Unlike creatures in the wild, humans strive for more than just survival, we want fulfillment in life and success brings precisely that.
It is self-determination that has made Siri Said what she is now; a successful hair and make-up artist in Dodoma region. Everyone has to start somewhere and her journey as an entrepreneur in the aesthetic industry hadn’t been all too rosy.
“The journey was not at all smooth, there were many ups and downs but today I am proud of my humble beginnings as has made me who I am”, she says.
Born in 1977 in Dodoma municipality, Siri went from a secondary school drop-out and teenage mother to one of the best hair and make-up artists in Dodoma.
She obtained her primary education from Uhuru Primary School in Dodoma region and joined Jamhuri Secondary School upon completion of her primary education. She, however, was forced to drop out of secondary school after conceiving.
Though they say that education is key to success, all was not lost for Siri. Despite dropping outy of secondary school and becoming a mother at a tender age, she was determined to make it in life.
She made personal efforts to succeed in life because she did not want to let her own mother to provide for both her and her child.
At 18 she started working in one of the beauty salons in Dodoma. She labored for five years while dreaming of owning her own beauty parlor. And finally her dream has become true.
With a joyful smile she notes: “I was working very hard knowing and saving money so that I would one day start my own business and what made me achieve my goals was commitment and hard work.”
Initially her only obstacle was how to secure funds to open her own beauty salon. She remembers how it seemed like a Herculean task to get someone to give her a loan. But where there is a will, there is a way.
She will remain ever grateful to SEDA Financial Service. After a long wait, she managed to secure a loan of 150,000/- which helped her to stand on her own after opening her own parlor.
“It was not as hard as I thought. You cannot imagine I started my business with one dryer which I hired from one of my friends but I managed”, she said
Ms Siri was committed to her work and her hardworking paid off when she was able get more space and expand her salon.
Siri means secret in Kiswahili. It is no wonder then she chose to name her salon secret just like her name. But it is no secret that the salon is now the most talked about in Dodoma.
As the manager of secret salon, Siri says that every business owner needs to network expansively because each person one meets is a possible referral or a potential client.
“Stay focused and believe in yourself when you do your job and be determined to achieve set goals”, said Ms Siri
She says good customer care is what places any business in a position to maintain customers and get new ones. She does not lack that, she is very charming but remains polite and kind to her customers. In short, she shows her customers respect.
“People know me for my politeness, I respect every one, it does not matter the kind of service you want, be it for long or short hair,” says Ms Siri.
“But being proud of my achievements without acknowledging my husband’s support would be an unpardonable mistake. I am proud to say that one of the factors that made me grow in this profession is the unconditional assistance from him,” she says in her polite tone.
Siri has three children now whom she manages to take care without assistance, compliments to the earnings from the salon. She also built her own house from what she has been getting from the salon.
She further says that expanding business opportunities is among her key future plans. The move, she says, would enable her get more customers from both within and outside Dodoma region.
“Of course I have so many plans all of which are meant to improve my business activities. I want to make sure that I turn my parlor into a one stop shop, where customers get all services related to beauty under one roof,” she says, adding that once her plans are implemented people will not need to travel outside the region just to get beauty care services.
She advises fellow women who have had it difficult in life never to despair. She urges them to be creative by seeking and seizing business opportunities that will enable them get money to help manage their families.
After all, nothing will be brought on a silver platter.