THE BOSS LADY
By Philes Davis
One American motivational speaker, and entrepreneur, Franz De Freitas once said, “Hard work doesn’t pay; smart works does.”
That appears to have been the footpath one energetic youthful entrepreneur, Ruth Mbumba Chatata followed enroute to her glittering success ladder.
Ruth is a proud owner of an eye-catching “Exclusive Boutique”, an exquisite shop that uptown men and women flock to for their designer clothes in Lilongwe’s City Mall, next to AXA bus ticketing office.
Her rise to stardom was rather slow. Ruth proved that patience was indeed a virtue as her childhood days in the entrepreneurial world were via selling lingeries way back in 2016.
Comparing to her current business, the lingerie business was not that profitable, financially. However, her sixth sense told her to be pushing through. Ruth kept her composure as she kept on learning secrets of the trade, and also widening her customer base. She was super-intelligent.
“My main aim was mostly to learn a few basics of this business and at the same time, having hands-on experience in handling customers.” She revealed.
Her determination was also being seen in how she was operating the lingerie business. Back then, she had no stationary shop. She used her car boot as a point of sale. She could be following customers wherever they were. It was hectic.
“My early years in the business were very intriguing. I could literary be following where my customers and potential customers were. My car boot was my office. This is where I was ferrying my products,” she recalls.
The turning point
Ruth kept on pushing herself beyond the limit. She kept on selling her wares via her vehicle. She kept on following where her customers were at. It was so tiresome.
He who runs away live to fight another day (Bob Marley)
Ruth’s strategy of using a mobile shop was not working to her expectation. She had to devise a new formula, and devising she did.
Ruth went on a sabbatical. She quit selling the products. What she did was later to change her forever.
Ruth was about to quit the enterprise all together, but her hubby, Aziz Ochieng, kept on encouraging her not to call it quits for good.
“We’d a round table discussion and he brought some light on how I could move on with my business without necessarily quitting completely,” she revealed.
Her sabbatical lasted almost exactly a year. Later on, she started stocking the lingerie which she was ordering from abroad. For six months, this was her job. Now, upon being satisfied that she had had more than enough stock to kick start her next episode, she started hunting for a place to plant her shop.
Along the way, she also started adding some items like handbags, clothes, shoes and other related paraphernalia.
Saved by Grace
Cometh January 2018, Ruth finally lived her dream as she successfully rented a shop to launch her childhood wish of having her own merchandise shop.
It took about a month for enterprising Ruth to finally settle in her new compound, Lilongwe City Mall where she launched “Exclusive Boutique”, a shop that has come to be synonymous with global fashionable clothing lines.
“It’s a dream come true to finally have a stable place where my customers can easily find my products. I’m not yet there but so far, I’m in the right direction.” She said.
Ruth is a living testimony of the manifestation of dreams once somebody pumps in efforts. Having seen her dream of owning a glamourous shop materializing, nothing now can stop her from dreaming bigger. Now she is dreaming big.
“I want to have my own clothing line. I will not be staying idle till that dream matures into reality,” she challenges.
Inspired by American entrepreneur, Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal, a women fashion retailer, and GirlBoss Media, a company that creates content geared towards a female audience, Ruth sees herself following her model’s career path.
“Determination is the name of the game here. Sophia had no background in fashion business but here she is! Anything is possible!” she challenges.
The quote that motivates her is “Don’t give up, don’t take a no for an answer Sophia Amorous.
Advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs
“Find what lights you up and do whatever it takes to make it happen! You have to overcome the fear, and it’s a lot of work but the rewards are fantastic!!” she advices.“
Location for the shop
- Lilongwe city mall, AXA corridor, right next to AXA ticketing office.
Social media handles
- InstaGram: @exclusiveboutiquemw
- Facebook: Exclusive Boutique Mw