At just 29 years old, Adelide Mwanzani had already established herself as a dynamic force in the world of commerce.
Mwanzani, who comes from a family with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, developed an early interest in business.
Her journey, however, took a different route than many might expect.
After completing her studies in Business Management at the University of Nairobi, Adelide chose not to pursue traditional employment, opting instead to become her own boss.
“I started doing business immediately after school. I studied Business Management at the University of Nairobi but I never got employed after graduation,” She recalled.
Adelide embarked on the competitive world of beauty products.
She began by selling human hair, a critical component in the world of women’s weaves.
This venture, like many others, started small.
Armed with little savings, she initially purchased a few sets of human hair.
“I had the idea of starting big by taking a loan but I never went down that path. It is essential to begin small with what you have because you don’t know what the market is like.” Adelide explained
In the early years, Adelide’s business grew steadily, driven by her dedication and commitment to quality.
She meticulously sourced the finest human hair, ensuring that her customers received products of exceptional quality.
Her perseverance paid off, and her reputation in the industry began to solidify.
Always alert to new opportunities, Adelide eventually recognized a gap in the market.
Drawing from her experience in importing human hair, she saw the potential to import quality products for other sellers.
This insight led her to venture into the importation business, a decision that would significantly diversify her entrepreneurial portfolio.
In this new role, Adelide serves as a crucial intermediary between local traders and international suppliers.
She imports a wide range of merchandise, depending on her clients’ specific orders.
“I import all kinds of merchandise for local traders depending on their orders. I import from diverse markets such as Turkey, China, Dubai, Thailand, among others, depending on the product the clients are looking for.”
Adelide’s expertise lies in understanding the unique strengths and resources of each country, which determines where she sources her clients’ products.
For instance, she imports matching sets of bags, valets, and shoes from Turkey, takes advantage of China’s favorable prices for electronics, procures human hair from India and Thailand, and brings in fridges and washing machines from Dubai.
Quality remains her top priority throughout this complex process.
Adelide’s approach to importing is as strategic as it is meticulous.
She emphasizes that one can venture into the importation business without substantial capital.
How? By leveraging connections with manufacturers or suppliers and becoming the go-to person for local traders seeking imported goods.
These traders are willing to pay for Adelide’s expertise and logistical support, bridging the gap between them and global suppliers.
She elaborates, “You may top the difference when it comes to that.”
This model allows her to facilitate importation even without substantial financial resources.
For clients who place bulk orders, payment is made upfront.
This payment then serves as the capital she uses to pay suppliers.
However, for individuals seeking smaller quantities or personal use, Adelide imports products at her own cost and maintains an inventory.
Customers can then purchase directly from her, and the upfront payment principle still applies.
Over her five years in the importation business, Adelide has built more than just a successful business.
She has cultivated strong relationships with suppliers from diverse countries.
Her interactions with these partners have evolved beyond mere transactions; they have become friendships and partnerships built on trust.
“We’ve become family and friends,” Adelide proudly asserts.
Some of her suppliers, particularly those from Turkey and China, have even established wholesale stores in Kenya.