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The Women of Rubies Sip and Network event held on February 25th, 2024, at the prestigious Naijajollof Downtown Toronto Event Center, was met with resounding success.  The event brought together a diverse group of remarkable business owners from across Ontario for an evening of inspiration, networking, and empowerment.

The event featured esteemed speakers including Nkechi Ahanor-Wilson, Funmi Ayowole, and Chichi Okichie, who captivated the audience with their insights and expertise. Funmi Ayowole, as the first speaker, delved into the importance of emotional wellness for women, the significance of maintaining a healthy routine, and the practice of mindfulness in daily life. Chichi Okichie shared invaluable insights on the underutilized potential of Facebook for business owners, emphasizing its role in enhancing media visibility and brand recognition.

Nkechi Ahanor-Wilson, the founder of the successful hair brand Cacosa Hair, shared her journey of transforming pain into passion and profit, highlighting the importance of setting healthy boundaries as business owners to foster growth and prevent exploitation.

Sip and Network Toronto

The event also featured an enlightening interview conducted by Esther Ijewere, the founder of Women of Rubies, with Beauty Obasuyi, the founder of Naijajollof and a real estate expert. Beauty shared the inspiration behind her business, which began in 2018 and has since expanded to six locations across Canada. She also revealed the motivations behind her Guinness World Record attempt for the longest cooking hours, which lasted for an impressive 18 days.

Sip and Network

Attendees had the opportunity to engage in networking sessions, facilitating connections and knowledge sharing among participants. Nike  Kay -Okunubi expressed her newfound understanding of the importance of boundaries and intentionality in networking, while Julia Biebem of Grandieu Event felt inspired by Nkechi’s session and aims to apply the lessons learned to enhance her business endeavours. Angela Ikogho of Wraptuckmore stressed the significance of assertiveness and the ability to say no in navigating business challenges. 

The event, expertly compered by Blessing Timidi Digha, a community development advocate and content creator, was attended by notable business owners and entrepreneurs who left feeling empowered and motivated to pursue their goals.

Esther Ijewere, the convener of the event, expressed her delight at the overwhelming success of the inaugural live event in Canada, affirming the Sip and Network movement’s commitment to empowering women to embrace their uniqueness. She looks forward to future events that promise to be impactful and value-driven.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact: event@womenofrubies.com

To learn more about our activities, join our Rubies Collective Community; womenofrubies.com/Rubiescommunity

To be one of the first to receive news about our next event, join our mailing list here

Elevate your media presence and enhance your brand visibility by registering for the Women of Rubies Media Visibility BootCamp 3.0. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to gain valuable insights and strategies from industry experts. Grab your earlybird ticket to our Media Visibility Bootcamp here

See more photos from the event below;

Sip and Network event

Sip and Network event

Within the ever-evolving tapestry of the modern workplace, the concept of working from home has emerged as a transformative force, offering women a unique avenue to harmonize their professional ambitions with the rhythms of a flexible lifestyle. Here are seven enriching career options that women can explore from the comfort of their homes:

  1. Freelance Writing or Content Creation

    • Unleash your creativity and writing prowess by stepping into the world of freelance writing or content creation. Numerous businesses and online platforms are in constant need of engaging and informative content for their websites, blogs, and social media channels.
  2. Virtual Assistance

    • Embrace the role of a virtual assistant, offering administrative support services remotely. Manage emails, schedules, and customer interactions for multiple clients, all while enjoying the freedom of working from home.
  3. Online Tutoring or Teaching

    • Share your knowledge and expertise by becoming an online tutor or teacher. Platforms like VIPKid and Chegg Tutors connect educators with students seeking assistance in various subjects, providing a fulfilling way to contribute to education from home.
  4. Digital Marketing

    • Dive into the world of digital marketing, assisting businesses in creating and executing online marketing strategies. This can include managing social media accounts, crafting compelling content, and optimizing websites for search engines.
  5. Graphic Design

