21 Ways to have your Tresses Wishes Fulfilled
The term ‘Entrepreneur’ has become a buzz word reigning across the world, leaving some people amazed at the innovative solutions they provide while others are simply confused as to what differentiates a business person from an entrepreneur.
This month’s feature is meant to shine a light on an entrepreneur who is under 30 but is willing to take risks in providing a solution that rewards her both socially and financially. Konhya Coomber turned 21 in June, she is a Sierra Leonean chemical engineering student based in Hungary with a passion to look good. She has succeeded into transferring this energy into a livelihood by starting Bundlesbyknc a hair company that retails in 100% unprocessed virgin hair with worldwide delivery. We join them to celebrate nearly a year of providing a unique service.
She described her company in four words; she said they are Congenial, Reliable, Integrity and Innovative. She went on to tell us about what kick-started the idea: As a young adult with an active social life I gained significant experience in choosing the right type (and style) of hair for the right occasion. I channeled this experience into my business. Whenever an order for hair was placed, I offered the complementary service of enquiring which event the customer requires the hair for. I also ask which type of natural hair the customer has. Based on these details I suggest the type of hair that the customer should buy and also provide ideas on how to style the purchased hair for the specific event. For every purchased hair, I supply a card that contains details on how to care for the hair for prolonged use.
She describes herself as bringing innovative solutions to the industry by well thought extra services that demonstrate to customers that She does not only care about selling hair but about how good they look in the hair that they buy from her. She takes pride in how the products bought make the customers look good.
This strategy has forged a strong bond between her and her customers and has boosted sales. Bundlesbyknc is a one stop shop for women’s hair needs.
It doesn’t take a mind reader to reveal how starting up this business has changed this young woman and made her reach for the stars. She recalls the emotions that she went through when she got her first customer a few days after her online launch. The sender had seen the ads for her business and she placed an order for a specific hair type. She went high on good emotions barely containing herself. ‘All my focus was immediately directed to this person. I remember thinking to myself, Oh my goodness, someone wants my product! When I launched my business I promised myself that if I was able to get just one customer I will treat that customer so well that he/she will help me get my second and third customers.
Therefore, instead of replying to the sender’s message via text I decided to call her to add a personal touch to the transaction. I told her that she was my very first customer and because of that she’ll get a 10% discount. We had a very interesting discussion while we talked about her purchase order. I was so excited to be talking to my first customer that I was unaware that I was pacing up and down my room throughout the call. As soon as I hung up I screamed “YES!” and collapsed on my bed. I continued screaming and pounding my bed until my flat mate rushed into my room alarmed. I told her what my exclamation was about and she joined me in dancing around my room. The customer said her best friend was also looking to buy some weave and she’ll point her in my direction. That was EXACTLY what I wanted. Just as I promised myself, I took care of my first customer so well that she introduced me to my second, third, fourth and fifth customers”.
We know from experience that after a few months the feeling goes from the butterflies to the hustle and grind and this bit has turned many a dream into disaster and regrets. This prompted us to ask Kohnya what she thought was the biggest challenge for entrepreneurs in Africa and why?She said ‘monetary assistance from governments and financial institutions to small businesses in Africa is largely inadequate. While some countries, such as Nigeria, have implemented programs to train and assist small companies, in practice these programs are severely limited in scope and reach.
Financial institutions in Africa are more interested in getting their investments back and therefore willingly support already established enterprises rather than supporting the smaller businesses and venture ideas of entrepreneurs.
This trailblazer went on to educate us on how it can be done, She said these roadblocks can be easily overturned by developing training and support programs at the governmental level that are similar to the United States’ Small Business Administration that offers financial assistance, training, and counselling on how to best run a business. Local governments should revamp existing programs to offer local businesses the specific support they need. Furthermore, governments should create new policies, based on input from financial institutions, to lower the risk of loan default and increase the instances of financial assistance given to local companies.
After this expose on developing entrepreneurship in Africa, we needed to hear more on how this entrepreneur defined SUCCESS in business? Kohnya says success for her is having a positive impact on others by being creative, passionate and hardworking and the monetary reward comes along as the payoff in the long run.
After a year in business we needed to hear all about the first mistakes and if she were to start all over again, what will be her priority in terms of setup! In her own words she said: I started my business because I had a passion for beauty products even though I had zero knowledge in business management. Becoming self-employed was not as easy as it sounded. In fact, it was very stressful and overwhelming because I didn’t know where to begin. Of course, there are skills that I have learnt on the job and from experience but if I were to start all over again I will firstly get some training in business management. The training will offer me a solid understanding of at least the basic business practices, business markets, and business organization. It will also teach me how to plan my finances strategically to help my business succeed.
Bundlesbyknc has customers from all around the world, mostly rocked by college students and young professionals, the future looks rosy but not without plans. We had the cherry top ending to the tale with a sneak-peek of their aspirations. The CEO, KohnyaCoomber had always wanted to be in a position where she could empower and inspire youth to do more. She sees her company building on the confidence of young women around the world from outside in and making ambassadors of those who dare to be different, beauties with brains. To generate a sustainable business the long term goal includes the opening of a Bundlesbyknc factory where they would do their own production. This is something they look forward to launching in Sierra Leone as it would support opportunities for scientists, marketers and people with low skills who would support with manual labour.
To order your favourite look, visit: www.bundlesbyknc.com