Tuesday April 2 2013

Juggling between school and business

A customer checks out shoes at Lynn’s World of Fashion in Bugolobi - a Kampala suburb

A customer checks out shoes at Lynn’s World of Fashion in Bugolobi - a Kampala suburb. PHOTO BY EDGAR R. BATTE. 

By Edger R. Batte

Amidst all the struggle to finalise her university education, Lillian Nyonjo has already set the stage for her breakthrough in the world of business.
Days after she had granted me an interview opportunity I set out to meet the budding businesswoman.

I find her at her shop and by the look of things she has to split between answering my questions and attending to customers. “Self-motivation and my belief in hard work drive me,” she tells me as she reaches out to pull a dress for a customer.

In one of the corners of her shop is a small enclosure where customers try on the clothes of thier choice. The rest of the space is a spread for a variety of merchandise including ladies shoes, dresses, men’s foot wear, children’s wear and a display for jewelry.

Trading under the Lynnz World of Fashion tag name Nyonjo has ventured into a business that she has no speciality in. “I deal in all types of women, children and men’s wear ranging from office, party and evening wears.”

I also sell shoes, jewelry, and make-up kits of all types,” singling out the different product varieties. Although Nyonjo has managed to build this business from a small hood and with no prior fashion experience, she is a budding fashionist with an eye for international brands.

With only five months in this business, Nyonjo believes business is a continuous lesson that will take her through different tides. “I have learnt the hard way but I have more to learn. I know there is going to be more challenging days.”
What keeps me going is working hard but above all I have bills to clear every month and I just want to pay them on time.

Nyonjo’s shop is located in Bugolobi, Kampala on Krish Mall with rent cost of about Shs1.8 million per month. Just in her mid-20s, Nyonjo carries an air of inspiration derived from the determination to walk the path of her elder sisters.

“I like the fact that they are hardworking and independent. I have seen them make it. This really inspires me,” she says as she picks her book to record a transaction.

Nyonjo shares her time between School and business pursuing a Bachelors of Business Administration at London University. During times of school she juggles between lectures and casual work that earns her some money to inject into her business back in Kampala.

“I ship everything from UK. And this is a bit costly. However, my major challenge is that am not able to supervise my business as I would like as I spend most of my time in UK than in Kampala.”

Sometimes I want have a personal contact with my clients to build an enduring relationship with them. These, as she says are the virtues that explain the flow of clients into my shop on a seemingly deserted floor, which is being partitioned for other clients that have booked space.
“I love the challenges that come with doing business as it keeps me on my toes to stay on top of things.”