Meet Jo Nganda of Jozy'z Boutique
Jo Nganda - Photographer ALEX QUEST.

Meet Jo Nganda of Jozy'z Boutique


Jo Nganda of Jozy'z Boutique - The lady with a passion for fashion.

By Olive Eyotaru
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First published: March 1, 2010


Fashion has over the years become one of the most obsessively talked about subjects. Not only has it drifted away from the traditional and ancient bark cloth and leaves, but it has slowly evolved into the eccentric and eye-catching. Walk on Kampala streets on any sunny or rainy day and you will be hit by spectacular dress fashions. Fashions from the 1970's like the round, skimpy dresses have sneaked their way back into the wardrobes of fashion thirsty girls and women. The skinny jeans that were at one point loathed for their pipey kind of look are back again and are a favorite piece for the youth. The long gypsy skirts and dresses are also favorite attire for the ladies of different ages.


But most people forget the vehicles that propel these clothes on the market, only rushing to buy and wear without acknowledging the efforts that boutiques have put to ensure that the ladies and gentlemen look smart and trendy too.


Jo Nganda - Photographer ALEX QUEST
Jo Nganda - Photographer ALEX QUEST.

Jozey'z Boutique has for the past two and a half years ensured that Ugandans keep abreast with the latest fashion trends. Owned by Jo Nganda, a Ugandan based in the United Kingdom, the boutique situated at Ntinda Shopping Mall in Ntinda suburb boasts of excellent services, in addition to selling quality products.

The boutique deals in women and men's wear and accessories. Among the products on sale include dresses, blouses, skirts and trousers for the ladies. The male shopper will be spoilt for choice in the section that boasts of quality shirts, trousers, shorts and caps. For the ladies with a fetish for shoes, all styles, colors and sizes are available from pumps to high heels and boots. To top up the attires are a collection of jewelry and accessories like belts, bangles and necklaces.

UGPulse took time off to explore Jozy'z world of fashion, a long time sponsor of www.ugpulse.com, and let the owner give the readers a picture of what services the boutique offers.

Jo Nganda - Photographer ALEX QUEST
Jo Nganda - Photographer ALEX QUEST.


Jo, tell UGPulse when your love for fashion began.

Well, as far back as I can remember. I have always loved fashion. Dressing up my dolls was one of my pastimes when I was a child. I guess that somehow woke up the fashion sense in me. I can say that fashion has always been my passion. So when I decided to venture into business, a boutique was the first idea that sprang into my mind.

Hand bags at Jozy'z Boutique
Hand bags at Jozy'z Boutique.

Fashion has always been my thing. But I can say that my family also had an influence on my starting up this business. A lot of people in my family are seamstresses like my mum and sister so it has been all around me for a while. I also used to pick clothes for them to wear.

I decided to open Jozey'z boutique two years ago after many of my family and friends kept taking all my clothes each time I visited Uganda. I would always go back to the UK with an empty suitcase. When one of my cousins had a baby, I brought clothes which everyone also appreciated. It then hit me that people liked my fashion sense. I decided to make it a lucrative business.

How was it starting up this fashion business?

Knowing that I was venturing into something I love made me believe that it would be smooth sailing. It only hit me that things were not that easy when I started looking for a market for my business. I had to first study the market, know what exactly people wanted and then get customers, something that cannot be achieved in a day. Eventually, things picked up and I am happy to say that Jozy'z boutique is in good business.

Jo Nganda - Photographer ALEX QUEST
Jo Nganda - Photographer ALEX QUEST.

What was your initial capital investment?

I really don't want to say but my capital base was small at the start and I acquired a few clothes. Eventually, things picked up and I kept plunging the profits back into the business.

How did you manage to attract customers?

With stiff competition in the fashion world, it was bound to be hard. What I decided to do was ask my family and friends to help through advertising the boutique by word of mouth. Since the boutique is located in Ntinda, which is near Bukoto where I grew up, we managed to convince neighbors and friends to come to the boutique. I must say that our efforts paid off. Consequently, the customer base increased. One thing about business is you have to be hands-on and not sit back and relax.

Once the business was established, I decided to take down customers' contacts and addresses. I then opened up a website, www.jozyz.com to update them on what was in the store. So when they need anything, I am a click away.

What challenges have you encountered?

The fact that I am based in London makes it hard for me to run my business hands-on. It is quite taxing having to call and send emails asking for updates on the business but I am glad that it is being run by trustworthy people like my brother-in-law and cousins. Also getting stock shipped into the country on time is a challenge.

And the opportunities?

There have been lots of them but participating in a fashion show last year at Club Sway was one of the biggest highlights of Jozy'z Boutique. We got a chance to showcase our clothes to the public under the theme, 'Effortless, Chic and Glamorous'. I must say many were impressed by our collection and we sold off 90% of our clothes that night. The show has also helped in bringing more customers to the boutique.

How do you cope with the competition, given the fact that many boutiques have sprung up in almost every corner of the city?

Jo Nganda - Photographer ALEX QUEST
Jo Nganda - Photographer ALEX QUEST.

I am not afraid of competition because my boutique is unique. I believe in selling quality and affordable clothes. I also listen attentively to what the customer wants. With open interaction, you are able to know what size, color or make of clothes the person is looking for, which makes business easier.

Do you have special services you offer your customers?

Definitely. Jozy'z Boutique keeps its customers updated on the latest arrivals in the store. Apart from updating them on the website, we send personal emails to them, giving them price lists and the latest clothes available. It makes life, especially for the working class, easier. We also introduced delivery services for customers who order online. This, however, is limited to Kampala.

Also, we offer discounts to our customers from time to time so they can purchase clothes at lower prices. Once a month, we have a 'shop and mingle' party where we invite clients and their friends to the boutique, whether they are going to buy or not. By the way, this concept is a first in Uganda and people have been amazed at the idea. It is more of a thank-you to our customers for sticking to Jozy'z.

Who are your inspirations in the fashion world?

I love Santa Anzo of Arapapa fashions because they make quality African wear. I also admire fashion collections from European designers like Givenchi, Gucci and Tray Rees from America.

What is your favorite fashion accessory?

Shoes, most definitely. I have a fetish for shoes; whether blue, green, yellow, red, name it. I'll admit that I have over 100 pairs of shoes in my closet. I am totally addicted to them because when I see a nice pair, I won't hesitate to buy it.

Where do you see fashion in Uganda in the next five years?

I really cannot tell because fashion knows no boundaries. Today, we have the skinny jeans and mini dresses that were popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Tomorrow, another style will pop in and change everything in the fashion world.

Any future plans for Jozy'z Boutique?

Well, I would like to see Jozy'z grow in future, probably expand and open more outlets in other suburbs so that customers from far can easily access our items.

Can the average Ugandan afford any items at your boutique?

Definitely. Jozy'z Boutique sells clothes and accessories ranging from between 6,000 shillings to 500,000 shillings. The prices are fair, compared to other boutiques. We care about quality and the customers getting their money's worth.

Jo Nganda - Photographer ALEX QUEST
Jo Nganda - Photographer ALEX QUEST.


For more on Jozy'z Boutique go to www.jozyz.com.

By Olive Eyotaru
more from author >>
First published: March 1, 2010
To learn more about Ultimate Media Consult go to www.ultimatemediaconsult.com.

Olive Eyotaru Yemima is a graduate of Mass Communication. She first worked with Ultimate Media in 2005 as an intern and returned in 2007 as a features writer.

A Ugandan talented creative writer, Eyotaru now writes for both the local and international media and continues to shine in the media every day that passes.