Interior designer and Creator of House of Nyenya, Hilda Wanyeya, has advised business proprietors to provide their clients with quality services if they want their businesses to expand.
In an interview with Crystal Newman on The Groove Cafe, Wanyenya revealed that integrity is something that has helped her startup grow exponentially.
“If you are dealing with people and money, you have to learn how to build trust with your clients. Besides patience, you need to build on the aspect of trust so that when someone gives you their money, you’re not going to put it into something else but you’re going to do their work and deliver on time.”
She added, “I don’t think you should start a business based on making money, do it with the intention of providing people with quality services. It’s from these referrals that you will make money because if you focus more on numbers, it might not grow.”
Having had a passion for business and interior design for years, the designer said that as a child she was attracted to colour, patterns and the orderly manner her mum would organise their home.
When she completed her studies at business school, she narrated that after trying and being unsuccessful in business, she decided to start up her own furniture store. Wanyenya makes furniture pieces with the help of a foreign friend who brings in foreign expatriates to train Ugandans.
“We train our locals in specific fields and make sure they become experts in that particular job. I’m trying to cover the gap of importing by bringing quality here and so far, so good. Everyone who comes in like what they get and I’ve not had any negative complaints.”
When Crystal asked how she has been able to build such strong networks of bringing in foreign expatriates, Wanyeya responded that she has a foreigner friend who has the same idea and they ended up partnering.
She went on to say that although she had the business idea six years back, she was able to kickstart only last year; something she attributes to patience in acquiring the skilled workmanship needed to create the designs that she was interested in.
To build on her wealth of knowledge and skill set, she revealed that she is taking online interior design classes, in addition to using her creativity which she has also applied in her floral shop known as Blue Orchids.
However, like any other startup, Wanyenya noted that Ugandans were previously ignorant about interior design and what it entails. “Now people are open to inviting us into their homes and open to seeking help. So it's a growing and profitable business and there are now a number of people practising interior design,” she concluded.
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