True entrepreneurs are rare to find. But when you find them you’re convinced that one day skills will certainly rule the economy because their foundation mostly, are skills they learnt one time or the other. They have inspiring stories about how they started and the challenges they faced before having a balance. The story of young Bidemi is no different. In an e-chat with Acegoals, Bidemi recounts how she sailed from receiving N12,000 as salary to making N40,000 in Ankara sales after quitting her job to learn a skill
So tell me about yourself. Who is Bidemi?
“Okay, to start with, my name is Hunsu Henrietta Bidemi. I’m d last born of my mum. I’m from the Benin Republic but born in Nigeria and I was born on July 13, years ago. I’m a friendly person; I love making new friends.”
Okay, that’s good. So what do you do presently?
“I’m into ankara accessories and also learning fashion design. I learnt how to make ankara accessories from Earth’s Haven Care foundation which is now running a project called Girls 4 Girls. They mentor and train girls in and out of Makoko on different kind of skills and many more. I am one of the beneficiaries of the project and also one of the mentors/trainers of the young girls in the community.”
When did you learn how to make ankara accessories with the foundation
“I learnt how to make ankara accessories early this year when I stopped working in a studio as a receptionist.”
You stopped working in a studio? Why? Tell me more please.
“Okay, I finish my secondary education in the year 2012 and I worked as a receptionist in a photo studio in 2013. I stopped working because I didn’t really have time for myself. I worked even on Sundays. Three things also made me stop working for the studio.
1) I did not really have time for things at home
2) I volunteer for Slum2school and I’m the team leader of the community based volunteers at Megbewe community in Makoko
3) And Earth’s Haven Care Foundation skills acquisition training was about to start
Wow! You mean to say you gave up your job so that you could have more time for Family, Volunteering and skills acquisition?
So how much were you paid as a receptionist?
” I was being paid N12,000 monthly”
Let’s talk about the Ankara business. How has it been going? And how profitable is the business for you considering what you had to sacrifice to gain the skills?
“The sales are coming on very fine. I make a lot more than my salary as a receptionist and I have more time to myself.”
When you say ‘a lot more’ how do you mean? Like how much are we looking at? Let’s say for example the average sales for last month.
“Okay. That should be up to N40,000.”
John: Really?! From N12,000 to N40,000…! Do you have challenges? And please what are they?
“Yes. I have challenges. I don’t really make sales consistently/weekly until there is an exhibition. Usually I make more sales during an exhibition. An example is one organised by Slum2school and during Slum2school events. That’s the period I was able to make around N40,000.”
Okay. Are there more?
“Yes. Sometimes customers ask for something to be made for them and they don’t return to ask for it again. Some also say they are not the ankara type so it is difficult to market to such persons. Some customers don’t also make full payment when a job has been made for them.”
How do you market your products and services?
“Like I said, I showcase my stuffs during an exhibition. I also make use of Facebook by posting pictures of my works on my timeline and when people see it, they contact me and I make sales that way.”
What of school? I’m sure you know it is important as well
“Yes I do. Towards the end of this year, I’m taking up a course at YabaTech to further my education”
That’s good. Thank you for your time Bidemi. Its been a pleasure. Do you have any message for your customers or potential customers?
“Yes! Colour combination is very important when we want to attend that important occasion. Give your friends a wow! when they see your bangles and bags made out of the fabric you’re wearing. I bet it its a delight and its style! That’s why I’m here for you. Contact me via phone and let’s talk about your next BIG occasion…
Bidemi can be easily contacted on +2348099673558 or on Facebook