Abisola has never been fascinated by gold jewelry but precious black beaded necklaces caught her attention and that birthed Hesed Creations where handmade jewelry is made. Let’s read up on her journey.
Tell us about Yourself
My name is Abisola Kingsley-Igboakolam. I am a trained Engineer (majoring in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering) and I hold a master’s in management of projects, from the University of Manchester. I worked in the Engineering field for over 15 years before I decided to start a business I am passionate about – Hesed Creations. I am married with a daughter and we live together in Lagos, Nigeria.
What does your business do and how it started
Hesed Creations, designs and manufactures handmade jewellery and accessories, maximising local materials and processes. The business also offers executive shopping services and personalized and luxury gift packaging. It started as a hobby when I was a teenager. I was very particular about my jewellery and I only liked what I liked. I disliked gold jewellery and was stuck with a black beaded necklace for a long time. Fast forward to NYSC and I stumbled on a jewellery-making magazine and started making my own jewellery, then I made my sister’s bridal set and then jewellery for my mum, cousins …
How do you solve your customer’s challenge?
In my business, I help to translate my customer’s picture to reality. Every transaction starts with a consultation, to ascertain what they really want from their jewellery or accessory. I try to know what they want their products to do for them. It is a surprise that some people where bracelets not just for fashion but for spiritual or sentimental attachment to the stones.
Who are your ideal customers?
Young adults, middle-aged individuals, working-class professionals, fashion enthusiasts, and gift shoppers.
Can you describe/outline your typical day?
My typical day starts with time alone with God. Then I go through my normal morning routines before I settle down to review my to-do list and tick items off the list. This includes following up with existing and prospective clients and managing the various processes that help our business to operate seamlessly and school runs.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Bring an entrepreneur is kind of two-edged. It has given me some level of flexibility with my time but at the same time places a greater demand on my time. Sometimes, it’s difficult to draw the line between work and life. I can schedule my time to attend as many activities in my daughter’s school, at the same time I sometimes have work all day.
What motivates you?
The joy and satisfaction I give my clients. My contribution to the economy – helping some make a little extra, helping other businesses thrive and being able to showcase Nigeria to the world.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is leaving this world without completing my God-given mission.
How do you define success?
Finding your reason for living and fulfilling it.
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Control of my time.
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I will be more relational and network better.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Dare Aliu of TDA
What advice would you give to people who want to become entrepreneurs?
Be sure you can enjoy what you are going into because sometimes, that enjoyment will be all you have from the business. There will be highs and lows, so be prepared to enjoy all of it.
What business-related book has inspired you the most?
Sell like crazy – Sabri Subi
If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you title it?
Be you, be unique.
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