YEBOVI: Focus And Commitment Recipe For Successful Business

Joy-photoHow can we develop entrepreneurial spirit in young people in view of the new drive towards that direction?
I believe that the best way that young people, especially entrepreneurs, can build strong and formidable relations, platforms and long lasting networks is through hard work. The best way is to teach the youths on how to be entrepreneurs and self empowered. They must learn to harness their talents and skills. Hard work is very essential, I am a very hardworking person, so they must be hardworking. Hard work doesn’t kill; it only increases your chances of being successful. And in this 21st century, you must be the best at what you do because every position is very competitive.

For many years, you have successfully worked with indigenous artisans and staff, using raw materials sourced locally., yet you are coming out with high quality products, how come?

Yes, we work with the finest materials. I believe that Nigeria is at par with some of the worlds most developed countries. Unfortunately the infrastructure and environment needed to achieve this isn’t there. However, in spite of that, I’m still passionate about the work I do. We use local raw materials. I believe this is my own small contribution to nation building. We source our materials locally. As an indigenous company, we take so much pride in the fact that we don’t compromise standards and our customers are our major priority.
How tasking is handcrafted designs?

Of course, it is very true that exclusive handcrafted designs, beautiful, individual furniture doesn’t happen by chance. It’s the human element, the careful hand finishing by skilled craftsmen that gives our furniture such a personal feel and ensures that you will not find our products anywhere else in the world. It’s hard to believe just how much care and attention goes into producing a single piece of simplinteriors furniture. Numerous stages are required to construct and finish each item by hand to the highest standards.

Do you see the Federal Government’s new monetary policies as good for business?

I see the new directive as Government’s way of trying to stabilise the naira. In as much as I appreciate the attempt by CBN to try and save the naira, it however, makes business transactions very difficult.
What is your recipe for success that young people can imbibe?

To succeed in any business, you must be hard working, focused and committed to what you are doing. For young people who desire to go into this industry, they must be creative and focused. You cannot make a head way in this business if you are not creative. Regardless of where you are today, find a way to immerse yourself in the field you find yourself. Hard work will make a way for you and distinguish you among equals.

How did you get to where you are today?

I love houses and interiors and I keep catalogs of magazines. I had a rare passion for design. However, it took eight years of grinding it out in the corporate world, The creative force within has since blossomed and in 2004, I started out by exploring the interesting world of staging, arranging and decorating empty spaces to make them look lived-in, which has helped in honing my skills and sales experience. Through hard work, perseverance and commitment, the business has grown in leaps and bounds.

When I started staging interior decoration and home staging as a profession, it was unheard of, yet I stumbled into my own business model by combining my creative abilities with my sales ability. I used design strategy as a successful selling tool for homes.

When it comes to designing or decorating a room, “less is more”. When decorating your home, don’t over decorate, you don’t have to buy all the decorating pieces you see in the store, space them, let your home have that inviting fill.
What lessons are there when it comes to going the extra mile to satisfy a client?

I am very selective when it comes to mannerisms, and taking on new clients because of the time involved in designing for living. Model homes and staging are turnkey and easy to manage because we have processes in place and a large inventory of furniture that we pull from. We can floor plan a vacant 10,000 square feet home in a week and install/stage in four days.

You seem to have a good eye for colour, style and beauty, how has this played out in your work?

I am greatly inspired by my immediate environment and enjoy working with colours. What works in Europe might not work here, so I have to study what a client wants and add that touch. We are bringing back the beauty of African inspired furniture to homes within Nigeria. The Simplinteriors product range is ever expanding to encompass different styles, and even different finishes of wood.

How easy has it been combining your roles as a professional interior designer, artist, sculptor, with being a wife and a mother?

Of course, I must admit, that like any female business leader combining work and the responsibilities of family life hasn’t being easy. It is a constant juggling act, and much harder than one thinks. I don’t ever deprive my family of the time I am supposed to spend with them, so basically, what I do in tight schedule is to try and work out time with my client. But the important thing is that I plan my day and week before I set out. I am a bit of introvert and extrovert; I love espionage film and books, I exercise a lot, it helps me focus.

Focus is key. It’s all about perseverance and diligence, giving attentioo every little detail when it comes to my work as decorator, designer and a true African – inspired contemporary brand. Doing business in Nigeria is very difficult, even for large conglomerates; most SMEs fold up within the first five years. But I thank God; who has given me the drive and passion to stay on course and rise above the challenges that come with starting and maintaining a business

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