Grace Ngaie Mwanzia is the founder and director of Twenty Fifth Hive (25th Hive), a beauty products line that is based in Nairobi.
I started my business with Sh. 200 only. I was in my fourth year at the Stathmore University when I saw an opportunity for selling beauty make up products. I had bought a product at Sh. 200 and decided to post it on social media. Although my aim was not to sell, I started receiving multiple inquiries on how much I was selling it. People thought I had made it and was the seller. Incidentally, the shop where I had bought the product was about to shut down and was holding a clearance sale. I went back there and bought nearly all of the remaining stock. I am grateful to my family who assisted me with start-up capital. Once the clearance sale was over, in February 2017, I decided to start my own line of beauty products that I sold at Sh. 200 apiece.
Apart from running a business, I have gone back to class for my Master’s degree. To juggle the two smoothly, I have had to be an early bird. I begin my day at 5am. During this time, my head is fresh. It is my optimal moment to digest some of the work and journals am working on at the university. This usually lasts for about an hour. At 6am, I open all the social media channels for my business and make fresh updates on the latest trends and the products that our customers can go with. I also take this time to reply to any pending client inquiries. Between 6.30am and 7am, I head to the gym where I take exercises and aerobics for an hour. I am back at my place at 8am. I take breakfast, get ready for work, and leave the house for the Waterfront Mall Karen, where my business is located. On most days, I usually arrive there at 10am. This is the time we open. Our line of business is not so much of an early enterprise.
My day does not follow a routine. The first thing I do when I get to work is to see that pending orders have been packed and dispatched. This happens between 10am and 1pm. There are days, though, when I delegate my managerial and beauty advisory role at the business to my employees, and head out for meetings with suppliers and marketers. Marketing is my main responsibility. It is also my career specialty. I am constantly trying to develop different ways of attracting and engaging with our clients, creating promotions, liaising with social media influencers to tap in on the digital market.
We close at between 4.30pm and 5pm. This is unlike most 9 to 5 businesses. But it gives me ample time to attend to my academic pursuits. By around 8.30pm, I am usually at home ready to retire for the day. I usually unwind by playing the piano or drawing. I also regularly take time to catch up with friends and family, to avoid losing touch, as my daily hustles can sometimes get intense. A social and family life is quite important for me. I do not have kids and I am not married though.
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