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Thinking of Starting an Instagram Business? Lessons from my Journey

Who am I?

Hello there, my name is Norma; I am one of the founders of the K-LUX House Decor business page on Instagram. You can also find us on Facebook and Whatsapp; our main and most active platform is Instagram though. As of now, K-Lux has over 10,000 followers on the platform. 

I am going to share with you the inspiration behind starting this business, what I have learnt, the challenges I face and the important lessons my business has taught me and how you can be successful on Instagram.

Inspiration

For as long as I can remember, I have had an attachment to scented candles. I will light ‘em up anywhere in my house. They give me a sense of calm and peace and the scents just lift my spirits.

The only problem was that whenever I bought scented candles locally, they were always either low quality or just didn’t match up to my standards. Through that, I identified a gap I could take advantage of and maybe start a business one day.

I had the opportunity to visit The United Kingdom in 2018, and while there I was honestly spoilt for choice on the array of scented candles on offer. Then it hit me; why can’t I replicate this back home and actually start the business I had wanted to start for so long?

I later approached a friend in the UK; who would help me with sourcing the candles, a business deal was struck and that is how K-Lux was born in June of 2020.

Why Instagram?

Instagram, being a visual medium; was perfect for displaying my products and getting them seen. It would also be an excellent place to reach new audiences and try to build new relationships. So I worked on my photography skills and got to work.

I also fancied the idea of working from the comfort of my home; seeing that it was right in the middle of the pandemic.

Product source and shipping

I had considered a couple of options on where to source my products from; I was also contemplating offering more variety, not just candles. Together with my partner, we decided to also include mats, cutlery, mini house plants, diffusers and more in our catalogue. We needed a place where we would get all of these in good quality.

We decided to source them from the UK; the place where my inspiration came from. The products were of good quality and they were very pleasing to the eyes. As of 2021; we also started sourcing some of our products from Dubai.

Finding a good means of shipping was quite a hurdle, to be honest; they were either too slow or too expensive, but we found good options eventually. We mostly ship our products by air; for the products, we need urgently, the other come by sea; most especially the candles. It takes about 3 months by sea from the UK for the products and about a month from Dubai. We are currently looking into faster ways to ship our products.

Challenges

The challenges have been numerous, to say the least. Some of them are:

  1. Gaining trust from people and building a loyal audience was a problem at first.
  2. We initially spent a fortune on shipping before we found a viable option.
  3. Some of the products got damaged leading to losses.
  4. Shipping might take a very long time.
  5. Dealing with difficult customers and suppliers.

Lessons

I have learned plenty of lessons from doing business on Instagram. Some of them are:

  1. Resilience; the ability to bounce back when things go wrong, and trust me, they WILL  go wrong. Learn to show up on the good days and the bad. It is very important for a successful business.
  2. Do your research beforehand. I learnt how to handle Instagram from the beginning, researching which influencers I could work with and grow the business even further. Do your RESEARCH. I cannot stress this enough. Study your audience and find out what they like. 
  3. Never take things personally. People of all kinds are going to say a lot of things. People you deal with might be rude and uncouth. Develop a heart of gold and let some things slide. Be firm but kind. It will work wonders for you.
  4. Find a trusted person or people to deliver your products to clients. I made sure I found good motorbike riders I could trust to deliver the products safely to customers.

The lessons you learn as you go along will make you a more experienced business owner. Just make sure you never give up. Success is within view! Whatever you are looking to sell on Instagram, your business can be successful if you exercise patience, resilience and hard work.

In the meantime, please take a look at the incredible and comprehensive course by Village2nation Academy on how you can sell profitably on Instagram in Kenya. This course will give you the comprehensive playbook on what it takes to start and run an IG store in Kenya; from sourcing to making deliveries. It’s time for you to become the Instagram Whizz you were meant to be!

Do you run a business on Instagram, or would like to start one? please feel free to share your experiences with us in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you!

Norma is an educational consultant; who also doubles up as an entrepreneur. She has a deep interest in empowering other people to be the best versions of themselves. She is an ardent follower of Village2nation Academy and graciously agreed to share her story with that so that people venturing into business on Instagram can be better informed.

Check out her amazing Instagram page K-Lux House Decor and interact with it.

    1 Comment

  1. December 17, 2021
    Reply

    I have also started an eCommerce business on Instagram. I optimise my profile, by adding a creative logo, and website link and then I run ads on Instagram. For my business, the Instagram platform is great. I think everyone should start promoting their business on Instagram or other social media channels.

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