Judith and Christina, two young ladies in Kampala, Uganda, Africa, started making women’s jeweler and selling to friends and on Facebook. Judith started with $30 US and now has $1,800 US and ready to go to the next level. By Judith Kokuletage #000193
Judith The Jeweler with God’s Help
By Judith Kokuletage
Hello, my name is Gary Shotton, and I’m the founder of Inspiring Better Business IBBTalks. I want to introduce to you Judith the jeweler. We were traveling in the country of Uganda, and we’re in the mall the largest mall there in Uganda Acacia Mall and by chance or by, God’s direction we were bumped into and introduced to Judith and her partner Christine. And we started talking about them and asking what they were doing and they were happy enough to give us a summary of her story and how she got started in the business. I think you’ll be inspired. Let’s hear the jeweler from Kampala Uganda thank you.
Hi, my name is Judith, again. I’m from Uganda Kampala, I’m a jeweler, and I’m here to tell you my experience; how I got to start my business. I would say this is not Biblical or something but I believe in God, I believe in Jesus and I believe in everything that I do. He is with me and he’s having my back, he’s always having the solution and I believe you’re going to be inspired, you’re, going to be touched, you’re going to be changed. This is how I started my business. I went on maternity leave early. I was working so hard for a company but then I was about to lose my baby and the doctor put me on bed rest for a full month. I’m a hardworking person. I don’t believe in sitting home and wait for your husband to provide for you. I felt so bad that I’m not going to work but I needed the rest to save the baby. So, what I did I obeyed the Doctor’s orders I stayed home. Remember one month not yet given birth, you still have like six months home. You’re not working it’s your husband that is providing. So, the money he was leaving me for food I would say I’ll steal (save), some money to keep for myself. But I didn’t know really why I was keeping this money because I didn’t have anything that I was going to do with it. After all, I knew I was going to get my job again go back and work.
But then when as I was home before going back I need to stop looking at just being employed, I need to own my own business. I need to look at myself being employed by myself. So, I didn’t know, what was coming or what God was planning. Remember I’m a Jeweler but I didn’t go to school for these skills I taught myself in my own house. This is why I say it’s all God. It’s all God, because he has the plans he knows the plans he has made for you so never estimate him. It’s all God, so I wake up in the morning I leave the baby with the house help, I tell her to let me come back. I go to town just to window-shop in the jewelry markets I met this guy who was selling jewelry. I asked him I’m going to buy you a Soda please take me to where they sell materials. I had a hundred thousand in my pockets. Me having a hundred thousand is not enough to buy all the materials, but I said as long as I get the tools that I need to do the necklace even though I make two or three necklaces that would be okay because I want to see. So, the guy accepted I buy him a soda, he takes me to the market. I tell the lady I don’t know how to make the jewelry, but what you should do is just give me whatever I need to start. I find her making a beaded bag, I tell her how can I learn. She goes you have to pay to 200 thousand for you to learn. But I don’t have that money. Do you know, what I could do? I look at the bag, buy those beads, go home I redo it until I perfect it. I try, I taught myself so I make this jewelry.
My son is sponsored, my first son is sponsored by a white friend from my church. When she came in we didn’t have anything. I didn’t know, what to do. So, for me to appreciate her I made her a small necklace. She’s from Sweden. I send it with my Pastor. I tell him this is all I have I don’t have anything but I appreciate you coming in and rescue me because it was I rescue. And they take the beaded necklace and everyone comes back saying wow, this is beautiful. Where did you buy it? I am like no, I didn’t buy it I made it. So, the sister goes into my inbox on Facebook because that opened up a group to showcase my Jewelry. I don’t have a shop so I sell my jewelry on Facebook and WhatsApp through my friends. Everything that I make I take a picture and send it out there so that somebody who appreciates it, so I just go on delivering. So, she goes into the group she liked the group, she likes everything. So, she asks me Judith do you have a shop? I am like no I don’t have a shop. Where are you making the jewelry from? I am like I make it from home and she goes and said would you like to have a shop? I’m like yeah, but not now because I don’t have the capital. She goes how much do you need? I’m like in my mind I’m like I’m not telling you how much I need because I don’t want you to think I’m taking advantage of you of your generosity I refuse to tell her and I needed money. She was like you know what, we have Bible school students they’re, going to come and you have to sell to them. They don’t have to go to other markets to buy, from there you have to sell your product to them, and how much you need? I am like Jenny!! I’ve got this I’ll find a way, but I’m not telling you how much I need, thank you. So, she tells me okay I’m going to tell them when they come.
I go to my Pastoress I say Oh, please Pastor Carol, oh you know, Jenny has told me of this business idea and please can you lend me some money. I’ll pay you back when I make the sales. She goes hahaha Judith, I’m like please. You know the Bible school students are going to come, and they have to buy from me. Remember, my husband has a job I don’t have a job. I didn’t know that God was preparing me like he was preparing Noah for a storm. Trust me this was like a storm that I didn’t know that I was going to go into and I was being prepared. She laughs at me. She’s like someone sent money. You are here trying to borrow money but someone already has money for you. Here I’m like who! I’ve not told anyone that I need money. She was like you have a friend, I’m like, which friend? Didn’t you talk to Jenny? and I guess I did but I never asked for money. Yes, I told her about the jewelry but I never asked for money. She goes like she sent you 500,000 Ugandan Shillings and I am like what!!! And she goes like she wanted it to be a surprise. I’m like God you’re amazing, because I didn’t know where I’m going to get this money.
I go back into the inbox I’m like Jenny what are you doing? I didn’t tell you that I needed any money. And then she was like you know what Judith, don’t mind if you don’t want that money okay take it as a loan. You will pay me back. So, what I did on every jewelry that I could make ten percent would go to the children cause at our church we sponsor kids so I also decided to give back. So that’s what I did. She was like okay, you know what you can pay me this way on the jewelry that you make let some percentage go to the kids. I said I’m okay, with it.
She was like how much; because I had to send some jewelry to Sweden for her to sell for me. And then she goes how much would you sell your jewelry? I gave her the price that I give customers here in Uganda. And do you know what she did, she’s like that is too little I’m going to add in more money on the jewelry and I am like God you are amazing. These students come, my husband loses a job, almost sent to prison, and what was the money that was helping us the jewelry money. The money that was coming from Sweden, the sales that I was making here. It was little, I don’t even know how it happened but God made it happen. I’ll not say I made it happen, because I’m just human but God made it happen.
So, as I move when people find me at my store and ask me how did you do it? I give them this testimony, it is God. Because he was preparing me for a storm that I didn’t know that was coming. But he was showing me, I was like even though you move office to office this is where you’re supposed to be. Because I quit my job as an office manager because of the money that I was getting. The money I was getting a month it’s the money I could make in a day in a week. Believe me, that is God. Only, God so this is a testimony, I don’t, want it to be so Biblical but I can’t leave God out because he made it all this happen. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here. Even when I don’t have a shop. Even though I don’t have like anywhere to put my jewelry. But God finds a way to get me customers, to where I am at. So be encouraged. Take this testimony let it work for you don’t fall. You’ll find difficulties I won’t lie to you. You’ll feel like giving up but please don’t give up. He has a solution always. He has always got your back. Be patient and be wise in your thinking, be encouraged, be hopeful and stay faithful in God. I hope you’re blessed.
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