My name is Bashirah Ajao and I own the Natural Skincare Line Sisi Herfrican.
I am a mother of a 5 year old King who lives in Lagos and does not work a 9-5. I comfortably support my son and I but it has not always been like this.
I started this business towards the tail end NYSC year in Kano (September 2016) with a sum of #1400 which I used in buying the basics for making an herbal soap. I recycled yoghurt containers for packaging them. God bless all my friends who patronized me then
January 2017 I got a job in a media house in Lagos as a Personal Assistant to the Executive Director. The pay was #50,000 and I only stayed for a month. I like to refer to the position as that of a Corporate Maid.
A position where all you do is run errands to the market, microwave meals for the Father, Mother and Son. Then write minutes once a week…. So I left because I had much more in me. My friends thought I was crazy and did their best to persuade me to stay, at least if not for myself but for The King. I refused.
The same January 2017, I won a #50,000 grant by the Omojuwa Foundation. This further helped push my business forward but I still lacked the right marketing skills though I was able to make enough sales to survive and foot necessary bills. A few months later I got another #50,000 from the same source.
Less I forget, I had a fabulous support system. Papi gave me a #10,000 stipend from January to June and Barrister was/is forever there. They are both elderly men who are in no way related to me but have been of value from the very first day I met them
This gave me the opportunity to save for a course I had been eyeing for while; The Mastering The Business of Your Talent by Steve Harris. It cost #100,000 and I saved for 6 months to be able to partake in that course. No excuse is good enough if you really want something. The course gave me exactly what I needed CONFIDENCE.
Towards the tail end of the course, I hopped on to a live video by Padebi Ojomo. She then told me to send her a message. I had earlier reached out to her by February on how to make sales and hit a million naira before I clocked the age of 26 on the 6th of May but I couldn’t afford her services then
Mrs Ojomo offered me a free slot in her Inner Circle. This slot costs #10,000 but is worth so much more and that was the beginning of breakthrough. It was a deadly combo of
100k Confidence + The Fear Of Not Failing Padebi + Lessons from John Obidi (Own your story and be shameless about it)
It became a Do or be Quenched affair. My business began to grow. I began to make gra gra on social media small small
From July to December, I have invested no less that than #300,000 in business and development courses and *my products based business hit 7 figures in 5 months* asides paying bills meanwhile I don’t sell lightening creams (people think that’s where the money is). Please note that premium does not come free, you have to pay your way through.
*This is the same person who could hardly sell a cup of soap in May*
In 5 months, my products have been used 9 countries asides Nigeria and I have 10 National Stockists and 2 International Stockists who I work with to expand my brand.
I hit one of my major goals for 2018 last month by getting a stockist in the United States (Na oyinbo faa). So now I have stockists in the United States and South Africa.
I was the daughter/sister who got disowned by all for getting knocked up and had to go through hell, today I happen to be a totally different being.
It has not been all rosy. I still carried a bag of black soap weighing no less than 22kg on my head while holding my 5 year old on the streets of Lagos two weeks ago. Those days I pray not to come across anybody who knows me I make interstate deliveries to the bus park myself and put my kaya (load) on my head when I have to.
One year after getting the #50,000 grant, today I am launching 18 New Products with the existing 14 products. Alhamdulillah for the precious gift to make a difference.
Do I still need to tell you your dreams are valid if only you are willing to work for it?
I decided to share because I feel someone out there needs to read this. A year ago, I was a nobody, today I get recognized by people when I go out. Celebrity Status Loading
Please pray for Padebi Ojomo on my behalf. She was the light at the end of my tunnel.
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