    • If you possess graphic design skills, consider offering your services remotely. Design captivating visuals for websites, social media, marketing materials, and more, contributing to the visual appeal of various brands and projects.
  6. E-commerce Entrepreneurship

    • Unleash your entrepreneurial spirit by venturing into e-commerce. Platforms like Etsy, Shopify, or Amazon provide opportunities for women to start their own online businesses, selling handcrafted items, unique designs, or curated products.
  7. Remote Healthcare Professions

    • Explore remote opportunities in healthcare, such as telemedicine or medical transcription. The increasing demand for virtual consultations and medical support services offers women the chance to make a difference in the healthcare sector from the comfort of their homes.

5 Platforms for Women Pursuing Work-From-Home Careers

Here are five websites where women can explore and find opportunities for work-from-home careers:

  1. Upwork (www.upwork.com):

    • Upwork is a leading platform that connects freelancers with clients looking for various skills, including writing, graphic design, virtual assistance, and more.
  2. FlexJobs (www.flexjobs.com):

    • FlexJobs is a job search platform that focuses on remote and flexible work opportunities. It curates a wide range of jobs, making it easier for individuals to find legitimate work-from-home positions.
  3. Remote OK (www.remoteok.io):

    • Remote OK is a job board specifically dedicated to remote opportunities. It features jobs in various categories, allowing users to filter by skill set and find remote positions that match their expertise.
  4. LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com):

    • LinkedIn is not just a professional networking platform but also a hub for job seekers. Many companies post remote job opportunities, and users can set their preferences to receive notifications about remote job openings.
  5. Virtual Vocations (www.virtualvocations.com):

    • Virtual Vocation is a platform dedicated to telecommuting jobs. It provides a curated list of remote opportunities, making it easier for individuals to find legitimate work-from-home positions in various industries.

Remember to thoroughly research each platform, create a compelling profile, and tailor your applications to showcase your skills and experiences effectively.

As the professional landscape continues to evolve, working from home presents a plethora of opportunities for women to carve out fulfilling and meaningful careers. Whether you choose to explore your creative side, delve into the world of digital entrepreneurship, or contribute to the realm of education and healthcare, the key lies in identifying your skills and interests and pursuing a path that aligns with your professional and personal goals. The journey to a successful work-from-home career begins with seizing the opportunities that resonate with your passions and talents.

Cherice Williams, a driven individual with a knack for math during high school, naturally gravitated towards pursuing an accounting degree in university, setting her sights on becoming a Financial Analyst. “That was my passion,” Williams affirms.

However, life took an unexpected turn. Financial constraints forced her to halt her studies in her home country of Jamaica. Determined to reclaim her education, she ventured to the US in 2016 in search of work.

After two years of working as a housekeeper and waitress, Cherice found herself unable to afford her return to school. Not only was her situation stagnant, but her health was deteriorating as well. “I was experiencing hair thinning. I put on a lot of weight in my stomach area, and my menstrual cycles were not regular.”

In 2018, a medical diagnosis revealed she had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder with various implications. Despite the setback, Cherice decided to address her manageable symptoms, like her hair loss. This small act inadvertently paved the way for her to establish a thriving multi-million-dollar hair business—Blaq Luxury.

Taking the Initiative Cherice delved into research to find solutions for her hair concerns. Drawing from the popularity of Jamaican Black Castor Oil in the West Indies, she began concocting mixtures of various oils and ingredients renowned for promoting hair growth. Soon, she noticed a significant reduction in hair shedding.

Motivated to assist other women facing similar challenges, Cherice started offering her elixir to fellow sufferers. Sharing her product within a Facebook group dedicated to PCOS-related discussions garnered steady interest. This marked the turning point as Cherice inadvertently embarked on her entrepreneurial journey.

From Concoction to Commerce As her product gained traction within the Facebook group, Cherice recognized the potential for business growth. Despite financial constraints, she took the risk of investing more time and effort into her venture. A crucial step was reaching a wider audience, which led her to explore collaboration with influencers.

