most memorable moments for me are when I give consultation on skincare or makeup, and the appreciation from my clients is so rewarding. My clients appreciate that I don’t just sell them products, but also the fact that I take the time to explain to them how to use them and why they need that particular product; for example why you need sunscreen as part of your skincare routine.
Looking back at one of my lowest moments, it was when I had just reached 1000 followers on my Facebook online shop and someone reported the page. I lost the page completely and could not find it. I was so devastated because it had taken me long to reach there. It took a week for me to recover from the loss and then I picked myself up and started all over. My mantra for facing setbacks is “lose everything but never lose hope”.
One lesson the pandemic has taught me is that one should be very versatile and dynamic when it comes to business. Many people had to completely change their mode of operation or even had to start another business completely different from what they were doing before. During the pandemic, I had to completely stop offering makeup services. Skincare products were selling more and the hunger for knowledge about skincare routine was at a record high as people had time during lockdown to do skincare routines at home.
Without technology I would not have a business. Social media platforms like Facebook have grown my brand. I have a total appreciation for technology. When it comes to communication, our business thrive on advanced technology like mobile phones not to mention mobile money Mpesa. Women should embrace technology as the world is moving towards greater heights.
In business you have to keep learning. Doing business means you have to be well informed with the current trends. This also applies to the beauty industry. I learn by attending forums like the ones Supamamas organizes especially for women in business. I also learn through networking, journals and reading books. Above all, I always strive to have an open mind. I believe that if you keep your mind open, you can always learn something new.
What top business tips can I share with other women?
- Always do what your passionate about . If you have to sell something sell it because you love it .
- Don’t be a copycat. Be unique in your own way
- Knowledge is power. Stay informed and ahead in your area of expertise.
- Competition is good it keeps you on toes.
- If something is not working or turning a profit it’s OK to let go. If you have to, change your business or take time to regroup. This does not mean you are a failure. Keep going.
(Find out more about Rita’s Business on this link > Glams Collection
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.
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