MEET JULIET: Discovering Untapped Potential
Juliet Kisakye heard about Street Business School from Faridah, a representative of SBS partner organization Kabubbu Development Project. At the time, Juliet was frustrated because her retail shop business wasn’t doing well. Her family picked items from the shop whenever they wanted to, and as a result, Juliet wasn’t able to raise capital for restocking. The frustrating cycle caused her to lose passion for running her business.
Juliet admits she wasn’t enthusiastic when Faridah first approached her about joining Street Business School’s entrepreneurial training program. However, when she started the training, she found the lessons on business management interesting. She loved learning about how to find capital and start small. Juliet realized that she had untapped potential and owned a lot of things that she wasn’t using, including dresses. “We were told you can sell such things and raise money to start a business,” said Juliet. “I now know that business starts with me.”
After Juliet learned not to keep things that are of no value to her, she cleared her shop of all items that no longer served her purpose. She picked five dresses from her wardrobe and displayed them on wooden hangers in the shop. She sold all 5 dresses for a total of $13. Though this was a good start, she wanted to grow and expand. “I dreamed of having a first-class boutique and still needed more money to fulfill my dream,” said Juliet. “My husband wouldn’t support me. He said I ruined the retail shop business before and that I am not a business woman,” Juliet continued.
Thankfully, others in Juliet’s life did believe in her. Her sister gifted her $132, which she used to buy mannequins and first-class clothes, displaying her clothing beautifully in her boutique. Juliet’s sales technique was to help her customers, the first ones being her neighbors, to select dresses that perfectly suited them. This way they would be admired when they dressed up in her clothes. This technique worked and brought her more customers. Juliet’s shop is now one and half years old and makes $13 a week in profit.
During the COVID-19 pandemic lock down, Juliet realized that mothers were struggling to find baby clothes and sheets. Although it was hard to travel then, Juliet found someone to get baby items from the market. The money she raised from the sale of the baby items helped support her family during the pandemic when her husband was out of work. She sees transformation not only in her life but in the lives of her family, as well. She paid forward the gift she got from her sister, by coaching another sister to start a business selling sweets and popsicles. “Now my husband sees that I am of value, because he is still out of work, and I support our five children,” said Juliet. “I consider myself very lucky – what I am today, is all because of the training”.