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Young Woman Turns Hobby Into Business

ISAAC PINIELO
Keanole Panila Kote
What started as a hobby and a passion for visual art suddenly turned into a money-spinning business for Keanole Panila Kote of Mmankgodi.

At the age of 23, the young woman, who is now based in Gaborone, says she makes a decent living through selling a variety of virgin hair weaves, such as Brazilian, Peruvian, Indian and Malaysian hair.

“I also create and sell human hair wigs, which are handmade. So basically I specialise in that,” Kote told Business Monitor.

Kote said the love she has for fine art inspired her to “fall in love with hair”, thus igniting a passion to sell virgin hair weaves, charging prices of between P300 and P2,000, depending on the types and sizes of hair.

Having recently completed her studies, the success-driven woman will be graduating this October for a diploma in real estate. She said that she wants to continue her studies without abandoning the hair business.

“I started this business as an enjoyable pastime while studying, but it turned out to be lucrative that I now have no intentions of stopping it,” she said. Expressing her ambition, Kote said she intends to have a boutique that focuses on hair and presents hair products in an immersive way, with specialists who can consult and advice.

“My other goal is to have more individuals or salons who buy in bulk for reselling, repackaging and rebranding the product as their own,” Kote said.

Like many other entrepreneurs who opt for cost-effective means of attracting more customers, Kote has taken to social media marketing, using Facebook and Instagram as her chosen

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platforms.

“I advertise my business through social media.  I have a Facebook page named Queen-Hair Weaves BW, where you can find pictures of products I sell, as well as feedback from happy clients,” she enthused.

She said that the Instagram page has the same name as that on Facebook. Her other means of advertising include parading some models or people that are well-known by the youth to promote her brand so that they can showcase the hair she sells.

Since her business is mobile, Kote said at times she visits different companies around Gaborone to show people the kind of hair she sells.

“So that’s how I advertise my products.  Through all that, people are able to see all the different types of hair I sell and so on,” she said.

According to Kote, she has always wanted to be the independent woman that she is now. “As a business-minded individual you need to do your research and do what you think would best generate money faster,” she advised.

Currently, she works without employees, but said in the near future she intends to employ someone “who works with passion”.

She said she chose to be mobile because she is able to deliver hair to different people while they are at work during the day.

“Not everyone can leave work and be able to dash out to buy hair.  For people outside Gaborone or Botswana I simply courier their hair,” Kote said.



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