The Shade Room, a prominent social media account, responded positively to her request for promotion. Cherice, believing in her product’s market potential, invested her rent money into a promotion with them. In an incredible twist of fate, she recouped her investment within 24 hours of the post going live.

Cherice’s resourcefulness continued to propel her business. She repeatedly invested in promotions and steadily gained organic growth through word of mouth and returning customers.

Navigating Challenges and Expansion

Cherice’s determination to expand her business led her to approach local beauty supply stores. Although many attempts yielded no success, her tenacity paid off when a fellow businesswoman expressed interest in featuring Blaq Luxury in her store.

This experience taught Cherice the complexities of entering stores, including adhering to packaging regulations and revising formulas to meet industry standards. After significant effort, Blaq Luxury now graces the shelves of over 500 beauty supply stores, with forthcoming launches in well-known retailers.

Lessons in Patience and Perseverance

Cherice’s entrepreneurial journey taught her patience and the importance of maintaining a positive outlook. “Everything is a process,” she reflects. The experience of growing Blaq Luxury has imbued her with the ability to look beyond challenging days and focus on a brighter future. She believes that despite industry giants, small companies can also thrive with dedication and hard work.

Future Ventures and Encouragement

Looking ahead, Cherice envisions expanding into the mass retail market, making Blaq Luxury accessible to a wider audience. She also plans to donate a portion of her company’s profits to PCOS organizations. Although her career trajectory shifted away from becoming a Financial Analyst, Cherice still intends to complete her degree once her business stabilizes.

Cherice’s journey is a testament to the unpredictable yet rewarding path of entrepreneurship. Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is resounding: “If you believe that you have a great product or service to offer and you think it is in demand, and you can make a difference, my advice is to go for it. Put your all into it because you never know where it will take you until you try.”

Source: Bauce Mag

Women of Rubies, a pioneering platform dedicated to celebrating and empowering women’s accomplishments, is elated to announce the upcoming launch of its highly anticipated event – the Media Visibility BootCamp. This exclusive event is meticulously crafted to arm female business owners and emerging influencers with the essential tools and strategies required to elevate their media presence and create a profound impact within their respective fields.

The Women of Rubies Media Visibility BootCamp transcends a traditional learning experience; it’s a transformative odyssey designed to equip participants with the skills necessary to amplify their voices, elevate their personal brand, and create an enduring impression. The program seamlessly integrates expert-led guidance, interactive exercises, and a nurturing community to ensure attendees achieve their maximum potential for growth.

“Excitement fills the air as we prepare to host the Women of Rubies Media Visibility BootCamp, an exceptional event aimed at empowering and uplifting women in the realm of business,” announced Esther Ijewere, the visionary Founder of Women of Rubies. “Our objective is to provide participants with knowledge and resources that will empower them to magnify their voices and attain their pinnacle potential. It’s time for women to shine brightly and leave their indelible mark on the media landscape!”

Scheduled to unfold virtually on August 11th and 12th, the BootCamp offers limited slots, urging participants to secure their place promptly at this transformative event by registering at womenofrubies.com/bootcamp. The agenda boasts a stellar lineup of six trailblazing thought leaders and experts hailing from the media, marketing, and business domains.

The distinguished panel includes Tosin Ajibade, Esther Ijewere, Nora Agbakhamen, Brenda Okorogba, Chichi Uchendu, and Gusi Tobby. Attendees will be granted the unique privilege of learning directly from these accomplished professionals, gleaning priceless insights and pragmatic advice to enhance their brand visibility and influence.

Concluding the BootCamp is a captivating fireside chat featuring luminous speakers: Ariyike Akinbobola, Maryam Muritala, Funmi Ayowole, and Nikki Porcher. For more details about this event and to discover the complete agenda, kindly visit womenofrubies.com.

For media inquiries, sponsorship opportunities, or further information about the event, please reach out to:

Email: Info@womenofrubies.com

 The buzzwords going around this first month of the year are Goals and Goal-Setting! Throughout the media, Internet and even in the Board Rooms, Goal setting is BIG. It’s everywhere and everyone is talking about how important it is to set your goals.

