Rael Iramwenya started my working life as a housemaid, but quit after seven months. She found it unrealistic to keep working for others while not advancing financially herself. With her last salary of Sh5,000, she invested in a blowdryer, hair oil, shampoo, towels and set up a salon.
''The beginning was tough as I couldn’t afford seats, so my customers had to sit on the floor. Further, there was barely a sink where I could wash their hair – I used buckets – and I had to borrow a hairdryer at a cost to avoid having my customers seek services elsewhere,'' she recalls.
Growth was a long, slow process. But with time, she was able to better furnish and stock the business. It’s been seven years, and the fruits of her hard work are now evident. She also diversified into the mitumba business, which she ran out of the salon to increase her revenue. The latter business is two years old. She don’t face many challenges as she has complied with regulations.
Irene says, ''In terms of customer base, I’m busiest over the weekend, which is when I make an average of Sh3,000, compared to weekdays when I earn between Sh700 and Sh900 a day.''
''Not every successful business begins in a big way – you can start humbly with the little you have, work hard, be consistent, don’t give up, and with time, your business will become well known and market itself,'' she advises.