In April this year, Betty Kyallo opened a high-end salon, Flair by Betty, at the iconic FCB Mihrab along Lenana Road in Kilimani. The business is doing fantastic, according to the news anchor.
The mother of one spoke to the Star newspaper about her business, family, joining politics and TV career.
On the success of Flair By Betty in just two months, she said, “I thank God for the hard work I’ve put in. Apart from giving birth to my daughter Ivanna, I don’t think there’s any other thing I have put more effort in like Flair by Betty. It’s where my heart and all investments are. Because of the passion and dedication that the team at Flair has put in, it’s been a fantastic start, and I thank God.”
On the perception that Flair is for the high and mighty, Betty says: “It’s not a celebrity salon. It’s open to everyone, and we made it feel like home once you visit.”
She is also planning to expand Flair by Betty in different parts of the country.
“That’s the growth I’m seeing in the next few years for my brand. Soon they will be launching one in one of the cities,” she said.
“What I have learned about my entrepreneur journey is you have to take small bits of this thing. I believe in starting small and growing organically, and then we see where the brand goes.”
Betty is also set to join teaching and will soon be mentoring young college students.
“Having been in the media industry for seven years, we had the best role models at KTN, who were able to impact us in different ways, and one of the ways that I can give back to the society is at least mentor the younger generation, who look up to me, and I decided I’m going into teaching. We are working on a college for journalism, something which is amazing and I’m happy to be part of it,” she says.
“It’s something I’m going to do very soon. To me, it’s not going to be a theory but practicals, what I have experienced in the journalism field. I’ve been doing marketing but for now, I have taken a step back and want to focus on building my brand. I want when people see me, they see Flair by Betty and not Brand A, B or C.”
On motherhood, Betty said, “It’s been amazing and I take everything with grace. Being a mother is amazing, and I would wish it to any woman to be one. At times, kids are stubborn, but they do a lot of therapy for us. When I go home to my daughter Ivanna, I feel great.”
Asked if she’s co-parenting with her ex-husband, she said: “I would really like to keep that very private. Maybe sooner or later, I will be able to talk about it, but for now, I would just rather not and keep it off the media.”
The popular news anchor also spoke about her interest in joining politics.
“It is something that has crossed my mind a number of times, and the thing is we have quite a number of young leaders now who are in Parliament. And I just want to see whether the promises they made to young people, they will deliver or not. I’m really looking at the young politicians, the likes of Babu Owino, Jaguar, and Caleb Hamisi, and I just hope that they can deliver to some extent. If they can, then I will know there’s hope for other people like me, who would want to represent young people or Kenyan women in another platform. It’s not alien to me but I’m waiting to see,” says Betty.
On life after Dennis Okari, Betty says she’s single now and not in a hurry to get hitched again.
“I have met amazing people, but I want to package myself as a businesswoman, a mum and a potential partner in life. So that when I decide to get married again or start dating somebody, I’m bringing something to the table,” she said.
She continued, “And because of that packaging, I’m taking some time off. I have met quite a number of amazing people out there, but nachukua vitu pole pole. I take every day at a time, there’s no hurry. Niko tu sawa. Very single.”
She advises single women who are between 30-35 years old to take their time.
“There’s no pressure. Just do things when you find that person who completes you.”
She, however, acknowledged that it is not easy being a single parent but she has learnt a lot.
“It’s hard because at times, your child falls sick at night and you only have yourself and you to take the child to the hospital. It’s always better at least if you have somebody at least to help you. It’s not easy but at the same time, we land in different situations in this life. Sometimes you are a single parent, sometimes you might have your husband there, but they don’t help. Maybe they don’t come or you don’t go to see them. So I don’t see that being a single mother is a special thing, it’s like a responsibility because you have to balance between being a mother and a father, which is almost impossible. And if I am a woman, there’s nowhere I am going to fit into a father for my child but it’s doable. Having the right attitude is what we need. Everything you do, you should be able to move mountains.”