Before now goal setting was considered a masculine activity. Women relish in their ability to multi-task and get loads of things done at the same time and quickly too, so they shy away from setting clear, specific and meaningful goals. Many female entrepreneurs still have not realised the power of setting effective business goals.

To be a female entrepreneur without business goals is like getting in the car and driving around town without a clear direction of where you are going!

It is impossible to really know if your daily activities and strategies are moving you in the right direction if you do not set business goals.

Can you imagine getting in the car to go shopping without knowing what market or shop you want to go to or where they are located? That is precisely what you do when you begin your business year without a goal in mind.

Not only should you set goals for your business, you should also map out strategies on how you will achieve each goal and set deadlines. Goals should be written down and reviewed over time to ensure you are hitting your targets. Here are a few tips to help you set achievable goals in 2017.

Identify What You Want

The first real step to an effective goal setting is knowing what you want in life. As simple as that may sound if you ask many people what they want and where they would realistically want to be in a year, two years or five years, they do not have a clue. Speak to employers of labour, I’m sure they can relate!

So sit down and work out what you truly want in life, business, family, career and even leisure. There is an excellent tool you can use as guide called ‘The Wheel of Life’.

Make Your Goals Holistic

Set goals in every area of your life – Social, Family, Business, Relationships, Leisure, Spiritual and Financial Goals.

Write Your Goals Down

Write down your goals as often as you can. Our brain cannot keep a tab on all our thoughts so, Write Them Down! Remember, The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory!

Keep It Simple

Do not overwhelm yourself with too many goals. You cannot change everything in a day. And everything you want in life cannot be achieved in one single year. So keep it real, keep it simple!! Take consistent action and over time, you will get to where you want to be

One Step At A Time

Don’t get overwhelmed with goals that seem too far-fetched and unrealistic. They should be realistic and achievable. For example if you are a jewelry maker and you currently make 10 jewelry sets a week. Would it make sense to increase to 100 a week from 10? A more realistic goal would be 15-20 a week and when you achieve that you can increase again to 25 -30. In other words, set incremental goals and build the momentum. This way your Goals Will Be Achievable Or Doable.

Record Your Milestones

Track your progress and list your accomplishments as you go along. This is important because when you hit setbacks and get frustrated, your achievement so far will help you stay encouraged and focused.

Reward Yourself

Whenever you have achieved a set goal, reward yourself. This helps you to stay motivated.Clearly, from these few tips, goal setting is definitely not as complex and scary as it sometimes appears. Setting goals is only designed to help stretch you and make you grow.

Nonetheless after following these steps, if you don’t take action to execute all you have put down, your goals will be nothing but dreams or a mere wish and that doesn’t take you anywhere but leaves you worse than the person who didn’t write at all! So, take charge of your goals and focus on achieving great results. You can do it!

Funmi Omo is the first female CEO/MD of African Alliance Plc.  She joined African Alliance about 28 years ago, and has become the first CEO to champion the unveiling of a new corporate identity.

An innovative and transformational leader, ‘Funmilayo Omo brings over 25 years of experience and a proven track record of success into her role as the Managing Director of African Alliance Plc.

She began her professional career in 1991 at African Alliance, before it was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as the Head of Department, Individual Business. Her drive and penchant for excellence led to her promotion to the position, Head of Technical, Insurance Operations, where she successfully led the retail marketing team to expand the business volume by over 1000%. Following that, she rose to the position of the Chief Operating Officer in 2006, where she was solely responsible for providing strategic direction for the company’s business operations.

In 2012, Funmilayo resumed the position of Executive Director, Operations at African Alliance Plc, overseeing an 80-staff team comprising of three departments. There, she doubled the gross premium income of the company within 3 years. During the period, she pioneered the design of the annuity products of the company boosting the annuity product range of African Alliance Plc to become a top-3 market player in the industry. She was credited for championing the design of the life administration application and supervising the transition of African Alliance Plc from semi-automated application usage to fully automated management; a change that saved the company countless man hours, thereby improving efficiency and turnaround time.

