- After freelancing for about eight months she was able to raise Sh10,000 which became the starting capital to set her Wia Beauty Parlour in 2019.
- She used the starting capital to purchase brushes, foundation, concealers, eyeshadows, and eye pencils, opening a new chapter in business her business journey which has turned out to be her economic bloodline.
When Mawia Kitivo graduated with a degree in Education, she had high hopes of being absorbed by the Teachers’ Service Commission and earning a decent salary as a teacher.
But for four years the 26-year-old Moi University graduate remained jobless before she opted to freelance in one of the beauty parlours in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County before starting her own.
“I started this make-up business in 2018 when I was in the university, though it wasn’t that serious. I was doing it for fun with my fellow classmates. I later realised the more I did it, the more cash I generated from it,” she said.
After freelancing for about eight months she was able to raise Sh10,000 which became the starting capital to set her Wia Beauty Parlour in 2019.
“I started my business with very small capital. It wasn’t easy since I was starting from scratch and I had not ventured into a serious business before. I had not gained much experience. With time, however, I have been come to master the art and also enhanced my skills on how to handle different clients,” added Ms Kitivo.
She used the starting capital to purchase brushes, foundation, concealers, eyeshadows, and eye pencils, opening a new chapter in business her business journey which has turned out to be her economic bloodline.
About a year after starting the business, Ms Kitivo opened a second shop as her clientele grew. Her first shop is located at Zion Mall and the second at Rupa Mall and both earn her approximately Sh1 million in annual revenue.
“I decided to take a risk and open up a make-up studio with the savings I had accumulated.
“This picked quite well and it encouraged me to add more skills like wigs customisation, permanent makeup, and nails services,” she elucidated.
“Since my first shop was in the basement and some clients used to get lost, I was pushed to open another one after 15 months. Visibility of my shop was my main concern and I also wanted to capture all clientele,” added Ms Kitivo.
The business has become vibrant and earns approximately Sh500,000 in a month from the two studios. Wia Beauty Parlour deals in human hair wigs, micro shading, facials, nails, all cosmetics (makeup and skincare), and health products. Ms Kitivo’s services like make ups, gel application, tipping, acrylics, pedicure, manicure, facials, wigs’ laundry and wigs range from Sh1,000 to Sh4,000.
However, she said that due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has disrupted weddings and special events, her monthly profit from the two shops is between Sh50,000-200,000.
“Things haven’t been the same since most of our jobs come from events. We offer our services in Eldoret town and its environment. We are also going mobile and offer services within Rift Valley, Western and Nyanza regions. The farthest I have gone to offer my services is my home county-Kitui county,” said Ms Kitivo.
At the beginning, she was operating the business herself but as her customer base expanded, she started employing and currently has seven employees.
“Currently I have four make-up artists, two nail technicians, and a saleslady. I have trained all my employees because I am interested in nurturing others and building their talents as I enhance my own as well. I believe that a candle cannot go dim by lighting another candle,” she disclosed.
Some of her products like cosmetics and wigs she imports from the US, China, Turkey, and Nigeria while others she sources locally. She uses social media platforms to market the business which she said has impacted positively on her business. she also banks on referrals from her clients.
High taxations remain one of her main challenges which she said has discouraged many people from venturing into business. “Our main challenge as a business is the tax. We urge the government to reconsider their tax rates since most of us are surviving at the mercy of our clients,” she said.
Despite the taxes, Ms Kitivo is nonetheless no discouraged. She plans to set up other branches across the country to create more business opportunities for the youth.
“In the next five years, I see growth in our business. I am planning to open different branches in different counties and a beauty school hence creating more job opportunities for young people,” she said.