Joseph Njuguna Wanjiru, 25 has carved out a niche for himself in the beauty industry by revolutionising service delivery through glamour and consistency amid global recession and joblessness among the youth.
While in his second year of studies at Murang’a University College, Njuguna used the little pocket money given by his mother for upkeep to start his journey of owning a beauty parlour.
“I was given Sh3000 by my mother to use for my upkeep and shopping which I instead used to purchase beauty product items like earrings, bangles, bracelets among others,” reminisces Njuguna.
During his free time, Njuguna would hawk his beauty items in the nearby university hostels next to where he lived, on weekends he would hawk his wares off campus.
After his business started getting more clients, Njuguna added more products and clients who were mostly students on campus would pass by his room from classes to purchase the beauty accessories.
“In the beauty industry there is a wide range of products from as low as Sh50, so as I continued to add more products,” he said adding that over time he noticed that his small room started becoming more of a shop than a residential room.
There the idea of renting a stall opposite the university gate was conceived and there LaChiq Beauty Parlour was born. “I rented the stall at Sh3, 000 per month and would open it while free from classes,” says the human resource management graduate.
Njuguna’s business continued to grow as customers were also streaming in who were mostly recommended through referrals.
Njuguna while selling the beauty accessories to his customers who were mostly women noticed there was a challenge as some were not able to apply makeup well or even nail polish.
“I enrolled for a short course in beauty therapy and upon completion added a few products to the accessories I was selling,” he said.
In 2020 Covid struck and schools were closed for close to nine months, Njuguna who by now had one employee decided to open another shop in the central business district Murang’a.
“When campus closed we would not have customers since our clients were campus students so we rented a shop in Murang’a town and customised it to fit the standards of a modern beauty parlour,” divulged Njuguna.
Customising the shop came at a hefty cost which he says that his mum loaned him Sh50,000 for a start.
“I was not in any financial institution so when mum realised how passionate I was about fulfilling the dream of owning a beauty parlor, she borrowed Sh50,000 for me from her financial institution,” he adds.
Customising the shop, cost Njuguna who has hired five of his former campus students over Sh200, 000.
“I would train the students who were passionate about beauty and then retain them as employees and this has helped me grow the business in leaps and bounds,” he further expounded.
“Admittedly referrals have come in handy as we aim to offer services and exceed the client’s expectations. Our services range from Sh50 to Sh3000,”he says.
With the returns Njuguna gets monthly he is able to run the stall which he pays Sh12, 000 monthly, take care of his daily expenses and comfortably maintain the five staff he engages.
He has created a conducive, attractive and highly hygienic environment which he says has acted as a magnet for the many clients and referrals his team serves.
He advises the youth to believe in themselves, wake up early and learn a skill since white collar jobs are hard to come by.
In future, Njuguna hopes to own a car which will enable him take his business to the next level and enable him to offer customised beauty services like bridal packages which requires him to go where the bride and her team are located.
“There’s a lot of potential in you, get a skill and use your hands to earn a livelihood. While at it, be a good communicator, persuasive and receptive of people from all walks of life and exceed their expectations. Blue collar jobs pay,” he concludes.
By Florence Kinyua and Anita Omwenga