From engineer to business woman! Gettie Momanyi is one of those unique women who didn’t want to be stuck in an unfulfilling job and this prompted her to take the leap and turn her passion into a business, marking the birth of Kulola. She is a very humble and bubbly personality who is open to sharing her story and knowledge. I caught up with her recently and must say, I left the meeting feeling inspired!
How did the idea of Kulola come about?
I have always had a passion for fashion and retail and all through university and the years after, I have looked for opportunities to engage in various activities related to that. I was once employed, but unfortunately unfulfilled as I was not ‘living my dream’ so once I got the chance to start my own business, I quit work and grabbed it with both hands! The rest as they say is history.
What was the inspiration behind the name Kulola?
Well, Kulola is actually my middle name. I was confused about what to name the business until a wise business-person advised me to look for a name that will not limit me to the product/service I am currently offering, so as to give room for expansion into other industries in case a future need arises. Once I picked my name, everything fell into place as the business is as personal and special to me as my name is.
How long have you been running the business?
Kulola has been officially running since 2016.
What items are stocked at Kulola?
We mainly sell handbags, cross-body/sling bags, bag accessories, travel bags, backpacks, satchel/messenger bags for laptops and tabs, wallets, watches and other fashion accessories such as sunglasses, belts, scarves and many more.
For our male clients, we stock belts, wallets, satchel/messenger bags for laptops and tabs, backpacks, sunglasses and watches to ensure they also have quality pieces to bag (lol, forgive the pun).
How do you select pieces to stock?
We adhere to several things when selecting our pieces:
1. Quality; to ensure we encourage loyalty from our customers
2. Trends; to ensure our clients are up-to-date with the newest fashion styles
3. Target market; we provide a variety of styles so that regardless of age, from our small sisters to our grandparents or need, be it work or casual, our customer will always find something that satisfies them
4. Uniqueness; we try our best to offer unique pieces as we all know how ladies hate ‘Kenya uniform’. We actually stock up limited pieces of each design and once the design runs out, we don’t restock it as an effort to provide exclusivity to the lucky customers who snag the pieces first.
5. Affordability/value for money; everyone deserves to feel fierce and fabulous… which is our motto by the way, so we try and give you that upbeat feeling and attitude at pocket friendly prices.
What is the price range of the items?
As we have a variety of items in our shop, it’s hard to state a specific price range. But I can assure you that our prices are pocket friendly and very competitive in the market considering the high level of style, uniqueness and quality we offer our customers.
What’s the best part about running your business?
When I was employed, I used to think that the best part about running my own business would be being my own boss and working my own hours. But I have quickly come to realize that actually fulfilling one’s own purpose, that is if you are blessed enough to start a business which aligns with your passion, learning your customers on a daily basis and seeing your ‘baby’ growing, gives you immeasurable gratification. Especially when you see your customers embracing and loving your pieces. I also get to meet and talk to such interesting people who make my days in different ways.
What are some of the challenges you have faced running your business?
As I am sure others in the same boat would agree, breaking into the market is not easy. Having to go public and hoping and praying that the market which consists of people who I did not know and/or did not know me would embrace the products is a risk any business owner would face.
Also, having started off as a purely online business, we quickly realized that getting a first time customer to trust your product and quality without actually seeing it is a hard task. Especially since the average buyer has been deceived several times by online retailers who don’t offer exactly what they market, making the buyer justifiably wary of what the rest of us are offering. Fortunately, at Kulola, we are dedicated to providing quality and we use our own professionally taken photographs of our pieces so that ‘what you see is what you get’, and once our customers buy from us for the first time, they tend to develop trust in us and be repeat clients.
We have also opened up a physical store to cater to the clients who prefer to have a physical rather than online/digital shopping experience. This increases our operational costs but is definitely a wise move for the business.
What are the future plans for Kulola?
We are having talks of expansion and manufacturing our own product line. Fingers crossed!
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs who would like to start a similar business?
If this is really what you want to do, pray about it then start! You may never get to the perfect time, budget or situation in life to start your business so don’t procrastinate with these excuses in mind… assert yourself and just start.
Also, have a positive support system around you, as they will encourage you through the ups and downs of your business and hopefully help you block out any negativity life may throw at you.
What’s your life mantra?
If you are blessed enough to find things or people that make you happy and are of God, hang on to them… don’t let them go! Finding happiness and fulfillment of self is everything in this turbulent journey called life!!
Pray. Believe. Work. Achieve. Repeat!
Where is the store located?
We are located on Lenana road, house number 11 and our operating hours are between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, every Monday to Saturday. We can send you a google pin on request.
How can people contact you?
One can call/ text/ WhatsApp us on 0710781425 or 0731781425 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also reach us via social media as we are available on Facebook as @kulola, Instagram as @kulola_fnf
Thanks for stopping by