On Mid week inspiration i would like to share with you my interview with Blossom Nnodim. She is a blogger, a compere, and a full time career person. She will be the first non business person i will be featuring on mid week inspiration. The whole essence is to let other women out there who have a career and are also interested in owning their own website or blog know that it is possible to do both. But then you have to plan your time properly to be able to do both.
1. So, who is Blossom Nnodim?
I am the personality behind the brand blcompère which grew out of a passion to anchor events to a superb finish. Consequently, the brand grew to encompass my favorite summary of myself as shown below:
…my name is Blossom of the blcompère brand. I am a soon to be published Author, a certified Blogger and an amazing Compère and most recently, a lousy Designer… as simple as A. B. C. D…
2. How did you get into blogging and the PR field?
It started as a fun lifestyle that was strongly influenced by two Nigerian brands name Bella Naija and Ofili Speaks. I took it more serious after attending a boot camp in Lagos organized by the founder of Ofili Speaks, Okechukwu Ofili in October, 2011. I consequently obtained a proper domain in February, 2012 at www.blcompere.com and had to delete the old one www.blcompere.blogspot.com as I wanted to rebrand afresh.
3. Was it always your passion?
Not at all. It was a way of having fun and sharing my boring ideas and non-amusing jokes with the world.
On rebranding, the blog focus can be summarized as “Triple M” which is explained thus:
• Ministry: This explores my belief in God and the plethora of issues that can be garnered in the walk to perfection.
• Marriage: This effectively explores the home front inclusive of relationship based issues in the home. It can mildly talk about cooking recipes and spontaneously move to more extreme issues like sex, family finance, managing 3rd parties etc.
• Market Square: This is a broad area that encompasses the career person, the business oriented individual, work place issues etc.
4. Who have you worked with?
I have worked with the following brands:
1. All About Kids; a registered educational (support service) organization based in Abuja.
2. Pamela Evbota, the author of “How to raise kids without losing it”
3. Propland Associates; a firm of Estate Surveyors incorporated in 2003 to practice the profession of Real Estate Management services in the country.
4. Red Chilli Chinese Takeaway & Delivery, Abuja.
5. Ruff ‘n’ Tumble; a company that designs, produces and retails a line of children’s clothing from 12months – 16years for both boys and girls.
6. Pro Training Centre Ltd, Lagos.
5. How do you keep yourself ahead in the game?
I read widely and I also ensure that my social capital is always updated and enhanced.
6. What do you feel is your signature, what makes you stand out from the crowd?
My social capital. It is what I can modestly say to be amazing at the moment.
Here is a summary as at 31st May, 2012.
Twitter: www.twitter.com/blcompere (6,710 plus followers)
Facebook: www.facebook.com/blcompere (4,380 “likes” on the page)
BBM: 2776B6E0 (1,155 Contacts)
Website: www.blcompere.com (3,810 plus Unique visitors from 54 different countries, since the launch date of February 24th, 2012)
These are the ones I implore more although there are other social media platforms I have subscribed to.
7. What has been the best part of your career so far?
The joy I feel doing what I actually love to do and being paid for it as well.
8. What has been your proudest moment so far?
The mail I got from my client Red Chilli Chinese Takeaway & Delivery, Abuja, informing me that their sales have taken an upward surge in just 6 weeks of doing business with my brand.
9. What advice would you give to anyone trying to break into your field?
Develop your social capital first and then announce yourself. This makes it very easy for you to have bragging rights in the business.
To Your Success
Today on our mid week inspiration i bring to your Ajoke Akinola owner – Pleasant Jay Events. An events/Party planning services. Be inspired
BUSINESS NAME: Pleasant Jay Events
MY NAME: Ajoke Akinola
WHY DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?
Having served as a welfare officer in my church for several years, I got inspired by the event planning and catering services rendered. I was trained by a UK trained specialist (Mrs. Kikelomo Akinsola of Blooms Design),Dot Dee Events and Crefield Catering Services. Though I enjoyed the time spent as a trainee, but I longed to work for myself, running my own business. I loved the ability to set my own hours, to be my own boss and also impact other lives positively. With this thought in mind, I began to do market research. After speaking with different people, I recognized that the idea was viable.
WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE STARTING YOUR BUSINES
Before enrolling for training, the first thing I did was to wait on the Lord for directions and since then I have got no reason to regret, even when business was not moving the way I expected it to be. I am convinced that I would get there some day. Also I joined an entrepreneurs network (NECA NETWORK OF ENTREPRENUERIAL WOMEN) and I always attend seminars, conferences and workshops. And of course I chose my mentors carefully.
HOW DID YOU FUND YOUR BUSINESS
BRIEF BACKGROUND INFO OF PLEASANT JAY EVENTSPleasant Jay Events is an event consultancy firm focused on delivering qualitative event planning and catering services. The business is located in Lagos Nigeria, and offers professional corporate and social event planning services, high-end traditional and continental delicacies, food packs, and cocktail drinks.
