Business E-nterview: Sie’s Hair Glamour (#WinterABC- Day 14)

Hello Readers!

Thank you for returning to my blog and journeying along the #WinterABC2021 Challenge by Afrobloggers with me. If you have been frequenting my blog, you know that I started an original series called Business E-nterview in line with the Business and Technology theme for this week of the challenge.

Through the Business E-nterviews, I am honoured to feature entrepreneurs as they share their lived experiences on business strategies, use of technology and the impact of the pandemic on their businesses.

For today’s edition, I crossed the Zambian borders and virtually travelled to Zimbabwe, to dialogue with an entrepreneur called: Sie’s Hair Glamour.

Please, enjoy our e-dialogue below:

  1. How would you describe your business in 5 words?
  • Art
  • Convenient
  • Honest
  • Affordable
  • Satisfying

2. What made you choose the industry you are in?

  • It was really out of desperation. Back in high school, it was quite stressful to try and get your hair done. You had to have money or food to trade with (lol), or a hairdresser friend who also plaited so you could easily trade services. I used to share mu dormitory with one neat hair braider. She’s the one who sparked my interest into the business of braiding.

3. What is that one thing that you feel sets you apart from competitors in the industry?

  • Well, I’ve been told that I’m super neat. I specialize on braided hairstyles than weaves and that honesty is what most clients always need. I have had clients chat to me about how bad an experience they had with other hairdressers who because of the money temptation could not admit that they have a particular limit in hairdressing. I believe I stand out because I’m good at what I specialize at. Also, i don’t operate from a saloon but I always make sure that I first wash my client’s hair before braiding, something which is hardly common among ‘under the tree, location based ‘ braiders.

4. When did you start your business and what are some of your key milestones so far?

  • I started braiding round about 2013. Back then it was a mere means of affording a hairstyle or pocket money when I was at school. I will also admit that for years, I hadn’t thought of it as a business as most of the money used would be spent on sweet nothings (I guess it’s part of growing up). 
  • My key milestones include being able to get basic equipments for my business. I realized that to really hook people, I needed to do what the saloons do. So, for example, when I studied that people often go for a hair wash in saloons, only for them to be back again in the hood to plait under the tree, I figured I could give them a reason not to go to saloons at all

5. Has technology impacted your business in any way?

  • Yes. Very much so. We are always intrigued by how fast word travels, and while that aspect can have some negative elements, it has proved the importance of technology on business. I have had people call me to make appointments, most of whom would have heard of the hairdresser’s tale from other clients.
  • It is also wide reaching to use the online space for marketing

6. What would you list as the advantages and disadvantages of running a business in a pandemic?

Disadvantages

Low clientele turn out. Since most of the people were on lockdown, at work or schools, they preferred to have little or no fancy hairdos. They would just rock their buns, and nobody would care anyway.

The harsh economic conditions, due to the pandemic effects would also have most clients not spending the way they used to as they would go for a long lasting hairstyle

Advantages

Ample time to reflect on how best you could run your business. 

The pandemic has led to people becoming woke, in line with how fast changing business could be when affected.

7. What are some of you customer retaining techniques?

  • I usually do promotions for my clients. On my birth month, May, this year I ran a first come first serve promotion for two clients I was willing to plait for free as a way of celebrating my birth month.
  • I have also realized that offering ‘saloon-like’ services has helped me with retaining new clients who would express that I seem to be doing things differently than what they’re used to.
  • I also try to be as professional as possible

8. Any closing remarks?

  • One of the many things I have had to master in running a business, or trying to run one is you need to be very much disciplined. Coming from a background where things always run out when you just got that cash (literally), has taught me the importance of planning. Best believe you will keep using your business money to cover home stuff (which is not bad), and your business will have a hard time trying to run on it’s own. 
  • When you start a business, it’s important to not wrecklessly spend all your profits, otherwise you will always stay on level zero

Access Sie’s Hair Glamour here: https://instagram.com/sie_miyae

Fun Fact, Sie is also a blogger and her work can be accessed here: https://glamourfill.wordpress.com/


Blogger’s remarks: It was my absolute honour profiling Sie. One key take away from this interview is that she mentioned having ample time to reflect on the business as an advantage from the pandemic. So profound. I am a firm believer of the power of thinking lol sounds cliche. But really, there is so much strength in stepping back from the life’s busy lane and just PAUSING and REFLECTING.

