Venturing into business, especially the lifestyle and fashion industries, requires one to have a teachable spirit, patience and consistency because it takes time to grow an enterprise.
Barberpreneur Katunovandu Manuel Katjimune feels strongly about this notion, saying many business owners want to see results immediately. But unfortunately, that is not how business works. “One has to step out of their comfort zone, be willing to tackle obstacles, have a teachable spirit, not give up without a fight, and always give it their all,” he reasoned.
The 29-year-old Katjimune is the founder of GoToYourBarber, which renders barbering services at clients’ preferred locations, usually their homes. “Barbering is a good service that makes money, even though it might be an underestimated venture in the sense of making money and the industry itself. I must say it is one of the most important things in the beauty and fashion industry,” he told VIBEZ!
According to Katjimune, employment in the mobile barber service is one of the toughest things to do because it requires a lot of trust, but that is part of growing a business. Besides staying humble, continuously praying and working hard, he said a business person should also have faith in themselves, and have a passion for their craft.
The first person’s hair he cut was his father. “He would always cut me bold, and do his afterwards. He would then ask that I cut his missed spots, especially at the back of his head, just to clean properly, and I enjoyed doing that.” After only cutting his father’s hair for a while, he cut a schoolmate’s hair and word spread fast, resulting in his clientele numbers picking up as well as from him marketing his work through social media platforms.
Fast forward several years, and Katjimune now runs a barber business while pursuing an entrepreneurship and new ventures’ management course at the University of Namibia. He already possesses a diploma in banking, finance and credit from the Institute of Bankers.
He remembers skipping classes to attend to clients, and it really interfered with his academic work.
“I also had to take taxis at night to and from clients, and that was very dangerous. There were times I had to walk and wait for taxis in areas where they hardly drove (operate). I would walk from Ludwigsdorf to town in the evening, just in search of a taxi to go home.” Asked why he is going the mobile route instead of having a fixed spot, he said everyone else is cutting at barbershops. Doing house visits was thus his way of getting into the market differently, and being innovative.
Katjimune’s first big assignment was at the NAMAS in 2019 in Swakopmund, where he cut the dancers’ and presenters’ hair for the awards ceremony, and that gained him more clients.
The Windhoek-born and Ongwediva-raised entrepreneur has since cut the likes of Luis Munana, KP Illest, Skrypt, Paul da Prince, Wellem Kapenda and South Africa’s Blaq Diamond.
Some have become regular clients. Multi-disciplinary creative Lafika Joyce said the convenience of getting cut by Katjimune is one reason she sticks by him, saying: “He knows his work. He is convenient and can cut you in the comfort of your home or even at work; that’s how mobile he gets, and I love that”.
Katjimune is forever grateful to his close friend Siseko Gqwede, who in 2017 encouraged him to attend an entrepreneurship programme in Swakopmund, as that opportunity birthed GoToYour Barber, and brought up the idea of becoming a mobile business.
“This kind of support really pushed me to continue working, and it humbled me a lot. Imagine from having three to four clients a week, to being fully booked every week; that’s how much patience I had.” At the moment, he is working with a friend part-time and plans to change the set-up as soon as he reaches his target number of clients. “My goal for this business is to own a bus, which I can park anywhere to cut clients, and have a GoToYourBarber shop in every town in Namibia,” he announced ecstatically.