Your Everyday People- Interview series
Tell us your name, what you do and how long you have been an entrepreneur.
My name is Khasoa Yvonne the founder of GirlBoss Clothline. I sell secondhand clothes business; I do this purely online. I will be turning 4years in this business by August 2020.
How did you get the idea to start this business? Take us to the beginning.
A friend of mine used to sell secondhand clothes and would get supplies from Gikomba which is a popular market for traders in Nairobi. I would accompany her on the days that she would get her supplies, this way, I was able to familiarize myself with the market and the dynamics of how this business works.
From my interaction with her, I was inspired to start my own business right away. At the time, I was a second-year student at the university. With savings of 1500 shillings, I purchased ladies’ blouses. I then hawked the clothes to my fellow students immediately after lectures. I loved my business so much that, I always looked forward to the after-lecture moments. I did this for two consecutive years.
Currently, I can purchase the secondhand ladies’ clothes in bulk. With each bulk purchase, I plough back the capital within a few days of sales. God has been faithful in my journey. Right now, I am already creating employment for others.
Tell us more about your business. How does an ordinary day look like?
My business is majorly characterized with opening and sorting out my bulk secondhand clothes purchase. I then iron the clothes. Later, I take pictures of the assembled pieces and post online for marketing. This way, customers, can see what we have on offer and their orders. afterwards, I plan and organize for their deliveries.
What I do, I package the clothes according to the customer’s order. Then, I assign a delivery schedule to the delivery team, I assign them basing on the places the clients are based in or rather will pick their parcels from.
Later, I follow up to get feedback from prospects once they get their packages.
How do you market your business and which tactics have been most successful?
Social media has been my area of leverage for marketing, both on Instagram and Facebook. I also capitalise on Facebook groups that are popular with entrepreneurs, busines owners and potential buyers.
Referrals has also greatly worked for me. I get many clients that have been directed to me by my clients who have enjoyed my outfits.
One other thing that has greatly helped me, is that I am deeply passionate about helping and mentoring other people. I do this online by encouraging potential entrepreneurs to get out of their comfort zone and explore businesses in dealing in secondhand clothes. Through this mentorship, I have been blessed to get new clients.
What are some of the mistakes that you wish you could have avoided in your entrepreneurial journey?
I have dispatched unpaid-for parcels with the hope that the clients would be genuine enough to pay for the delivery on receipt. Instead, I ended up incurring losses due to failure of clients honoring their pledge.
At the beginning, I lowly priced my items to please my clients despite undergoing more costs. I wish I had learnt earlier that, there are factors that need to be considered when pricing this would have saved me a lot of money.
What challenges do you face in your business and how do you overcome them?
A client may place an order, then they fail turning up to receive their delivery. If this client did not pay in advance for their consignment, I end up losing money. What I do to combat this loss, I charge an advance reservation fee for the items.
Sometimes, I can purchase a bulk consignment of clothes, then I discover that what I had ordered is something totally different than what I had expected or made to believe I was buying. This leads to more losses.
Regardless, I have come to appreciate that, in business you can either make losses or profits, and when you get a chance to make profits, do it with a strategy that will cover up for the losses you made.
How has the COVID Pandemic affected your business and what adjustments have you done to combat it?
COVID has taught me to be flexible in business. I immediately started selling children’s outfit when COVID 19 kicked in, a strategy that has worked for me tremendously.
Prior to this, I had never ventured into selling children’s secondhand clothes before.
When it gets tough in your business, what motivates you to keep going?
My clients. When one person appreciates what I do, that is motivation enough. In addition, my business journey has brought me closer to God, I always believe there’s hope.
What are your future plans?
I look forward to having a physical shop, where I will be selling specific clothes to a specified niche. Of course, not just one location, but branches in different towns.
I have the picture in my mind “GirlBoss Clothline Group of Shops’.
One of my greatest desire is to have a foundation too, which will majorly focus on humanity by giving hope to that individual who feels that all is lost.
So much is in store for me! A day at a time!
What advise would you give someone who wants to start a business and they do not know where to start?
What are you waiting for? Just start! There is so much we can do in life, and there is hope for those who decide to go for it.
How can people get in touch with you for your services?
You can reach me on my Whatsapp or call on- 0703 252718
A mentor is someone who allows you to see the higher part of yourself when sometimes it becomes hidden to your own view.
— Oprah Winfrey
Next: Our last interview in the series….You dont want to miss this!