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“I have never seen myself in the corporate world. In my mind, I always knew I was going to be an entrepreneur. I didn’t know what exactly what I would major in, but I knew I would be my own boss,” says Brenda.
Brenda Nduta is a Kenyan makeup artist who proudly runs Brenz Spa. Other than make up, Brenzspa offers services such as manicure, pedicure, massage and facials. They seek to give their clients a good and relaxing feel.
Brenda began her entrepreneurship journey in 2014. At that time, the twenty five year old lady was a fulltime student at United States International University (USIU-Africa) so she was juggling between books and work.
Brenda enjoyed glamouring herself up and most people admired her makeup and would ask her to do the make up on them. Once she began doing make up on people, her clients were so happy that they referred other people to her. This gave her satisfaction and she realized that this is what she wanted to do.
Brenda’s first clients were people she didn’t know who had been referred by her clients. She attributes word of mouth as the marketing strategy she uses for her business. Having studied International Business Administration, which is totally not related in the beauty industry, Brenda acknowledges that the business part has in a great way helped her to run her business.
What does she look for in employees?
Her biggest factor is a positive attitude. This way, it is easy to train employees according to what she wants. “A positive attitude,” she says, “can enable an employer to equip the desired skills in an employee.” When she began, she only engaged in pure facial make up. With time, due to a positive attitude and hard work, this gave birth to the rest of the spa.
Brenda doesn’t consider other makeup artists above her as competitors. She looks at them as an inspiration: since them too, began from somewhere and have really worked hard to get to where they are. She admires them and aspires to be like them and considers some of them as her role models.
Brenda offers services which are high end and she therefore focuses on the middle and upper class and upper class in the society. With her spa strategically located in Nairobi’s Westlands, her location is well situated in a place whereby her clients are reduced the hassle and bustle. By knowing her target market quite well Brenda has structured her business to suite them well enough. A cool, calm and collected place whereby people love to relax.
Brenda’s biggest Challenge has been:
Finances. She got her capital from her savings. She really hustled to get the capital, having engaged in various small hustles such as selling electronics, perfumes and iPads before she fully concentrated on her makeup. After completing campus, she took the makeup job and has ever since grown into it.
Before setting up her spa, she was mobile and would go to meet the client whenever on call. It was a challenge since she would bundle up her equipment to go meet the clients.
Earlier into the business, she trusted clients too much whenever she was promised a job. This led to some cancellations from clients whereby some wouldn’t show up or fail to completely contact her. This was a big loss for her business.
Brenda has learnt from her mistakes and she now has documented steps she undertakes with the client before booking them for a job. Whereby they even have to sign a contract with the client and have a down payment effected. She ensures that the booked appointments are documented, everything. This way, she is guaranteed that the client is fully into the job.
Being in a service industry, she advises that entrepreneurs should keep their businesses as professional as possible. She practices professionalism such that she has never failed her clients as she keeps her promise. She doesn’t mix personal relations with her job. She respects her clients and receives the same kind of respect from them too. She acknowledges her mum as her biggest inspiration factor.
Advice to upcoming Entrepreneurs
“Keep practicing. You do not know everything. Act like you do not anything and challenge yourself everywhere you go, make sure you learn something new and useful in your life. Entrepreneurship is not a walk in the park, but with the zeal and motivation, you will definitely make it. Be positive and keep the focus.”