Chrystal Kizito is a certified skincare trainer and the founder of Botanique Naturelle, a wellness business that provides natural solutions for skin, hair, and chronic illnesses.
The wife and mother of three shares her journey to becoming a skincare trainer and owning a business.
I grew up in Nairobi at Kahawa barracks to be precise. I had a beautiful childhood with a lot of love and care. I am the firstborn in a family of four — three girls and a boy. I attended Riverbank Primary School until Class Six then moved to Kenyatta University Primary School where I sat for my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams. I joined Lirhanda Girls High School in Kakamega. I then went to college where I did a diploma in broadcast journalism.
However, I did not secure a job in the media. Looking back this was a blessing in disguise. It pushed me towards doing odd jobs. I hawked spoons from Sarit Centre (Westlands) to Bus Station for a commission of Sh10 per transaction — for every three spoons I sold, I made Sh30. My hawking days were marred by feelings of inadequacy but this taught me one of my greatest life lessons, tenacity.
I later got a job as a waiter, which also entailed cleaning dishes and toilets. It was a difficult phase but this whole time, my mother’s words that “if life ever presented you with any opportunity no matter how little or weird it looks kindly give it your best” kept me going.
After working for two years as a waiter, my then boss opened up one of the largest skincare companies in Kenya and he picked on me to manage it. I had to undergo extensive training in skin and skincare. That’s how I became a certified skincare trainer.
I held the position of store manager until my resignation when I decided to fly on my own. This is how I started my company, Botanique Naturelle.
At Botanique Naturelle, we offer natural solutions to women. The biggest driver of my success so far has been strategy. I have clear set actions, goals, and plans as to where I want Botanique Naturelle to be in five, 10 and 20 years from now.
This, especially in a country that is yet to fully embrace locally made products, is not as easy as it sounds. It takes heart and it is very crucial for me to be consistent and willing to go on and not give up despite the storms. I have also learned the essence of what I call the Three Ps that drive me — Prayer, Patience and Perseverance. Not every day will go exactly how you’d want it to.
All my life I always had this mentality that I was never cut to be an entrepreneur until I got married. Given that I was a store manager at the time, I had a lot on my plate and found myself working even odd hours, weekends and holidays. My husband kept praising my leadership qualities, which he said were simply out of this world.
How I handled difficult clients and loved my job as if it was mine also mesmerised him. He would say such qualities are what I needed to start a successful company. He has been instrumental since he believed in me more than I did and through him, I realised at times, we just need someone to unlock the potential in us.
Today, there are several things that I take pride in, but the one I celebrate the most was being nominated to the just concluded Pulse Awards under the business influencer 2021.
I didn’t win but it made me happy that finally the universe and God are acknowledging my hard work. My special plea to our youth would be to seize every opportunity they get and to never look down on anything or anyone.