Norah Muendo’s entrepreneurship journey began in 2018 when she struggled to find a comprehensive baby shop while shopping for her first child. Consequently, she opened Nila Baby Shop, naming the business after her firstborn daughter.
Her husband provided the initial capital of Ksh 14,000, and she sourced her first stock from the Gikomba market. However, her first business failed as she reserved the best stock for her daughter.
Undeterred, Muendo received additional capital from her husband, which she says was between Ksh 100,000 and 200,000, which she used to set up her first shop. Despite financial constraints, she utilized social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp to market her products.
6 Tips When Shopping for Baby Clothes
Joining mothers’ groups on these platforms helped her attract good clients. In August, she started a Facebook page for her business, and while it didn’t immediately generate significant traction, she combined its proceeds with income from other Facebook and WhatsApp groups to make good profits.
By December 2018, Muendo began offering deliveries to customers, personally carrying the clothes in large Nigerian bags since she lacked a motorbike. She would visit her customers’ homes, allowing them to shop conveniently.
The business started thriving in January 2019, but in March of the same year, Muendo became pregnant with her second child and had to close the business due to bed rest. She resumed operations in August but faced challenges with five months’ rent arrears and no stock.
Despite these setbacks, Muendo continued doing deliveries while pregnant and received much support from sympathetic customers. Encouraged by her husband, she hired her first employee and managed to sustain the business even while she was in the hospital.
Budgeting For a New Baby: 8 Ways
However, her landlord eventually informed her that he could no longer accommodate her due to the rent arrears. This led her to close the physical shop and operate the business from home. Her second shop opened in January 2020, attracting more customers and allowing Muendo to focus on the business full-time.
The mother of four emphasizes the importance of meeting customer expectations, as demonstrated by the positive reviews on her Facebook and Instagram pages. For dissatisfied customers, she has implemented an exchange program with full refunds to ensure customer satisfaction.
She takes pride in offering clean, top-quality merchandise at affordable prices, making her mitumba goods stand out in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Eldoret.
Muendo advises entrepreneurs to create businesses that can function independently, empowering others to run the business in their absence. While finances were challenging for her, she never took a bank loan and instead relied on friends who could lend her cash.
Her motivation comes from the satisfaction of her customers and the fact that she has over 40 employees.
She advises aspiring baby shop owners to conduct market research, identify a market gap, and target specific clientele. Additionally, she emphasizes the importance of prayer, believing that hard work alone is insufficient.
Muendo takes pride in helping others start their businesses, and she considers employees and customers to be the greatest assets in business.
Kambua: Grief of losing my baby sometimes knocks me off my feet
Nila Baby Shop differentiates itself by offering excellent customer service and affordable baby items under one roof. Muendo has expanded her business to Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania, serving a broad customer base through deliveries.
The shop provides a one-stop solution for maternity and newborn essentials, with prices starting as low as Ksh 100.
The focus on customer satisfaction is evident in the provision of water and soft drinks to shoppers, as well as the option to shop while seated. Nila Baby Shop now has branches in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Eldoret.