Another refreshing day with an amazing personality. A footwear designer, industrious and efficient. Kindly join me as we welcome her on stage.
A big welcome to you ma, can we meet you ma?
Thank you ma. I am Ayanbanjo Oluwafeyikemi Omosalewa, I am from Lagos State. I finished from The Polytechnic of Ibadan. The name of my brand is Feysh Collection(we specialize in both male and female shoes).
Wow, lovely. How long have you been an entrepreneur?
Well, I have been an entrepreneur for three years?
What inspired you to become and entrepreneur?
Growing up as a child, I love sewing shoes. During my university days, I do sew shoes my self and helped my friends too, and that had been part of what I loved doing. In fact I keep shoe sewing needles inside my bag incase I see someone that needs help with his or her shoe. After service year, I noticed the level of unemployment in Nigeria is also not encouraging as white collar jobs are no more safe because you can be fired at anytime. Instead of sitting at home lamenting, I took up my shoe making skills to another level. I started with knitting, and later moved to leather works, that had been of great help to me.
Being an entrepreneur, can you say it has brought fulfilment to you?
Yes! The fact that I do what I love brings that fulfilment. Nothing can give you feeling of accomplishment like running your own business.
I love this. What problem are you solving with your skills?
Some many problems, like not being a liability to my family (if you don’t have what you are doing, it can lead to begging from friends and families). I’m also opening job opportunities for people (imagine me expanding my business, I will need more hands in my company). And lastly, we need to stop the rate of shoe importation as it’s time we embrace of our locally made shoes for the growth of our country’s GDP.
Great insightful! What has been the major challenges you have faced as an entrepreneur?
To become a successful business owner in Nigeria is not that easy, especially as a startup. Several hurdles one must surpass are;
a. Lack of capital: This had really killed a lot of dreams. When you don’t have enough money to get the things you need to setup your business. There are so many tools and machines I need to make my work fast, and meet up with deadlines, but due to lack of capital, you will have to make do with what one can afford.
b. Marketing: To convince people to buy from you is a very big problem because some of them will prefer going for the imported ones than buying from you, most especially the top class people.
c. Customers: Hmmmm! These set of people are very hard to deal with. Humans are the hardest creations to control. It can be very challenging dealing with people of different nature . Knowing how to manage people is one of the greatest challenges you must face.
d. Electricity: That one ehhn! There is nothing more frustrating than having plans on what to do for the day, and boom the PHCN takes away power. Imagine you running on generator and still sell at the normal price.
A diligent lady you are ma..!! As an entrepreneur, what strategies did you employee to overcome challenges?
Firstly, it’s about making plans ahead(leverage). Your marketing strategy must be very strong. Even if your products and services are the best, without proper marketing strategy, your business will surely lag behind. There is something I always do, I have some people I make shoes for at a very cheap price because I use them as a means of marketing my products.
Can you say your customers have derived maximum satisfaction thus far from your services?
Satisfaction of our customers is one of our key achievement. Measuring customers satisfaction will give you a glimpse of where your business is heading to. I get feedback from my customers by calling them to know if they like our services, whether they have anything they feel we are not doing well just to know if we are serving them right. The fact that I get so many referrals shows they have derived maximum satisfaction from our services.
Where do you see your business in the next 10years?
And: Even before that ten years, my business will be on a global scale, I see my business creating job opportunities for people (that is one of our company’s main objective). Growing with outlets all over the world, having vocational schools for people that are willing to go into shoe making, but do not have means to learn.
Advice for young ones that would want to take up your line of business?
Don’t have the mindset of going into business with the intention of becoming a millionaire overnight. If you don’t have passion for shoemaking, don’t go into it. Every skill comes with a mindset and passion.Take the risk now, believe in yourself, face your fear and take action.