Pleasant Jay Event provides Nigerians with high quality above-board event planning/management and catering services. The services are for Individual clients, corporate and government agencies, Premium Clients and private schools. We offer high-end traditional and continental delicacies, food packs, finger foods and cocktail drinks to the Nigerian community and beyond for weddings, birthday parties, Corporate Lunch, New Product Promotion, Opening of New Corporate Offices and other assorted parties.
To Your Success,
On my midweek inspiration today, I feature Simone Monu. I met Simone at the NigerWives Bazaar I took part in two weekends ago. Simone co owns the Monu & Monu Fashion Label with her Nigerian husband. Her designs are mainly on locally made fabric called Aso oke. I was indeed fascinated by her designs and I just wanted to share her business story with you my readers. Enjoy!!
The Name of your Business: monu & monu FASHION (part of monu & monu Ltd.)
Your name: Simone Monu
Why did you start your business:
I loved the idea of creating a modern design label with traditional African materials, something that hasn’t been done and not many international designers have access to.
What did you do before starting your business?
I trained and worked as a Fashion and Costume designer in the UK and Austria for almost 20 years, in some of the biggest Film/ Theatre and Opera houses Europa has to offer.
How did you fund your business?
Until now it is self-funded by building up slowly without outside funding.
How are you able to fit your business with the family life?
I have a wonderful and understanding husband, who supports my ventures.
What advice would you give up coming entrepreneurs?
Planning is important, starting up and progressing is more important. I would also advice to look for good supporters who will give you good advice that is supporting your interests. Work hard and don’t be lazy.
Give a brief background of your business and a link to your website.
The Fashion label of the monu & monu Ltd. Company. A family company led by Husband and Wife team Nick and Simone and covering the areas of Film, Fashion, Theater and Design.
A Fashion house that produces and retails clothes made from African materials with modern classic cuts that can be worn by all ages.
monu & monu Fashion is on a mission:
An African based Fashion house making high quality clothes in the Heart of Africa, Nigeria, for the African as well as international customer. We cover Fashion from the primary, creating and supporting local traditional weavers to the distribution, marketing and sales of our African classics.
An Austrian national married to the other half of monu & monu Ltd., Nigerian born international Actor/Director Nick Monu.
After initial training in Fashion in her home Austria, Simone attended the World renowned London School of Fashion where she first learnt and fell in love with West African strip cloth. In her native land she spent over ten years working as a designer in two of the Worlds most famous theatres, the Staatsoper Wien and the Burgtheater. This “theatre period” gave Simone an invaluable understanding of the history and techniques of clothes making through the ages and across cultures.
Simone draws, cuts on the dummy and her early training as a seamstress means she can also make to the highest standards and more importantly in the Nigerian context, pass on her skills to her local staff.
Simone Monu “haute couture designer par excellence”
To Your Success,
Name of Business: Mary the Queen Hospital
Your Name: Becky Oboh – B.Sc Nursing, Midwifery & P.GD hospital Management.
Why Did you Start your own business – I wanted more than just being a nurse, I wanted to step away from the norm and do something more exciting and challenging. I wanted to do more about saving other people’s lives and the only way I saw possible was to open my own hospital with employed doctors and nurses.
How long have you been in Business – 12 Years.
What did you do before starting your own business – I worked at the church mission hospital. While working there I got challenged to start my own clinic. It was from my small clinic that I opened my present location.
What challenges did you have starting out – Funds was a major issue while starting the business. And our ongoing challenge is patients defaulting on their bills due to our relaxed policy of treating patients even when they don’t have money for their treatment.
How did you get the funds for your Business – Personal saved funds and I got strong support from the church mission hospital. The missionaries in charge where very supportive and they assisted me from the start up stage of the business.
How do you balance your work and family – In the early days of the business it wasn’t easy but I was able to get by. Presently my kids are grown up and with the just my last daughter in the secondary school. I try my best to make out time during the weekend for the family. Above all I have got an amazing husband who is not so demanding. He has been very supportive of me and the business. His major concern is my own health he wants me to rest more as I spend most of my time at the hospital with patients.
What advise would you give up coming entrepreneurs – Do what you love don’t try starting a business because someone else is involved in the same business. It is very important that which ever business you get involved in brings you joy and happiness. To succeed in business you have to be really interested in your business. The passion I have to save as many lives as I can keep me going in business. We treat patients even when they don’t have the money to pay their bills.
To Your Success,
Business Name: Travellers’ Haven
Name: Joy Agbakoba – Owner/CEO
Business Location: Lekki, Lagos
Year you started your business: 2000
Why did you go into business: After my second child I got tired of the office grind I decided to start my own business.
What is the nature of your Business: Travels & Tours; My love for travelling and discovering new places coupled with my passion for traveling and tourism informed my decision to go into the travels business. Read more
Web Site: www.familyfriendlyworking.com
Here she shares the story of how she made the move from overstretched employee to busy business owner. “Back in 2002 I had just returned to work after having my first child. I had got a great new job with more pay and responsibility, but it wasn’t working out the way I wanted. I felt torn between work and spending time with my daughter. Even working four days a week I felt I didn’t see enough of her. And having to leave work promptly each day meant that I felt like I wasn’t putting enough in there either. Something had to change”. Read more