Upendo Thomas Matimati is no stranger to the world of fragrance. She currently runs a chain of perfume and cologne shops in Arusha, Dodoma and Dar es Salaam and has frequently traversed the world in pursuit of good and quality products for her customers.
“A good entrepreneur always has the right mindset and must be aware of the needs and demands of his/ her clientele,” opens up the mother three.
It was not all roses for the evaluation expert as he had to make do with some hustles, having posted not so good results in high school.
“I had to become a bus attendant at Royal Coach just to make ends meet,” she recalls. She would later join Scandinavia Express at the same capacity. As luck would have it, Ms Matimati joined Precision Air as a ground staff.
Unperturbed by her high school results and determined to make it in life, Ms Matimati enrolled for a special program to improve her credits. “I always had passion of becoming an entrepreneur, I thought this will be my cup of tea,” she explains.
And one she became after establishing Maties Collection. “It wasn’t a walk in the park though, as you are aware it is always difficult to manage any business in the beginning,” she admits.
However, it is the same business that has seen her book flights to different parts of the world in pursuit of the best products for her esteemed customers. She describes her foreign trips as an eye opener to her as she got to know the world and rubbed shoulders with those who have made it in the similar business.
“The business has taught me a very important lesson of not despairing in life and staying focused on your dreams, because as they say, dreams are valid,” she quips.
Ms Matimati who also uses her online platform to market her products, has hired considerable amount of staff in all of her branches. Ms Matimati believes that being successful doesn’t entail having a fat wallet.
“We are all here for a reason and everyone strives to become who they wish to be,” observes Ms Matimati.
She equally reminds fellow women to have a positive attitude in the quest of realizing their missions in life, urging them not to be cowed by anybody.
She is also alarmed by the sheer number of women who struggle in eking out a living, challenging them to attend different trainings and exhibitions to network and establish contacts.
“It is through such platforms where you meet who’s who and helps you navigate through the murky waters,” she counsels.
The fragrance connoisseur revisits the year 2021 with a lot of nostalgia, being the year she emerged the overall winner in the cosmetics category during an East African exhibition which was hosted by Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA).
That wouldn’t be the only gong she was feted with, as Ms Matimati also bagged home the Malkia wa Arusha Award this year, having also excelled in the fragrance category.
“Such awards not only make me proud, but also give me an extra push, determination and thirst of offering best service to my clients,” she adds.