Guess what?! It’s another hustling lady on the blog today. My WCW today is the very lovely Nedoux Ahanonu who runs the Nedoux Sewing Club. This year has been really great for me learning-wise, as I have invested more time and resources in learning new skills. Yes y’all, we stepped up from Free Learning!
One of the courses I took that I can never ever regret in my entire life is the One Day sewing workshop that our WCW hosts via her Nedoux Sewing Club platform. It was a fabulous experience, but that is not why we are here today. Today, we meet ‘Nedu and she will be giving us an insight into the combined hustle life of a modern-day woman!
Here we go!
Viv AF: Introduce yourself, your career path and your hustle
Chinedu Ahanonu: My name is Chinedu Ahanonu. I have a Masters degree in Finance and Economics and I work as an Investment Analyst. I am also a trained dressmaker and the convener of a monthly Sewing Workshop which introduces beginners to DIY sewing. A year after completing an intensive pattern drafting and dressmaking course in fashion school, I decided to start writing a blog (www.nedoux.com) in 2014, where I married my witty musings with my sewing projects in a very interesting way. I’d frequently receive emails from people seeking sewing-related recommendations.
Viv: When and how did you start your business?
Nedu: Last year, I had a light-bulb moment when I recognized there was a gap that I was capable of filling, which took the shape of people who had 9-5 jobs but longed to acquire new skills. So, I decided to convene a live class, where I could teach and infect others with my passion for sewing. The first NSC Sewing Workshop was held in July 2016.
What is your business called? Why?
It’s called the Nedoux Sewing Club. “Nedoux” is originally my blog name, then it evolved to my brand name. I actually formally registered my business with that same moniker. I remember being keen about choosing a name that sounded like the derivative of my own name “Nedu”, but with a little something extra hidden within. “Doux” is the something extra, it is the french word for “gentle or soft”, words that I believe reflect feminine style.
I chose the term “Sewing Club” to define my business model, because I am seeking to build a community of like-minded people with a shared interest in DIY Sewing, quite similar to a book club. My sewing workshops are
better described as an event rather than an institution.
Is it a full-time, side or side-that- has-slowly- become-full- time?
In the beginning, I used to refer to my business as a side hustle, but these days I refer to it as the “Mid-hustle”, in the sense that I half-and- half between my 9 to 5 job and my business. It’s my hope that it grows to become the “main grind” some day.
What is the aim of your business?
I am very passionate about people having multi-dimensional lives that reflect all of their passions and talents. The way I see it, we have only one life to live, so it might as well be lived both intentionally and purposefully. The main aim of the NSC is to equip people with sewing skills, that add diversity to their lives and provide them with options, particularly entrepreneurial opportunities. I work very hard doing this and it’s nice that I’m also able to make money, that somewhat rewards my efforts.
What has been the biggest cause of growth for your business?
I’ll give credit to the ‘Evolution of The Creatives’ in Nigeria. In recent times, we’ve undergone something that I like to refer to as a paradigm shift, with regards to what society deems as respectable career paths. New-generation Creatives are monetising their “hand-work” skills, and making the transition from white-collar jobs to vocational jobs. There’s an increasing awareness about entrepreneurship and young people are exploring their options outside the confines of paid employment.
Interestingly, a growing percentage, like myself, even juggle both almost seamlessly. I know a lawyer who started as a DIY haircare blogger, now she has successful line of hair products, alongside her regular job. People have become more keen to explore career paths outside the ones automatically thrust upon them by their academic qualifications. Some of those who have taken their chances are making good money from their efforts, and gaining respect from society.
What is your biggest achievement till date?
When I made the transition from Hand Sewing to using Electric sewing machines during the Sewing Workshops. It was a worth-while investment.
Has Social Media helped your business in anyway?
A resounding YES! Social Media really gave my business the exposure I needed to engage my target market and grow my potential marketing audience organically.
What are the greatest challenges with doing business in Nigeria?
For me, because of the nature of my business, it’s the usual suspect, one that continues to persist is Unstable Electrical Power.
What are your goals for next year?
It’s my goal to have more workshops, I currently hold just one a month, I’m working towards increasing the frequency.
Do you have a mentor? Virtual or Real-Life?
I don’t exactly have a mentor but there are a bunch of people who inspire me, albeit unknowingly, to be a better version of myself – as an individual and as a business person.
Deola Sagoe, for example, continuously teaches me that customers are willing to pay a premiuim price when one’s attention to detail is impeccable. Another example is Ozoz Sokoh, who teaches me that it’s possible to be more than one thing, and be excellent at all of the dimensions to one’s self.
Are you an alaroro or a shopaholic? Are you nicely ensconced in the middle?
I am mostly an Alaroro. I actually learned how to fix a full head of weave on my own head, all by myself, because I was certain that I could do it better than the hairdresser lady who charged me in dollars, at the time. I consider myself a person who shops with intent rather than from impulse, I prefer to buy only the things that I really need. And even then, I still have to justify that it’s a valid need before I buy. Still, I have to admit that I’m a shopaholic when good books are involved, I have no control when it comes to purchasing good books. I suppose it’s the promise of escape that well-written fiction offers that I can’t resist.
Viv AF: Well, I’m here for that!!!
Share a quote that totally rocks with your business!
It’s actually a quote from the bible “O Lord, bless the works of my hands”
Any advice for someone who wants to get in to the hustle life?
Don’t be afraid to start small and then scale up later. I started with traditional hand-sewing and later upgraded to modern sewing machines. Also, Make mistakes, learn from them, improve and keep moving!
Don’t be afraid to start small and scale up! @nedoux_sews shares “Earn More” tips on https://ctt.ec/RiFQD+
Issa giveaway, guys! Nedoux has so generously offered to give 40% off her next NSC Workshop to anyone who can answer these questions in the comment section below:
- Why are you interested in sewing? What do you plan to do with your sewing skills? Why should you be selected?
The most compelling answer wins!
Now, because I know how great this class is, if we get two compelling answers each person gets 40% off. If we pick just one, that blessedly favoured person will get 80% off N15,000 the cost of the class.
Are you excited? I am!
I hope you have been inspired by Nedu today! If yes, do something different with a skill you have or learn something new. You may just create a platform to teach a whole generation something new.
I wish you the best.
Love and Light,