Nail spa and make up industry has grown immensely in Kenya in order to meet the ever growing demand for people to look good. The Daily Whistle sat down with Grace Bina, the owner and founder of Kingdom of Nails spa, to know what it takes to run a successful spar in Kenya.
The mother of two has worked with Madam Victoria Hausa of Maria, talks about her personal life, opportunities and challenges she has faced along the way. Currently she has three employees.
What is your name?
My name is Grace Bina.I am the founder of Kingdom of Nails at Fedha, Nairobi County. It is a beauty spa. We deal with nails and make up.
Where were you born?
I was born in Kitale, Trans Nzoia county. I went to Matisi primary school,St Columban’s Secondary school in Kitale then I joined Mt Kenya University to study for a Diploma in Community Development and Social work.
Growing up I really liked nails and make up. When I came to Nairobi I realized I can do nails as a profession. One day when I was walking in our estate I saw a guy called Baha of Bahati nails spa at Imara Daima, he was running a nail spa. I approached him and asked him if he would teach me. He was gracious enough and he taught me.
After training Baha employed me at his spa.
As I was working for Baha I already knew what I wanted. I knew someday I will open my own spa.
How did the Kingdom of nails come to be?
I worked at Bahati’s spa for two weeks then I was called for the August 2019 census. I had to quit. After the census I came back to Nairobi. My husband and I decided to open our own spa.
How can one start such a business?
For one to start a nail spa, you need to have the skill. You can acquire these skills through training. And you must have passion for it.
Challenges that you faced at the beginning
The biggest challenge was location. Location is very important for any business. At some point we almost closed the business due to poor business location. Getting clients was also a challenge. I used to go to the bus stop to call people. I used to approach all the people I felt like were potential clients. One thing with me is I work hard to maintain clients and give them the best services. And with time clients started coming in.
What do you look for in employees?
First of all I train my own employees, because every business has its own values. As a business we have our own way of doing business so as to satisfy our clients.
I also advertise for positions. I interview them. And the right person who has the skills will definitely get the job.
How do you manage your finances?
When you are running a business, financial discipline is key. At the beginning I really struggled because I had not mastered the art of separating personal and business finances. I take myself as an employee not the owner. I only take what I’m supposed to take as an employee then the rest goes to the business account.
Who is your support system?
My husband is my biggest source of strength, he has always believed in me, he pushes me to be the best fashion for myself. My mom has always believed in me and she keeps me going. My little sister too.
Where do you see this business in the next five years?
We want to open more branches and let everyone enjoy our services across the country. We also offer training services to everyone who wants to acquire the skills.
Any advice to those willing to follow your footsteps?
There are many opportunities if you open your eyes. It’s a tough journey that needs patience and persistence. The right time to do anything is now.
My advice to the youths is, there’s something you can do with your hands. You should work with what you have as you wait for what you want.
Kingdom of Nails is located at Fedha 0711 924 705