STRATEGIC: From 8 Year Old Orphan To Millionaire

When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, both realized they were naked and got ashamed before God, and for this God gave them leaves to cover up, however humans evolved later to animal skins and now to clothes an opportunity Olivia is exploiting with both hands and building a fortune.

Olivia Ansell in her shop at Kings Gate Building, Kabalagala
Olivia Ansell in her shop at Kings Gate Building, Kabalagala

Olivia Bossa Nasejja Ansell is a businesswoman who owns Ansell Dresses that deals in American clothes, bags, shoes, accessories at King’s Gate Building, Kabalaga (first floor). She also sells second hand clothes (Bell) locally known as ‘Endibota’ in Ndeeba with the help of her sister, mother and American Husband Ansell.

Who is Olivia?
I was born in Ndeeba. We had a reasonable good life at an early age but things changed when my father George Bossa died when I was 8 years old.

He was Uganda’s ambassador to Congo and at the time of his death, he was a rich man who owned the famous Suzanna Bar in Nakulabye.

He also owned lots of farms, other property in Kampala as well as houses. When he passed on, life became rough and tough. He had six wives and my mother had given birth to two girls. We were kicked out of the house making life so challenging.

Olivia Ansell in her botique
Olivia Ansell in her botique

The business
When they shifted to United States from Egypt last year, Olivia thought she could get quality clothes at reasonable prices and start selling them in Ugandan.

I started shipping and opened up a Facebook page called Ansell Dresses. For those who liked the dresses uploaded on my wall, I would give them my sister’s number who at that time was doing door to door delivery.

In February last year, the business had gathered enough customers so she opened up a shop in town on Wilson Road, Titanic Plaza. Later, she shifted from the city to Kings Gate Building, Kabagala where she got a spacious boutique with a big parking yard.

She gets all her clothes from America which include; kids’ stuff, dresses, bags, lingerie, accessories, tops, shoes and jewelries. Prices range from Shs20,000 to Shs300,000.

She also owns belt (Endibota) business dealing in second hand clothes in Ndeeba under the management of her mother. The prices are between Shs 250,000 to Shs 1.5m.

Everything she sells she ships for herself from US. Usually when someone wants some stuff from the US, I do buy for them, then ship and get some commission the moment the goods get here.

Capital and Future Plan
Olivia started off with US 700 Shs(1.8m) but now her shop stands at approximately Shs 80m. My belt (Endibota) business is between Shs 160m to Shs 185m.

For now, my plan is to have something much bigger than this and on a large scale. I am also plan on opening up other branches within and outside Kampala.

Challenges
Shipping clothes to Uganda has never been easy. Taxes are very high and I have to bring better quality stuff. I ship every after two weeks and the biggest challenge is tax.

It leaves us charging high prices for customers who think you’re doing it intentionally when it’s our system. The dominance of Chinese goods in town is also a challenge because most people think it’s all from China.

Some of the shoes Olivia Ansell sales
Some of the shoes Olivia Ansell sales

 

I have a family of three young kids and a husband. With my nature of business, I am always up and down which doesn’t allow me enough time with my family.

I leave them with my husband who has been very supportive. It’s not easy to mix the two but I just hang in there, i have to come to Uganda once in five months.

Customers
I meet many of my customers from facebook and instagram because I have pages there then my friends tell their friends about my business.

For the containers, I contact wholesalers especially from Owino to buy them.

Achievements
I am gradually getting into Real estate business. I have a piece of land in Lweza on Entebbe Road and I plan on constructing upscale apartments very soon.

I have also managed to create jobs for my family and my friends and other Ugandans. I always re-invest my profits and that’s good for the economy as well.

I have been in position to give my family a good life especially after what we went through following the death of my dad.

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