As an innovative leader with a keen insight into the insurance market terrain, Funmilayo pioneered the design, modelling and marketing of Takaful in African Alliance Plc as the pioneer family Takaful Office in Nigeria. She also developed and successfully launched micro insurance as a Strategic Business Unit in African Alliance Plc.

In addition to her BSc. (Hons.) degree in Insurance from the University of Lagos, Funmilayo is an Associate Member of the prestigious Chartered Institute of Insurance, London, an Associate Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management and an Associate Member of the Certified Pensions Institute of Nigeria. She is an alumnus of the Lagos Business School and the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS).

Funmilayo served on the Board of Trustees, Ajaokuta Steel Complex, Axiom Air and National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) until 2016. She currently serves on the board of Frenchies Food, as well as on the board of PAL Pensions Alliance, an associate of African Alliance Plc.

She is also a passionate philanthropist committed to taking young children off the streets and has so far impacted the lives of several disadvantaged children in her local community.

 

 

Culled from funmiomo.com

Director of International Operations, Dubai Tourism Africa Stella Fubara is the latest cover star for Media Room Hub Magazine.

Stella speaks to the magazine about her job and how she has been in the travel and tourism industry for over 20 years, how she feels about feminism, domestic violence and being a complete woman.

Read excerpts below:

On her Job: I actually want to talk about the beauty of my job, I have been in travel and tourism for over 20years, I started out as an accountant, then went to Disney World, Wyndham, Wakanow.com and then Dubai Tourism, but that just shows you the passion I have for the industry. The ability to have used the girls’ trip to re-invent Dubai in the minds of Africans and it’s actually the girls that did those themselves. There were six girls that went on the trip, based on the chemistry and the fact that the girls were down to earth. The girls carried their population with them with their posts on social media.

On feminism: I am not a feminist, at least not in the way the world defines it today. I believe that every gender has their law, I am a woman and I do not wish to be a man. I wish for a man not to treat me like a weaker sex, but the sex that needs to be taken care of more. I don’t desire to do the things that a man has to do, I don’t feel like paying bills but I will help if I have to and I will help because I want to not because I’m trying to measure up to being a man.

My advice to the young ladies is to calm down I mean, it’s ok if he holds the door open for you and how does that hurt you? It’s ok if he pays the bills, if you are taking her out on a date, yes you are going to pay the bills and did she ask you out on a date? We need to get back to what our roles truly were and quit trying to compete with men and I take this out of the career context to mean when the roles are doing different things, you compensate them differently. Now in the workplace, if both roles are doing the exact same thing then you compensate them equally, but outside like in the home, the roles are different and are supposed to be different.

On domestic violence: It’s unfortunate that in this society the stigma and the shame around rape are what forces women to keep quiet. The thought that you might be blamed for having been raped because you wore a short dress or because your bra was showing has kept women from been vocal about it. My mum is a social worker, so we ask her a lot about this issue, it’s been going on forever. Women never thought about talking about it, they never had anyone to defend them. It appears to become more rampant because people talk about it and seek help. If you are a woman out there and you are experiencing domestic violence, there are different ways to get help; you don’t need to keep quiet about it.

On being a complete woman: You are a content woman, I don’t believe anybody is complete. This is why we say two heads are better than one, the idea that you think of might be better or compliment the idea that I think of, so was I complete before your idea came along? Absolutely not, I don’t believe anybody is complete. No single person on this earth on their own is complete, you are content and you are happy with what you have. Today, right now my job is completing me, it makes me feel good, and tomorrow it could be my kids completing me. It is not a statement of weakness to say that you are not complete; it is a statement that puts you in the right frame of mind. If you think you are complete now, where are you going to? What else are you looking for? So don’t you dare chase another contract, don’t you dare cook another meal, don’t you dare try to improve yourself because you are already complete. You are not complete now, you are constantly striving to be a better you and so what you are or should be is content.

