How Namugenyi turned her disappointment with her dress into a thriving online clothes business

In October this year, Patricia Namugenyi, a first-year student of Journalism and Communication at Makerere University bought night wear for herself from a roadside vendor, only to reach home and find they could not fit her.

It was disappointment for her since her hard-earned money had now gone to waste.

“I sold the clothes to my friend and I realized, I had to learn from this experience to start my own clothes business,” Namugenyi says.

She says that she started saving until she got money that would enable her buy at least 20 night dresses that she started her business with.

This, according to Namugenyi, gave birth to her Nightzen Queen Lingerie Hub.

“This is not my first business and so it was a little easy to set it up. I have been doing business since I was 10 years old. I used to take sweets to school and then sell them at a higher price to get profits. Then I took earrings and bracelets. I took knickers. When I got to secondary, I used to take bras and sell to my fellow students,” she narrates.

Namugenyi says that whereas she started with a few night dresses that she could sell to friends and family members, her business later grew beyond family and friends.

She says that at first, she rented a shop in Kampala but because she was required to pay to much rent, she abandoned it and focused on selling her products online.

“I buy internet bundles and make use of social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, TikTok and Instagram where I advertise my products for customers to make orders,” she adds.

She says that whereas she has no shop, the products are kept at home and are only delivered to customers who make orders.

“I put it on to myself to pay the transport costs if the customer is around Kampala and for those beyond Kampala, it is the client to pay the transport costs or we negotiate. I give her a discount then she pays the transport costs,”

To beat competition from many other people doing the same business, her prices are not fixed and there is room for negotiations and price deductions with the customer.

Balancing business and studies

Whereas to many, balancing studies and business might be a hard task, Namugenyi says she has mastered the art of balancing both.

She says while money from the business is needed, studies are equally of great importance and she can’t abandon them.

“I talk to my clients and they know I am a student. So, they respect the time that I am in class,” she says.

Lessons learnt

Namugenyi says that her clothes business has taught her to be patient with clients.

She says: “A client can tell you to get for them a product that you don’t have but you have to buy it using your own money and they can only pay after you have delivered.  The biggest lesson learnt is that not everything goes your way. Some times things go the other way but you have to persevere.”

Namugenyi also says that saving the little she earns has done wonders for her.

“Have a target. The moment you have a target, you will have the zeal to save but if you are just saving without a target, in no time you will use the money. On the other side, when you meet the target, you will be the happiest,” she says.

“It is a very good habit to save, especially when you start at a tender age. That’s why people have piggy banks. So, if you teach this kid that saving is very important, then it is the good way to go.”


Namugenyi has some advice for young people especially women who would wish to excel at whatever they are doing.

She says that instead of begging to their parents or boyfriends as they wait to be formally employed, it is better to start with the little they have and invest.

She also emphasizes the need for “a side hustle” for every person as another source of income.

“No one can rely on one source of income. Have as many as possible. Even if the side hustle brings in shs300,000 a month, it is worth it.”

Namugenyi hopes in the future her business can grow.

“I see the future as a big thing. I am planning on a partnership with somebody who is dealing in events like bridal showers, baby showers, and birthdays among others. That will be a bigger platform to enable me grow bigger,” she says.

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