The use of beads and other costumes’ accessories is not only for traditional purposes; they are worn with both native and corporate attires by both men and women. Apart from making one look elegant, they also symbolize royalty. No wonder the business of bead making is growing fast as lots of people are taking the opportunity to explore this aspect of business.
Mrs. Oluwatomilola Salami is one of the people that have discovered the opportunity embedded in this business and have since venture into it full time, thereby making a livelihood through making and packaging the ornaments for daily usage and occasional purposes.
She said one does not necessarily need huge capital because she started with just N30,000 as an undergraduate from Nasarawa State University some years back.
She said: “It is business that you can do with little money in your hand. The only thing is to make do with what you have by making some selling them and reinvesting the money. That is how to keep the business growing.
“One must also get the necessary accessories like the stopper, hook and pipe for holding the beads, the balls for decoration and treads among other things.”
Being a creative person and the with passion for the world of fashion was what lead her into the business.
“Before my service year I went to learn the basics for a week and have been on my own since then. I think what makes it easy for me was because I already had the idea but just needed to get certain things right. Starting and finishing really matter a lot and that was what I went for in the one week training.”
The mother of two has been building herself up in the business by buying and studying books that have to do with her line of business and also doing research that can enhance her knowledge on it too. “It is a continuous training and I am still on it,” she said.
She worked for a while in a corporate organisation before establishing her business, “Jewellery Box”. The graduate of psychology said she was there to know how to handle her own business and that has been of help to her.
She also said she entered into the world of creativity because she believes that creative art and psychology are intertwined. “I believe both psychology and creative art go together. Psychology is management of human being and there is no how you are in business without meeting with people and meeting with them shows that you have to learn to relate with them,” she said.
The understanding of people has to a large extent played an important role in her business as she is able to handle her clients and that makes them to keep demanding for her service.
Mrs. Salami said the use of GL findings in making her beads has given her business an edge over others that are in the same line of business with her.
“We make use of quality beads in designing what people want, those that will last and stand the test of time. Not the ordinary day-to-day material that can easily fade,” she said.
The uniqueness of Jewellery Box is that they make their own designs that will distinguish people any time, any day, except on few occasions where people bring their designs and with that she still goes ahead to put a little touch of hers.
She is aiming at having a standard training centre where people can be trained on both beads and using metals in making jewellery so that people can make their own designs instead of importing from places like China and Dubai.
She said she had already has six people that have passed through her training while still operating from home and will like to impart on more people as times go by.
Looking at the aspect of packaging, she said one must have good packaging to be able to attract customers. In her shop are neatly arranged and well package, ready to sell beads and metal costumes that she made.
Mrs. Salami said for now she has not really thought of getting loan from any bank.
She said: “I might consider taking loan in the future. You don’t just collect money to gather materials in your shop and at the end of the day you are not able to make returns that will help in servicing the loan you have taken.
“You must get your customer base first, so that when you get the loan you are sure of getting the profit back and you will be able to service the loan you have taken.”
The business is lucrative. With as little as N500, she said, one can patronize her business.
“It all depends on what you want. Everyone can patronize Jewellery Box that is why we chose to be in the open market rather than being in the plaza so that people will not think we are too expensive,” she said.
She believed that women have creative ideas in them and also know how to struggle to get things done. She therefore advises women to start somewhere no matter how little.
“There are days you feel like giving up. Women should not just live the home front to their husbands but support them by doing something. When you support your husband it adds more value to you and earn you respect than just seating down and expecting him to bring everything home,” Mrs. Salami said.