Beryl has run her colon cleansing business, Colon Hydrotherapy Kenya Ltd, since 2013. Colon therapy is a clinical procedure that involves infusing water into the colon to remove toxins from the intestinal tract and any accumulation of faeces. The procedure is effective for a variety of digestive complications.
My father died in 1995 due to colon surgery complications and after discovering colon hydrotherapy, I cannot help but think we could have saved him with a number of colon cleansing sessions. I got introduced to colon hydrotherapy in 2008 when working at the first medical spa in Kenya and witnessed the relief it gave to clients who came in with different health problems. My father had a clogged colon with compacted by stool. Today, I encounter clients with similar problems who aren't responsive to laxatives, but colon hydrotherapy does a great deal for them.
What happened next?
In 2010, I trained in the use of the colon hydrotherapy open system at the medical spa until it closed. I was trained again in 2013 then I felt it was time to start my own practice.
Running a start-up
There are things that happen in life that can only be described as a miracle. I had dreams of owning my own colon hydrotherapy equipment since 2011 and wrote this dream down and hung it beside my bed.
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One of my brothers saw the projections I had written down and laughed. Looking at my circumstances then, it seemed impossible to raise even a quarter of the Sh2 million required for the start-up. My financial state then was in shambles but something within me wanted this desperately, so I had faith and prayed. By the end of that year, I received an unexpected call from someone based in the USA who had gotten my number from a former colleague from one of the medical spa's sister companies. Long story short, he ended up funding the start up in 2013.
I got office space near Yaya Centre in Kilimani, Nairobi, where the rent was Sh97,000 per month. Unfortunately, I did not have working capital to sustain the business through its first few months. I was also naïve and believed my financial projections would materialise immediately. I did not have the patience to allow the business to grow as any start up business would and that made it fail.
2013 being an election did not make it any easier, and all the teething problems combined with the poll frenzy made the business close in 4 months. It hurt to have to close, but it was a better option than having my business auctioned due to lack of rent. I had to go back on the drawing board, look at the miscalculations, take responsibility for my mistakes and plan ways to restart the business. With no cash flow, I did a few consultation jobs to sustain me and my daughter.
A friend who believed in my practice paid rent for me at a cheaper location and I was back in business a few months later. It was not easy because even some of my family members thought I would fail again.
Two of my brothers suggested I forget the business and move to Dubai or Qatar, where they were located, but I was determined. I did not want to let my daughter think giving up is an option so I persevered. This time I had learnt from my past mistakes and the business flourished bringing in cash that I could live on.
Where I am at
I am not a billionaire, but I'm not a beggar either. My practice in Westlands is doing well and I have gotten the opportunity to serve top clients – from people in the corporate world to politicians.
Believe in yourself and what you are all about, remain focussed on what you want and be realistic and avoid bad debts as they can land you in court. Also, don't dive into the deep end immediately. Start small and go up the ladder steadily. Finally, associate with people doing better than you. You will learn one or two things from them.
Phone: 0736 33 77 83/ 0739 41 12 68.
Location: Tricia's, House No 28. General Mathenge Drive Westland