Securing Her Bag: Financial Independence Smells Nice
Financial independence sure smells nice for this Unilag 300 level mass comm student, who is building a thriving perfume business.
What was your first experience of money?
When I was young, and visitors came to the house they’d give me money and as the good girl that I am, I’d give it to my mum to “keep” for me and that would be the last time I ever saw that money again. When I would ask for my funds my mum would say “what of all the food you’ve been eating in the house? Or the clothes I’ve been buying for you?.” I probably would be a millionaire by now if I kept those monies myself.
What did you want to be as a child?
I wanted to be a news presenter. Anytime I watched TV, loved how the presenters on Channels and other TV stations would speak so eloquently and carry themselves.
And then in primary school I started reading the news during assembly. It was the best thing ever, I felt like I had made it in life lol.So I’ve always had a strong conviction that I was gonna study Mass Communication and that’s what I’m studying now.
Nice! Enough about school, let’s talk about your business.
I run a perfume business. I started in 2020 during the covid lockdown, my main motivation for starting was so I could attain some level of independence. I’ve always loved perfumes and I had this roommate in year 1 who sold perfumes and she was so goal driven. We used to have conversations and she encouraged me to start a business and she helped put me through the process.
How does it feel like running your own business?
It feels great having something to your name, that you’re independently running by yourself, it’s nice being a CEO. But it can be overwhelming, the business is a life and it’s either growing or dying and sometimes the business isn’t growing and it can be painful. It is really stressful you have to advertise, be in the faces of customers and also invest back into the business. Sometimes I take a step back to restrategize, see where I’m lagging behind and how I can do better. But it can be really good too, I especially love getting good feedback and when customers buy in bulk.
How is it like juggling school and work?
I know what I came to school to do so I don’t let anything distract me, my academics is my top priority right now, school is just for a phase, once I’m done with it, I’d have all the time to focus on my business so now that I’m in school, I give it my all. But I’m also aware that I can’t just focus only on academics, so I’ve managed to strike a fine balance between my other activities and academics. The regular ASUU strikes help a lot so I have some breathing space.
What Challenges have you faced running the business?
I do not have a physical store, so I run a dropshipping model where I post the available perfumes on social media and interested customers order it. But that is a big challenge because some customers want to smell the perfume before they make a purchase. I can’t also I can’t buy in bulk, the last time I did that it was really difficult selling them off. Delivery guys are my second biggest headache, they can be so unreliable, you think you’ve found a good one and then one day he just decides to misbehave.
What’s your relationship with money?
I think it’s healthy, I’m not extravagant and I save. I want to invest but I’ve not yet decided what I would invest in, it’s not something I want to rush into.
Advice for people who want to start a business
Know who you are basically, know the journey you are on and what you want for yourself, don’t allow anything and anyone pressurise you. Everyone is on their own journey. At the end of the day if you decide to start a business you’re the one who’s going to run it. So if you’re not determined to follow through, don’t bother starting.
Securing Her Bag highlights the entrepreneurial and career journeys of Nigerian female university students. If you’d love to share your story on the Securing Her Bag series, please send an email to email@example.com or fill this form