Thankyou so much for your time Sie, I hope to visit Zimbabwe soon as I am able to and have my hair braided by you 🙂


Today marks the last day of the Business & Tech Week. It has been amazing reading the various takes and styles fellow bloggers employed. Needless to say, my end of week recap and highlights are still scheduled to roll out.

Furthermore, this is definitely not the end of the Business E-nterviews. I will occasionally publish more of this content and hopefully profile as many businesses as I can across Africa.

I am beyond excited for this!

Until then,

Read on & Live long!

Business E-nterview: Cherry Bakes (#WinterABC- Day 13)

Hello Readers!

It is Business & Tech Week in the Afrobloggers camp and this means, we are talking all things technology and business.

On the Nsatu-Rated Thoughts side of the internet, different entrepreneurs are sharing their perspectives and experiences in an exciting original series called: Business E-nterview.

For today’s segment, Cherry Bakes – a very talented, passionate and quality- driven baker based in Zambia will be profiled.

Please, do enjoy our dialogue below:

  1. How would you describe your business in 5 words?
  • Delicious and Yummy
  • Passion and Attention to detail
  • Quality and Perfection
  • Genuine love for the craft
  • Gob-smacking

2. What made you choose the industry you are in?

  • I love the art of baking and also love the smile it brings to people’s faces

3. What is that one thing that you feel sets you apart from competitors in the industry?

  • Quality, I believe in quality, no short cuts. I also believe in paying attention to detail as well as great customer service

4. When did you start your business and what are some of your key milestones so far?

  • March 2020 during the first covid ‘Lusaka lockdown’. So far, a key milestone for me was reaching my social media page to 1K + with not so much (minimal) effort according to me and the numbers keep increasing.

5. Has technology impacted your business in any way?

  • Soo so much. The fact that pictures can entice a total stranger to trust me & give me their money to satisfy their craving is still unbelievable for me. The fact that I do not have to even see people but still make ways to communicate, transfer money and meet only when it comes to delivery. It’s amazing.

Full of love; Sweet; Scrumptious; Moist; Tasty; Affordable; Consistent; Meticulous; Smart; Punctual; Inclusive; Creative; Simple; Elegant; Catchy and filling …

– Client Reviews on Cherry Bakes-

6. What would you list as the advantages and disadvantages of running a business in a pandemic?

Advantages

  • For me who did not have a job it became a side hustle that pushed me to improve my skill despite many people being laid off from formal employment.
  • The shift of using online platforms for me was a plus because the whole world went digital and this allowed me to market myself even better without having to physically do a lot. Asides from that it allowed me to even select my target audience

Disadvantages

  • Sky rocketing cost of goods and services such as baking supplies and services such as electricity & fuel forcing me to often adjust prices.
  • It limited me from holding some scheduled events such as cake testing as such gatherings pose great risk for spreading of the corona virus.

7. What are some of you customer retaining techniques?

  • Always be honest, patient, and kind. Clients always remember how well they were treated & handled. Sometimes it’s hard especially when you are having a bad day, bad week, sick, burned out or even when some clients are just not so nice.  
  • Always make sure you explain your terms & conditions carefully to clients before receiving the deposit. From my experience, it makes clients know you value them more than their money. Until today, I receive most of my clients from referrals or recommendations

8. Any closing remarks?

  • I am not where I want to be but I am getting there slowly and surely. I have big plans to expand my business in the next 5 years, to improve my skills even more and make cakes & cupcakes that are both unforgettable & irresistible! Its all just time but with God by my side, I know anything is possible, just look at where I am coming from?!.
  • Last but not the least I would like to thank my wonderful clients who have continued to support me. My family & friends who have continued to show me so much love and support, I owe you guys so much!
  • Thank you to you Nsatu for this opportunity to share about my business. I Hope to have another interview like this in the next 5 years! God bless

To place your orders and or interact further with Cherry Bakes follow the facebook page, accessible here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063443667060


Blogger’s Remarks: Some of my key takeaways from this interview include:

Firstly, the fact that Cherry Bakes is intentional about excellence. As we know from my “Mind Your Business” rant a few days back, over promising & under delivering is one of my pet peeves when it comes to businesses. So, to have a business that takes care and pride in delivering excellence and paying attention to the craft is outstanding!

