Betty Kyallo, the former TV news anchor who went fulltime into business after resigning signing off from the screen, says it has not been easy for her during the Covid-19 pandémic. Like most businesses, reduced business hours due to lockdowns and curfews coupled with lower incomes among customers have hit cashflow at Flair By Betty, the high-end saloon she runs.
“I will not want to say that I am doing very well,” Betty, the Flair By Betty CEO is quoted by The Star’s Word Is segment as saying. “Truth be told it has been a rough couple of months for many entrepreneurs. I have struggled just like other entrepreneurs because the business environment has not been very friendly to small-scale businesses.”
She launched Flair By Betty in 2018 when she quit Posh Palace Hair Studio & Spa after a fallout with her co-founder and then best friend, Susan Kaittany. She is among media personalities using their personal brands to venture into business.
Now Betty says her biggest challenge is being in a field that does not offer basic services that would move even in an economic slowdown. Luxury goods and services are often the first casuálties when households cut down budgets during an economic slowdown. “People just don’t have money to spend, especially on luxurious services like micro-blading,” she says.
To stay afloat, she has implemented a number of strategies. “The secret is always knowing how to have your comeback. For us, we did a few things to make sure our customers are still catered for, like reducing the prices. It makes the customer feel that you are considerate,” she said.
Betty opened her beauty parlour three years ago in 2018. She moved it to a more spacious and luxurious location last year. Besides the business, Betty also offers brand endorsement and promotional services through her YouTube channel, which has yet to start attracting big business.
In March this year, she launched BK Closer, her clothing line, adding to her business portfolio of salon and Aftershave By Flair barbershop and Express nail salons and Flair for Kids stores.
Betty says is not coming back to TV any time soon. Speaking in September, she said, tongue in cheek, that she is tired of saying, “Good evening, welcome.”
Instead, she is focusing on her business and would be opening a hotel in Nairobi’s CBD. “I have a building in town and I will be opening a hotel in town. Very soon.”