Nairobi News


Nairobi Hustle: I grew up hating poverty, so I hustle hard

By EVELYNE MUSAMBI September 11th, 2018 2 min read

From hustling in campus to owning a shoes stall purely built on online marketing, Faith Kithome has learnt how to pick herself up when business challenges knock her down.

The 28-year-old started hustling while still studying at Kenyatta University from where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Applied Human Sciences; Fashion Design & Marketing in 2014.

While in campus, she was engaged by different consumer outlets as a promotion girl and it was the daily wages that she survived on so as not to bother her parents with upkeep money.


“I have always been a hustler, I grew up hating poverty and have always wanted to be in business. After graduating I did a couple of internships and raised my initial capital of Sh120, 000 most of which was used to acquire space and licenses,” she told Nairobi News.

Upeo Nine World opened its doors in Kahawa Wendani where she was living as a student and later as fresh graduate in 2016.

“I only bought a few pairs of shoes since most of my capital was consumed by renting the stall. I had an empty shop but had great faith in myself and knew I would grow the business with time,” she narrated.

Few months after opening the shoes shop she bought an M-pesa agent line and pumped in her first float but weeks later she lost all the money to fraudsters.

“In the first instance I was the one manning the shop when a customer withdrew Sh36, 500 then cons came later somehow got hold of the phone, reversed the transaction and blocked my line. Another time I lost Sh40, 000. Then there was a time my assistant lost Sh20, 000 along with her phone. In each of the instances I used to cry then pick myself up and keep doing business with help from mentors,” she said.

Ms Kithome had by 2017 diversified to have shoes, clothes, M-Pesa and a tac shop all in one shop but she has since narrowed down to specialize in shoes and cosmetic products.


“I mostly sell online so even when I have no walk-ins, I get many orders online and deliver. I moved to town in August this year because most of my online customers wanted to physically see the shoes and when I was in Wendani some would quickly get disinterested when I told them my location,” she explained.

Her three years in business has taught her to value one on one interactions with clients, a chance she now has by having a physical shop in town.

To budding entrepreneurs she advices one to make good use of the online platforms.

“You should always be creating something while stabilizing the other and that is why I am venturing into branding and music having been in the KU choir.”

“I am constantly competing with myself and so for a young person out there trying to venture into business, you need to believe in yourself. Start small even if it means opening a page and sharing your products, ensure you post consistently and do not give up no matter what comes,” Ms Kithome advised.