Secondly, in light of the Business & Tech theme, I think it can be agreed that in this era, thriving businesses are embracing the efficiencies of technology.

Also, notice how this business started just around the same time the Covid pandemic was rolling out? Yet it continues to rise above the hardships linked with running a business during a pandemic- talk about resilience.

I’m grateful to Natasha Nsofu, the face and talent behind this business for taking time to share her perspectives. Natasha, I can’t wait to have a follow up interview with you 5years from now. I know all your dreams and aspirations will be achieved beyond expectation.


Be on the look out as more amazing entrepreneurs are profiled on the Business E-nterview. We continue to discuss all things business, tech and pandemic resilience.

Until then,

Read on & Live long!

Business E-nterview: Shortstuff- Gift Concierge (#WinterABC- Day 12)

Hello Readers!

Thank you for returning to my blog and journeying through the #WinterABC2021 Challenge with me.

In the next days, I will profile some amazing entrepreneurs as we talk business, technology and pandemic resilience. I call this series Business E-nterview (because of the virtual nature- fancy right? lol)

The first to be profiled is an exceptional Zambian based gift concierge who goes by the business name “ShortStuff”.

Please give a hearty welcome to Mubanga Hellen Mijere the face and brains behind the Shortstuff brand (insert loud applause).

Hellen, it’s an absolute pleasure to have you grace the Nsatu-rated Thoughts corner of this big internet world. Thank you for finding the time to give us a preview into your business world.

  1. How would you describe your business in 5 words?
  • Creative
  • Professional
  • Efficient
  • Bespoke
  • Trustworthy

2. What made you choose the industry you are in?

  • I enjoy being creative an clients trust me to impress them. Also, working hours in this industry are flexible.

3. What is that one thing that you feel sets you apart from competitors in the industry?

  • Definitely my customer service. You’ve got to give them a customer experience that they can’t help but want to make positive remarks about.

4. When did you start your business and what are some of your key milestones so far?

  • I started my business in July 2020. My two key milestones so far include: achieving customer loyalty and branding of my products.

5. Has technology impacted your business in any way?

  • Yes. My business is run online. As such, social media has made it easier to advertise and engage with clients.

6. What would you list as the advantages and disadvantages of running a business in a pandemic?

  • Disadvantage: Gift baskets are hands on and involve personal shopping, this increases my risk of exposure.
  • Advantages: Most people are afraid of leaving their homes and going to look for a gift so they require my services more than often. Additionally, people spend more time on social media and this increases the chances of potential clients finding my website.

7. What are some of you customer retaining techniques?

  • Maintaining good customer service relations
  • Good quality and presentation of my products and services
  • Giving clients value for their money

8. Any closing remarks?

  • Every gift gives me an opportunity to be creative and put a smile on my clients’ face. I am still learning and growing even from my competitors who push me to do better.

Here is the link to the Shortstuff Facebook Business Account: https://www.facebook.com/Shortstuff.zm/


Blogger’s remarks: I find it intriguing that ShortStuff was birthed during the pandemic and it continues to thrive despite inevitable local, regional and international economic hardships. A reminder that indeed, we can achieve anything we set our minds and hearts to.

Further, I am impressed by the emphasis on great customer service/relations. From the blogs I have been reading so far by other Afrobloggers, terrible client service is a consistent and uniform outcry. As such, to have a business that prioritizes that needs of the clients is applaudable.

Thankyou Hellen, for your time and for breaking the ice for what I envision to be a great series beyond the #WinterABC Challenge.

Here’s to more Business E-nterviews!!!!


Join me tomorrow on another edition of the Business E-nterview as I profile another amazing entrepreneur.

Until then,

Read on & Live long!