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Mugamba, the mobile hairstylist

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Nowadays, people have limited time to move and wait in salon queues, because of work or work related demands. It is, therefore, strategic to target them wherever they are. The question would be; is the mobile salon business profitable? Well, according to Jacquiline Mugamba, a mobile hair stylist, it is so gainful. She shares her experience with Beatrice Nakibuuka.  

Mugamba runs her mobile salon in Kampala. The natural hair freak started getting compliments from her friends and strangers whenever she styled her own hair

“I started with styling my own natural hair and my friends used to tell me I do it perfectly. They always advised that I could actually go commercial,” she says.

At first, Mugamba did not give it much thought to do hairdressing as a business until the Covid-19 outbreak and salons had to be under lockdown. 

She realised that her friends’ compliments about her styling skills were not mere jokes but serious encouragement. 

She decided to put her skills to use and make money through hairstyling.

The start

 Mugamba says she hated the idea of going to town to have her hair fixed and wished the service would be brought to her doorsteps.

  “I would keep postponing and wished I would get someone to do it at my convenience.

I then imagined there are so many other women like me that would get a great relief if they had their hair done from home or wherever they would feel comfortable,” Mugamba says.

She started styling hair in 2018, but there was no financial benefit then. In 2019, Mugamba was only styling her friends’ hair at a minimal fee, though serious business started during Covid-19 lockdown last year.

Mugamba used Facebook and Instagram (Jaqstyles) to advertise her skill and this largely worked in her favour. She received positive feedback from social media, since most people stayed home and were in search for mobile services. She would travel to meet customers and style their hair from the comfort of their homes.

Since then, she has maintained her clientele and gained more, including brides and children.  “I am very grateful for my friends and parents that have supported me and have been linking me to get more clients. We are still growing and learning more and hoping to give more women a great look at their places of convenience,” Mugamba says.

Services

 Mugamba works a long with four other women, who have different specialties in braiding, crocheting, make-up, natural hair styling, bridal hair, treatment and weaving.

She explains that on a good day, they are able to work on over four clients and make a profit of over Shs 100,000.

Her services range between Shs 30,000 and Shs 60,000 for adults and Shs 20,000 to Shs 30,000 for children, transport not inclusive.

Mugamba believes she is thriving because of the uniqueness in her services.

She says: “Our service is exceptional because the client is styled in the comfort of their home or favorite location.

It saves them lots of time and costs of travel. This also gives the client a chance to take care of other chores especially if they are at home.”

She adds that it also minimizes contact with other people, thereby preventing the spread of the Coronvirus.

For her own safety from the virus, Mugamba says she always moves with masks and sanitizers.

Challenges

Her major challenge so far is the high transport rates, which have doubled since the Covid-19 lockdown.

It gets very costly when clients stay far from Kampala.   This also calls for an increase in the amount charged for the services.

Future plans

“We plan to have a vehicle to ease transport, have more people on the team because we believe we will have more people demanding for the service countrywide,” Mugamba says.

Advice

She says it is good to be enterprising and taking advantage of the skill you are good at. 

She encourages anyone doing business to ensure they have great customer care and also to listen to clients’ advice and feedback.

What others say   

Vivian Galina

Jacque advertised on social media and I liked her services because I like supporting fellow women that can offer good services.

The services were up to my standards, I was very satisfied and went back for the same like five times because they have the best customer care.

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