Most entrepreneurs with success stories have a story or two to tell. They are either faced with immediate family issues or household problems marked with conflicts with little or no love. However, they work doggedly, not minding the hurdles before them, to build business successes and thrive, especially in the face of instability. One of them is Adeshola Adepoju, House of Kaffy Chief Executive. DANIEL ESSIET reports.
Polygamous families, some believe, create great entrepreneurs. Whatever being used to verify this assertion is subject to analysis. However, the pivotal trait, which enables children from such background to achieve success is their resolve to develop skills and resilience to become winning entrepreneur in the face of adversity.
One of such entrepreneurs with such background, who became a success story is Lagos make-up artist, Adeshola Adepoju, who also combines fashion designing to make her story complete. Her current projects include an entrepreneurship skills school, clothing line and make up business.
Adepoju, who studied business administration at Lagos State Polytechnic, Lagos State, passed through a lot of emotional trauma as a child, who grew up in a polygamous setting. She had to struggle through school because there was little emphasis on quality education.
Her situation as a child, who grew up with no love and affection, however, did not deter her in acquiring education, after which she veered into make-up industry about six years ago. As a young girl, she was very fond of handicrafts, which kept her busy when parents were not there for her. She would arrange materials and turn them into something attractive. This ultimately made her venture into bead making and fashion a natural path for her.
She recalled starting the business with little or no capital. Today, the business has grown tremendously. Not only that, she has additional hands to help her. Her philosophy of seeking knowledge has helped her a great deal. To her, there is no end to learning. What makes her work unique is her desire for beautiful beads with their natural matrixes.
When she started, she faced challenges. One of which was finance. To overcome this, she had to offer her service almost free. At the end, she got referrals to make more money. She offered free make-up training. She also showcased her works on Facebook and Instagram.
As determined as she was, she also was putting more efforts to learn the craft. Along the line, she studied how to make bags, slippers and sandals. One thing that has made her products and services successful is that they are affordable and attractive. She also made significant strides in the makeup industry. While she works as a makeup artist, she did some businesses associated with beauty and fashion.
As in any business, there is competition. But she has identified and discovered her niche. She has the belief that she will always succeed.
On how she came into the business, Adepoju said she always loved fashion and makeup business. She had always loved makeup from a child and was always conscious of fashion and one looks. It was just a passion and a love.
Adepoju is also optimistic about opportunities in the sector for young people and she is raising a lot of awareness about this.
She said she is determined to address growing youth unemployment, through capacity building and encouraging skill acquisition in areas such as professional makeup and headtie (gele) tying training, determined to offer young people the chance to accelerate their capacity for success.
Consequently, she has taken it upon herself to train aspiring young designers, covering the entire value chain of garment making, bead making and make up business, training young girls in different skills to give them the tools and the confidence they need to create their own jobs.
During her just concluded two-week entrepreneurship training programme, Adepoju gave young people the skills to identify and act on economic opportunities in their communities.
The process was not without challenges. Some participants, who could not afford the N4000 charged for the training were allowed to participate.
During the training, they were attentive and motivated with some of them thinking of business ideas.