‘Amidst competition, I let my work speak for me’
Mrs. Adeola Falomo, CEO of Courage Designs and Events, Lagos had always loved to organize things. Prior to setting up her business, she worked as a Chartered Insurance professional in an insurance firm for many years. Since she left her job as a top insurance executive in 2009, she has not looked back. Through sheer hard work she started the business and saw it grow. Today, the décor and events guru is one of the best hands in the business. In this interview with GERALDINE AKUTU, she shares her entrepreneurial journey into the world of décor and events.
How did the journey into decoration start?
While I was working as a senior insurance executive, I did my job tenaciously but was not finding any fulfillment. I was thinking of what next to do but, along the line, I got interested in decoration and events. I did thorough research about it and to hone my skills, I went for training. From there, I started. I retained my job and combined it with business. Later, I decided to resign from my job and focus on the business.
What were your initial challenges and how did you surmount them?
Initially, it wasn’t easy for me when I started because funding was a huge challenge coupled with the fact that I was working and doing business at that time. I took a step of faith to leave my job to concentrate on my business, which wasn’t yielding much at that time. Today, I can proudly say that I have no regrets because I love what I do and it makes me fulfilled. Another challenging thing I encountered was that people wanted to see what I had done before they could patronise me but I was not discouraged. So, what I did back then was doing the job and collecting peanuts because I wanted to prove that I could do it. I started with family and friends and later I started getting referrals. Presently, the challenge I am facing is that of space. Storage is a problem and sometimes things we have get obsolete because there is no space to keep new things. Getting a good staff to work with is a challenge but we are coping.
How has the journey been so far for you?
It has been a wonderful and exciting journey. I put in great effort to what I do and I feel so happy that it has grown. I have been doing this business for the past nine years. I feel delighted because looking back from where I started, to where I am now, I can see tremendous improvement. The money I couldn’t make while working, I made more. I derive joy and satisfaction from this job because it has connected me to wonderful people.
What makes you stand out in the business?
I have carved my niche in this business by using lots of flowers and this had made Courage Designs and Events unique.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Everything about décor is beautiful inside out. I see God in everything I do and I don’t need anybody to tell me that I am in the right direction. I am happy that I took a bold step. On this job, I have received referrals and this makes me happy knowing that I am meeting a need and my work is appreciated by my esteemed clients.
How do you handle competition?
In the midst of competition, I let my work speak for me. I am a very creative person and try as much as I can to upgrade myself so as to keep up with the new things around. I am open to learning because I believe that there is no end to learning things that will help your business grow.
Combining work and family life can be tough. How do you cope?
Combining work and home-front could be a tedious task for some but not for me. Doing my job and managing the home is not much of a problem because all my children are grown and doing well in their various life pursuits. My children encourage me all the way and my husband has been very supportive.
You look so good. Did you pick the sense of style from your parents?
I love to look good and stylish. I had always loved to dress well. While growing up my father used to dress well and always look neat. I used to admire his style of dressing then because he was always looking well put together. I think I took that sense of style from him. I love being creative with my dressing and stand out when I step out.
Can you share your growing up experience?
I had a good upbringing and it was fun. My father trained my siblings and I by ensuring we were educated. My siblings and I are close. When my father died, my mother took up the responsibility of taking proper care of us. She did different jobs and worked very hard to ensure we lacked nothing. My mother is my jewel and I am so grateful for her efforts.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Five years from now, I hope to have a massive event centre.
Advice to those who would like to go into your kind of business
My candid advice to those who want to excel in this line of business is to take things easy, be dedicated, goal driven, humble, creative, learn new things, do research, never give up and be prayerful. Also do not go into décor because people are going into it, you must have passion for it.
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