Hello Beautiful People,
It is your girl, Vivi – if you can tell me two people (I really like) who use this intro on YouTube, I owe you a gift! *huge grin*. Welcome to the blog today and I really hope you are having a beautiful day! By the time you’ll be reading this, I’ll be on a picnic with Husband Guy *another huge grin* and I will be sure to tell you guys all about it.
This is not why we are here today… We are here because of a Lady Lawyer who makes beautiful skincare products and I am so happy that she decided to share her hustle story with us. I mean, a lawyer with a side hustle… where does she get the time??? So, grab a cup of tea or a bottle of water and settle in to today’s interview with the founder and Chief Creator of Sherry Organics.
P.S. She’s so generous and there’s a giveaway at the bottom of this post!
First of all, Introduction…
My name is Kafilat Olabisi Umar, I’m a lawyer, organic formulator, CEO *coughs*, wine and gourmet food taster. lol I kid I’m actually just a lawyer and I run a bath and body products business called Sherry Organics. I started running the business in January 2016 after about 6 months of planning. The hustle is legit real!
About the Business
Sherry Organics. The business is actually named after my mum, her Arabic name is Sherifat. Most people go “awww” *insert our own awwwwwwww* when they hear this. Lol. Sherry Organics currently sells soap bars, body soufflés, body oils, and body scrubs.
Full Time or Part Time
Just incase my employers are reading this I want to state unequivocally that it’s part time o. I’m still at that phase where I think that I can conveniently do both. I enjoy being a lawyer; I love love running Sherry Organics too!
Why Organic Beauty?
I actually just love the creative process that goes into it. I love formulating. I love the money of course. And best of all I love the fact that people actually love the products brand makes. It drives me to try harder and do better. I also want to cater to people that care about what they put on their skin and appreciate handmade products.
Your first customer
My first sale was to two people actually. My friends Keji and Ibiwunmi were the first people to patronize me. I made a few stuff for testers but I ended up selling most of them cos everyone that tried the products was impressed and wanted to pay for them.
Viv AF: This is a lesson to friends and family, support the hustle of your friends!
The Biggest Cause of Growth
I think it’s because though the industry is a bit saturated I have tried to maintain really good quality. A lot of work and money goes into production of the products and people appreciate that and love it. Most of my customers return and I get referrals from customers as well.
Your Biggest Achievement
I started Sherry Organics when I could have just sat and wallowed in self-pity. I had just left a job I was very unhappy doing and I was determined to make something out of my life on my own terms. I think that’s my greatest achievement so far. Till date I find solace in it, when I’m down I think of recipes or ways to improve the business. It’s like nurturing a baby without the dirty diapers.
Has Social Media had an influence on Sherry Organics?
YES! Social media inspires me in a huge way. It’s the reason my interest in organic beauty products developed. I was encouraged by people I met on Twitter to pursue my interest and till date large number of my customers comes from social media. It’s a great way to target a large market and grow.
The Greatest Challenges with Business in Nigeria
I think it’s lack of access to funds. Small businesses are mostly funded by personal savings or loans from friends and family and that can only go so far. There are a few government and private individual owned initiatives targeted at funding SMEs however they are definitely not enough. I know many young people with great ideas that just can’t get off because of lack of funds and access to loans. AND poor or non-existent infrastructure.
For me though it’s logistics. Though I outsource it, often times I have to micromanage to ensure the customers receive their packages on time. Anyone that starts an efficient and reliable logistics company deserves a Noble prize abeg.
A possible solution
Infrastructure. Imagine how awesome it’d be to have constant electricity alone!
Mostly imported. I love to play with carrier oils and essential oils. Most of my ingredients come from a wholesaler who sources oils worldwide. So my Cedarwood Essential Oil for instance is from Australia, Lavender Essential Oil from South Africa or France, Argan Oil from Morocco etc. I’m also obsessed with quality control and fair trade. I source my shea butter and cocoa butter locally and I try my best possible to pay a fair amount. In future, I hope to visit African countries and source ingredients locally.
To introduce more products. I’m considering retailing carrier oils and essential oils. I’m also currently experimenting with essential oils for home fragrance. I want to take professional law courses as well as another course in organic formulation. So help me God.
I don’t have a particular mentor. I’m inspired by many women for various reasons. I have learnt many things just by watching and listening to other women. I must add though that I’m elated women are breaking new grounds every day. Still a lot to be done and learnt but I’m happy we are having these discussions and unlearning so many harmful things. One up for girl power! Lol.
Alaroro or Shopaholic
Safely ensconced in the middle. I spend most of my money on food now. Used to be shoes, clothes and skincare but now food has taken over and I have my waistline to show for this.
Inspire us with a Quote
“What’s worth doing is worth doing well“. My mum used to say this a lot when I was young and till date I live by it. I refuse to put my brand name on anything poorly thought out and made.
“What’s worth doing is worth doing well” – @sherryorganics speaks on her business via @thealaroro!
Advice for anyone who wants to try their hands at business
Do it!! Start! You’ll probably make mistakes but you will learn and you will grow. Sounds like a cliché but that’s all really. Speak with people or do research in the field you’d like to get into to get specific advice and information.
I’m so inspired by this interview and I’m sure you are too!
I need you all to visit the Sherry Organics website here: http://www.shopsherryorganics.com/ and buy, buy, buy! What better thing to invest in than the largest organ you have?
The generous CEO of Sherry Organics will be giving away a Sherry Organics mini-hamper containing 2 yummy Soaps and a Soufflé. All you have to do is:
- Share this post on Twitter
- Follow Sherry Organics and The Alaroro on Twitter
- Which of the Sherry Organics soaps do you think you’d like? (Hint: visit the Sherry Organics website) Comment below and include your Twitter Handle.
The winner will be selected randomly, so you have a chance