See more photos below:

Credit: Bella Naija

Serial entrepreneur, Toyin Lawani is now the latest author in town!

The fashion mogul has just unveiled her new book titled Be Unstoppable in which she’s sharing The Business Mogul’s Guide.

According to her, the purpose of the book is to share a few business tips that have worked for her over the years and her personal experiences in business with hopes that it can answer any questions that you may have as a startup or as an entrepreneur who is already in business.

See more photos below:

Ronke  is the Founder of “Shoefetish” a Made-In-Nigeria shoe brand  that is gradually getting recognition abroad, when she started  getting high demands for shoes, she decided to change her brand name  and be simply known as Ronke Adeshina “RA”, fully identifying with her Nigerian roots and making  a bold “Proudly Nigerian” statement as a brand.

The English Language and Literature graduate from the University of Lagos started working at a financial institution right after her NYSC and this greatly influenced her journey into the business of shoe and bag making industry.

According to her;

“I realised that most of the shoes my colleagues and I really loved and needed to get were too expensive and felt I could do better. In 2010, I started making shoes for myself, few friends and colleagues”

She draws a lot of inspiration from Richard Branson’s signature quote; “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later” …and she adds: “especially if it’s in your area of interest or business”.

Ronke is  ambitious, imaginative and adventurous  and  she put all these  in the pieces she creates. The young entrepreneur who sees Oprah Winfrey and the Queen of England wearing her brand one day shares her inspiring story with me in this interview

Growing up

I drew a lot as a little girl and that helped my ability to sketch; making designs a reality now. I enjoyed working with my hands. I once made a purse and skirt by hand; including the stitching.

While at the university, I did a little graffiti on one of my jeans while receiving a lecture and people loved it. I guess I have always been creative.

My love for shoes also started as a child. The first pair of stilettos I bought was when I was in my third year at the university. It cost me a lot (especially my allowance for the week) but I didn’t care…those shoes were beautiful.

 

Meet Ronke!

I am the only girl amongst three boys. I attended the University of Lagos where I studied English Language and Literature.   I have garnered a lot on-the-job experience; I am also self-taught especially in the art of creating embellishments, bejeweled pieces like bead art, bead embroidery, embellishing fabrics with crystals and more. Creating shoes, bags, embellishments and other leather items is something I really love doing especially wedding (traditional and white wedding) pieces for brides and grooms. I get to meet people with different personalities and styles and this I try to incorporate into their products.

 

The “Ronke Adeshina” brand journey

I started posting pictures of my works on Facebook, then I started getting messages from people asking how they could get a pair or two of shoes. I have garnered a lot of on-the-job experience and I am also self taught especially in the art of creating embellishments, bejewelled pieces, bead art, bead embroidery and working with crystals and more.

 

Balancing my 9-5 job  with family and my side hustle

It isn’t easy running a business and family. You can’t do it all. A lot is expected from women: she is expected to perform many roles with apparently superhuman efficiency. I have learnt to delegate duties both at home and work. I have a team of amazing people that makes things easier for me. It’s important to delegate duties /task to people in their area of expertise so as to get the best from them.

 

Work Challenges

Initially, getting capable people to work with was quite difficult. People want money but not ready to go through the process of getting it. Because I am passionate about empowering youths especially the girl child, there was a period I was ready to teach for free but no one came. But over time I have been able to build a team of hardworking staff.  When I just started there were few ladies in the business, so it was quite tasking. But I guess growing up with boys helped a lot.

Getting quality materials to work with here in Nigeria are quite expensive and this tends to affect the cost of products.

other project and activities

I was recently contacted by an NGO. We are working on going to secondary schools (especially girls only schools) to talk to them about the importance of being independent and acquiring one or more skills. We are also going to teach them handwork and I would be teaching them bead art works, embellishments and embellishing fabrics.  Asides this, I do personal charitable works which I intend to keep private.

