In the world of entrepreneurship, stories of success often stem from humble beginnings.
Khadija Miya, the founder and managing director of Chamvigah Designs, is a shining example of how a small loan of Ksh. 2,500 evolved into a flourishing fashion empire in just three years.
Here is her story as told by WOK
Khadija’s journey began in 2019 when she stumbled upon a fashion opportunity that would change her life.
She purchased a traditional Dera dress in Eastleigh for a mere Ksh. 250, infused it with her creativity by customizing it into an off-shoulder design, and shared pictures of herself wearing it on her WhatsApp status.
Little did she know that this small act would set the stage for her entrepreneurial career.
The response from friends and acquaintances was astounding.
Ten individuals inquired about purchasing the unique Dera design, sparking an idea in Khadija’s mind.
She decided to seize this unexpected opportunity and, with the support of her husband, borrowed Sh. 2,500 to buy ten more Deras from Eastleigh.
After transforming these dresses into off-shoulder designs, Khadija sold them for Ksh. 500 each.
”I made a profit of Sh. 2,500. I repaid my husband and went back to Eastleigh for more Deras.” Khadija said
Khadija’s journey was far from smooth sailing.
The fashion industry is rife with challenges, and she encountered her fair share.
One notable challenge was finding skilled tailors to bring her designs to life.
Her expertise lay in design, not tailoring, and locating reliable tailors proved to be a daunting task.
There were instances when tailors rejected her orders, citing concerns about outsiders entering their industry.
Financial woes also haunted Khadija in her early days. S
ome clients refused to pay for completed work, while others handed over bad checks for bulk orders.
These setbacks could have discouraged many, but Khadija remained resolute in her pursuit of success.
Six months after opening her shop, Khadija received a lucrative government job offer that promised a substantial income.
However, she made a bold decision to decline the offer, driven by her belief that her burgeoning fashion business held greater long-term fulfillment.
One of the pivotal lessons Khadija learned on her entrepreneurial journey was the importance of separating business and personal finances.
A period of financial turmoil, where she struggled to pay rent, salaries, and purchase new stock, underscored the necessity of strict bookkeeping and maintaining separate accounts.
Khadija also highlighted the critical role of hiring skilled workers.
She emphasized that opting for cheap labor might seem like a cost-saving measure initially, but it can ultimately lead to financial losses and tarnish a brand’s reputation.
In terms of financial management, Khadija found solace in saving her money through a Sacco.
This method provided more flexibility than her previous fixed account at a bank, allowing her to access her funds promptly and preventing her from missing out on valuable business opportunities.
In just three years, Khadija Miya transformed a Sh. 2,500 loan into a thriving fashion business, Chamvigah Designs.