Our entrepreneur of the week is Thiitu Karega, founder of Binti Naturals. Her business tip for you is to work with what you’ve got. Read about her experience.
1. Who is Thiitu Karega?
I am the founder of Binti Naturals, a cosmetics company I started in December 2015. I studied International Relations and Management at USIU and worked in banking for 8 years before I left to start my company.
2. Tell us about your business
I started Binti Naturals after struggling with my natural hair for about 10 years. This was long before natural hair was considered acceptable. Binti Naturals produces hair and skin care products that are made from regionally sourced raw ingredients. We started with one product and have now grown to about 11, in total, in just under two years. And we are still developing and formulating more.
3. How did you raise funds to start?
I started the company with a fund I created when I made the decision to quit my job and start a business. I put money into the fund every month for more than a year as I laid the foundation for the company.
4. What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Seeing the effect my products have had on my customers. Getting a call, text or comment about how my products have improved someone’s hair or skin makes my day. Knowing that because I did this, someone is happier.
5. What do you now know that you wished you knew before you started?
That I should have done it sooner. I wasted a lot of time letting fear dictate my indecision and now I’m slowly gaining back the confidence to take bigger challenges. If I had known how hard it would be, I would never have started but I wouldn’t change anything I’ve done since I started.
6. Parting shot for the young Kenyan women reading this
I really cannot say this enough: start with what you have, but just start. Everything is not going to line up neatly before you can begin. Get that side hustle going, fail then start another one and keep going until you get something right. Failure is not a bad thing.4