 

Customer satisfaction is my reward

The excitement and thank you I get when clients receive their purchase(s) makes me happy. The mother of one of the brides I worked with once called to appreciate the pieces her daughter got from us. She couldn’t believe it was handmade; and she prayed and also encouraged me. Most of my clients are referrals from family, friends and clients that have patronized us; I also have customers turn friends. All these and more makes me feel like I am doing something right.

 

Nigerians and patronage of “Made in Nigeria” products

There is still this misconception that made in Nigeria isn’t authentic enough. Well, I cannot blame them because they might have purchased item(s) which did not serve them well. But there are still brands like us and others that produce quality products using original leathers and other materials needed for production.

Another problem is most Nigerians like to be associated with foreign brands that are well known. But what they fail to realize is that these brands have been in existence since the 1950s, some as far back as 1830s. They did not grow to become international brands on their own; they did with the support of their own people. If Nigerians can do the same for their own made in Nigeria products, that would help brands grow and become global too. This will also help generate more jobs for our people and grow our economy. They are trying but more needs to be done.

 

Giving up

The road to building a brand is not easy. I have felt like giving up several times and still do but the love for what I do keeps me motivated. I have learnt a lot while growing the brand: what to do and what not to do. Some experiences shake you but it only makes you better. Running a business is a continuous process. It is just like the popular cliché about marriage being an institution you never graduate from. I am still learning

My Inspiration

Inspirations are everywhere – you just need to open your eyes and breathe in. I am inspired by things I face and work through in my daily life. I get inspired by patterns and colours in nature and love to translate that to products in a new way. I am inspired by the people I meet every day; most especially the ones I get to work with: lifestyle and personality differs with every individual and that is unique. This I tend to put into pieces we create. I am inspired by stories of brands that started as far back as 1803. Most importantly, God is the major source of my inspirations.

Being a woman of Rubies

My life is a story. The ups and downs I have experienced especially while growing my brand is my story. I am still learning because life and business is a continuous phase/process. Every woman is a woman of Rubies: from the road side seller to the CEO; our day to day activities are tales – we all have stories to tell. I hope my story and that of other women, inspires and transforms lives; that is the greatest achievement.

Advice to women going into my line of business

One of my mantras is “You never know what you can do until you try”. No business is off limit for you. There are women doing great things in male dominated businesses and even doing better. You are even at an advantage because it gets you noticed.

At the early stage of my business, people especially men were surprised to see a lady in the shoe and bag making industry. They wanted to see me and always wanted me to give them their orders not my staff. Keep learning new things, do not be intimidated by others and do not be distracted. Mistakes are inevitable but when that happens, do not give up: you just learnt a valuable lesson(s) which is how not to do things; try another method. Put God first and other things follow.

My view of the fashion industry in Nigeria and it’s impact on women

The fashion industry in Nigeria is growing. It is actually much better than years back and more women are getting involved.Women are doing incredible works and since the advent of #wcw (women crush Wednesday) and #womensupportingwomen (women supporting women), we have seen women trying to encourage and support one another. Women in the fashion industry need to collaborate more with other women – it is amazing what we can accomplish when we are in it together.

Women of Rubies is also doing a great job by recognising women doing well in whatever field they are in either big or small.

 

 

17-year-old Mikayla Lowry’s family was having financial difficulties, and the chance of her going to the university was quite slim.

However, all that changed after she attended Beyonce and Jay Z’s On the Run II concert. The young girl was to be the recipient of a scholarship worth over N36million courtesy of the power couple.

The good news was announced by rapper, DJ Khaled, and Mikayla and her friends got to know she was the receiver of the award after the rapper took to describing her.

Khaled described the winner of the scholarship as a future marine biologist and keystone vice president among other things.

The young girl could not contain her excitement and on camera, she said:

“I’m shaking! Thank you so much.’”

Beyonce and Jay Z hope to award up to N362.5 million worth of scholarships in 11 cities through the Shawn Carter Foundation and the BeyGOOD Initiative.

 

 

 

Credit: Naij.com