In October last year, Linnet Mwangi launched Jolin Store, a startup working majorly on supplying trendy female handbags. She was a stay at home mother who desperately needed something to do.
“I saw someone advertising bags but I had no cash with me to start the business at that time,” she says. “But I really wanted to do something that would help me put food on the table. I was just seated in the house bored with my little angel.”
Linet decided supplying fast-moving products would create a bright future for her and decided to execute what she had in mind with the little capital of Ksh5, 000, which borrowed from her aunt.
She bought some bags and sold at a profit of Ksh2,000 on the same day. With that she was able to pay back the soft loan from her aunt on schedule. Then the real hustle towards becoming wealthy began. “I started going from shop to shop looking for orders. After one month, I opened a small shop for which I paid Ksh2,000 rent. Then I employed someone to work from the shop as I do fieldwork,” she says.
Analysing the best business to start is no easy task. But for Linet, social media – particularly Facebook and WhatsApp groups – has been a boost to her business as she now gets orders online and does deliveries in town and even outside Nairobi. She sources handbags from from Mombasa.
See Also >> Ksh12k investment that earns Ksh75,000 per month
“Most of the time I do it online,” she says. “First I took my phone and signed up for WhatsApp and started advertising the bags posting them on groups that were of interest to my trade at no cost. Thank God I got some orders from my friends.”
Linet is clearly on a roll, now babysitting her young but growing business, currently valued at over Ksh250,000. “I have a shop and a ready market. I still market and sell through online platforms and I’m happy to say it is really picking up. I see myself growing even more and I am sure I will create job opportunities.”
Her case proves that proving that you don’t need to be financially well-heeled to set up a successful business. Many enterprising Kenyans usually go for second-hand clothes and make it. The idea is to start with fast-moving stuff then get the other stuff later on when business picks up pace.
In such business, it is about numbers. And don’t for very expensive stuff that will move slowly. Linet went for bags that cost between Ksh400 and Ksh600. Although business is brisk, she is dealing with the few challenges like staying for long without getting orders.
To supplement the bags trade, she has a side business. “There are times that we get very few orders or none at all but we don’t give up. I sell utensils too but on order. I don’t stock them and only sell whenever I get serious requests from those who buy bags,” she says.