At 25 years, Ms Karen Nyangan is not a tycoon. She is a simple woman finding her way into the fashion world. She designs and makes jewellery, such as necklaces from beads. Like it is in some Karimojong families, Ms Nyangan’s mother introduced her to beading at the age of 14 years.
Growing beading skill
She later picked the up the skill in 2017. Little did she know a Facebook post by a friend would give birth to a business, Afri-Kay Accessories.
“I did not take it seriously as it was a leisure time activity until I decided to make a choker one evening. I sent a photo to my friend and she said she would buy it. I did not even know what price to tell her but she gave me Shs10,000,” Ms Nyangan says.
The jewelry soon caught the eye of a craft shop in Gulu which then served as the first distribution point for the young jeweler. But like many budding businesses, the procurement graduate’s startup began to suffer.
“I would stop beading for months. So in 2018, my job became rocky, my expenses increased and I did not have enough money. I realised I had a talent that I was not putting to use,” Ms Nyangan says.
“You know with startups, you need passion which I had but needed a reason or goal to have the business. I was doing things for the sake of having an extra penny so if I had money, I would abandon it. If I did not have, I would get back to it.”