Crafts business is very lucrative —Okeke
Loveline Okeke, a graduate of Home Economics Education from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), shared her experience with DEBORAH MUSTAPHA on how paperback drop flowers paved the way for her and the need for people to have more than one source of income. Excerpts:
You are into paperback drop flowers; how did you come about this?
I have always been creative and I didn’t give up on learning new Ideas. I came across paper flowers on the social media last year and have always wanted to use it for my birthday photo shoot, and since then, I have been dreaming about it. I bought and loved it and decided to learn. I learnt and it paid off and I am so glad I took that bold step .
What is the secret behind the name Craft by Leo?
The Leo behind my Craft is my late dad’s name. I love him so much and I did not want his name to fade away. I picked it up and included it in my craft business and other businesses of mine to honour him.
How easy do you get contracts for your craft business?
Let me start from my amazing clients; they have made it much more easier for me. Everyone I make flower crafts for love them so much and tend to refer more clients to me, both in Nigeria and outside the country like Dakam to Travels and Tours, Sisi Oge Beauty and many others. As they say referral is the best thing that can ever happen to a business
What are the challenges you have faced in this business?
Craft business is very lucrative, I remember starting this business seven months ago with just N5,000 and to the glory of God, I have made more than N1 million and students I trained too are doing well in the business.
The only challenge was in my first to third month in the business; we all know we are in the world of scams, several clients came to my page on Instagram, went into my DM for enquiries and at the end of the day, they would be scared to order because they thought I was a scammer, but today, its history. They all trust me and I am giving them the value for their money.
Do you do anything apart from this craft work and how do you manage to juggle all and also deliver the craft contracts without disappointment?
I have a make-up studio and I also sell cosmetics, so, most times, I make the flowers in my studio or at home and I am blessed with a personal assistant who helps me out with the flower deliveries.
Where do you see your business in the next five years?
In the next five years, I want my breathtaking and super affordable flowers to touch every home space, studios, stores, offices, schools, events and so on in Nigeria and abroad. I’m dreaming big for this business and I’m sure my dream will come to reality because I’ve started and I won’t relent. I will keep it on, no matter the obstacles or challenges, idleness is not my thing.
Is your course of study related with what you are doing presently?
Partially, because I studied Home Economics Education and there is a whole lot of of branches to touch in my course, but I’m just in love with anything craft and I took this up, because its uncommon and the beautification in it. Paper flowers back drop goes beyond shaping and designing, it’s an imaginary craft that requires 100 per cent focus and intelligence.
It’s not something you watch and form a design. One has to be creative about it so as to give the best to the clients.
Your advice to creative minds?
I would advice everyone not to give up on their dreams or despise little beginings. Be proud of what you do and don’t depend on one source of income. Be consistent, learn new things, invest and in few years, you will be glad you did.
What does life means to you?
Hmm… life?….life is happenings, it’s in so many phases, unpredictable but we must be ready to face it. Like they say, “the tarred road does not mean its smooth. I’m laughing does not simplify happiness, “I’m sad does not simplify sadness” and many more.
Life is full of prons and cons, there is more to life than what we think. I discovered recently that we shouldn’t stay long where we don’t belong to. (Sigh) life is a risk. Its takes passion, focus, determination and prayer to be successful in this life. To be precise and concise, life is broad.