To remain in employment or to get into self-employment on a full-time basis? That is a dilemma that many entrepreneurial people who are employed struggle with on an almost daily basis. But for one thing for sure is that the decision to start one’s own business is never an easy one to make. Running a business is a journey that requires a lot of sacrifice, commitment, time and patience to see it grow. A road that 30-year-old Dolly Muthoni, a mother of one knows only too well.
Dolly runs two businesses: Dawn Fashion Jewellers; an online shop that deals with an exquisite collection of pure silver jewelry, and Dawn General Merchants; which deals with real estate and general supplies. She talked to SYLVIA WAKHISI about her entrepreneurial journey.
While Dolly was working as a full-time employee in a SACCO, she one day made the decision to quit full-time employment. This was in 2014.
“I had made up my mind because I wanted to utilize the energy that I was putting into employment into my own business. While working as a Field Officer at the SACCO, I would, during my free time, sell jewelry. I believed in myself and the potential of my business, hence my decision to leave employment,” says Dolly who studied Applied Biology in college.
“At that time, my business was at its incubation stage and I strongly felt that it needed my full attention. I was also driven by the need to have financial freedom,” she adds.
Dolly admits that before venturing into self-employment, she had some serious fears, one of them being whether she would be able to penetrate the market since there were already so many jewelers in town.
“It was nerve-wracking as my clientele base was not as much and besides, Kenyans were still quite apprehensive about purchasing things online. Many had been disappointed by online retailers who had failed to deliver on what they had promised their customers.
I was Used to a Monthly Paycheck
The fact that I was used to receiving a salary at the end of every month -which would no longer be there also worried me. I wondered what would happen in case things didn’t work out well with my business. But something in my spirit kept pushing me, and I eventually made that bold move.”
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Dolly says the idea of starting a jewelry shop was borne when she realized that there were so many shops in town that sold low-quality jewelry. For those who sold good quality jewelry, their prices were quite high and not affordable for many people.
“Since my business is online, my prices are fair as I do not need to pay for expenses like rent and salary for employees -which are often channeled to the customer,” she says.
Dolly says that the growth of her business has been good, since more people are today embracing online shopping.
“Getting new and maintaining old customers has been a good learning experience. The future is bright as I’m now looking to expanding my business. I intend to start selling beauty products -especially make up to enable me better satisfy the needs of my clients,” she says.
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Besides selling jewelry, Dolly is also into real estate business and is the Founder of Dawn General Merchants, which deals with real estate and general supplies.
Advice to Fellow Moms
As a mother to a four-year-old girl and a budding entrepreneur, when it comes to the act of balancing between motherhood and business, Dolly says “there is no one right answer on how to do business and motherhood. But you can do both, and you can do them well. There are no universal fix-alls.”
As a woman who is looking forward to scaling greater heights in business, Dolly encourages other women who want to venture into business to go for something they are passionate about and they love doing.
“To women already in business believe in yourself because you always have more options than you think you have. Every time I feel stuck or trapped, I remember this, take my time and reformulate my plans,” concludes Dolly.
You can check Dolly’s Facebook page here where you can get in touch with her.
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