Meet 30-year-old Gladys Wambui, commonly known as Wambo, a hairdresser with a special passion in the hairdressing and beauty industry.
The mother of one 11-year-old boy is a loctician and her passion to make and maintain neat dreadlocks on her customer’s head has seen her grow from an employee to an employer.
Fourth born in a family of six children, Wambui was once employed in a salon for around three years, after her hairdressing course where she mastered her craft.
What is Wambolocs?
“Wambolocs is a business started by Gladys Wambui with great support from her customers, it’s now almost a year old and we are really growing,” Wambui says with a grin.
“I previously worked in a salon where I realized I loved doing anything related to dreadlocks, after a three-year-stay in employment; I had mastered my craft and decided to go solo,” says Wambui.
“I never really felt ready to quit employment and start a business on my own but my customers believed in me so much that I decided to make the move and I am so glad that they never really gave up on me,” says an ever-smiling Wambui.
It is easy to see why her customers never really gave up on her from the thousands of photos she has of customers whose hair she has attended to. “She leaves a ‘Wambo-touch’ on your head that I always look forward to, she is quite fast and understands the designs that will fit a customer’s head,” says a customer whose hair has just been done.
How has Wambolocs Entrepreneurial Journey Been?
“Starting Wambolocs was not easy; I had just come from employment and was using savings to start off,” says the mother of an 11-year-old. “I was lucky to have loyal customers who chose to move with me from my employer. They were and still are not just Wambolocs customers but are friends I hold dear,” says a grateful Wambui.
“The salon space was initially small but we have managed to expand and the business now employs four other beauty professionals who too have families to care for,” she explains.
“When I first began, I was used to receiving a salary, now I pay the premise’s bills and pay salaries. I am blessed to have a very cooperative team that understands what Wambolocs stands for and value our customers,” Wambui explains.
Which exactly are Wamboloc’s Products?
Wambolocs majors in dreadlock services which include maintenance such as retouch and treatment which ensures healthy hair. They also do artificial dreadlocks which are meant for those who are not decided on locking their hair permanently and dyeing for those who love to play with color to enhance their hair’s beauty.
“Other than dreadlock services, we have ventured into manicure and pedicure services as the business has employed the services of a professional due to customer demand,” adds Wambui
Who are Wambolocs Targeted Clients?
“Our customers are from both genders as long as one has dreadlocks or wishes to,” says Wambui adding that the image of dreadlocks has with time evolved and the styles are now acceptable even in workplaces.
The business targets walk-in customers, those referred by other happy customers and those who get them through their online pages. “We are on Facebook and Instagram as Wambolocs chamber,” says Wambui adding that they display images of their work on the pages.
What are Wambolocs’ Daily Challenges?
“Our biggest challenge is clients who book for services and arrive way past the time they had reserved yet you have customers’ at the salon waiting be attended,” says Wambui. She adds that it is also a challenge to do house calls on weekends since the salon is mostly flocking with customers.
Where Does Wambolocs Draw her Motivation?
“The customers, we are blessed with great loyal customers who we are very keen to listen to. We started this journey together and the sky is the limit for us,” says Wambui. “When the business began, customers were so patient and would even help me undoing each other’s hair, this really touched and motivated me,” Wambui says adding that without her customers, Wambolocs would never have been borne.
How Much Does the Business Bring?
“Wambolocs is able to comfortably pay its employees, rent, restock products, pay for the license and leave me with my personal savings,” Wambui says amid chuckles.
What is your Advice to Young Unemployed People?
“Don’t limit yourself, explore your capabilities. Start where you are and don’t allow procrastination to hold you back; there is never really the right time,” Wambui concludes.