In an exclusive interview with CEO De chayil shoes, Ms. Omoye Abulimen, said before Business started on 1st December 2016 she was learning how to pre-manufacture products. She studied under the sun for about a year and didn’t have the funds to start the business properly so her mom sold her only car and gave her part of the money to enable her to start the business.
Then she fully opened On social media (Instagram) mainly in December 2016. She said she got duped a few days before the 1st of December while trying to source good material and packaging. She paid money to a guy to make about 50 packaging boxes and he ran away. She started doubting if she should go on or not but her mom encouraged her to go on with the plans.
She got a lot of support from my family, a few of her friends, but mainly her Instagram friends.
That very day she sold a pair and the following day she kept selling. Plus so many referrals.
When she started there were other people in the market making made in Nigeria shoes as well who were selling way lower than she was but she knew the quality they were giving and she didn’t want that.
Because she started selling slides for about 14,000 to 16,500 naira but her competitors were selling theirs for about 5,000 nairas this made her start thinking about going for the lower quality but she said ThankGod she didn’t and stock to great quality. Because with the referrals she got from each purchase she would get five or more people back and like a tree, it kept growing. She could get about 4 to 5 orders a week but it was okay for her as a starter.
She said she started alone, she was the shoemaker, quality control officer, accountant, customer care, marketer, etc.
People doubted at first saying why is the name of the brand, not a Nigerian name and that she buys shoes from Italy and makes it seem like it’s hers, but I don’t blame them though.
She said the work became so much they moved to her backyard. She was manufacturing from her backyard then she sauced for artisan and then she had to train them on how she wanted things to be and it was quite difficult because some of them complained about being used to a certain way of doing things for about 5 to 10 years but she had to tell them she knows this Is what they’re used to but this is how she wants it. A long-lasting product that will outlive her and speak for itself.
She mentioned getting featured on National Television and some newspapers in early 2017 and the numbers of customers got enormous afterward. Increase in demand and all. The fact that she was doing this in a male-dominated industry got a lot of people very fascinated.
Speaking of some challenges she faced as an entrepreneur, she said from the very start, the biggest challenge was funding and she would say she was blessed with a mom that was willing to sacrifice her car for her to start her business.
But then for 2 years, she put back every profit she made from every sale back into the business.
One of the challenges she faced also was Staffing! But now she has devised the means to make people understand what she stands for, which is ”excellent”.
We might not be at 100 percent but we should put in our best.
Then getting a proper workspace was another, because her neighbors started complaining about the production noise, all the hammering, and filing. and her number of artisans was Increasing so she had to get a bigger space.
They moved to a bigger space in the last quarter of 2017 but presently they’ve two production workspaces.
She said the growth has been phenomenal and she is grateful to God aside from her knowing that she offers great quality and customer services, it’s been an amazing ride.
Moving on, she added that they were supposed to open a walk-in store in March 2020 after Valentine’s sales because the demand for it was high, and displaying of available products was needed then COVID happened so she had to put all the plans on hold.
”How is it like running a business in Abuja?…
Missgoodshoes said honestly that the majority of her clients are outside Abuja. Abuja clients are great they buy and she just opened the walk-in store which a lot of people showed up for. But before it was more of online purchase and it was mostly people outside Abuja”.
She said her advice for young entrepreneurs is that they should be hardworking and tenacious, there are no two ways about it. For 3years she didn’t go on vacation or do any other thing aside from her business but that shouldn’t be the story for everyone because it kind of takes a turn on your mental health. Back to back, she said she was working every single day.
She stated that she put in a lot of work, effort, and strategy.
As a business person if someone complains about anything concerning your business, put it into consideration as feedback. Always have empathy and be kind to your customers. And also remember before business you are a human being too.
She said Never to give up on your goals. Make sure you live up to your words, they might be shortcomings but always try to communicate with your clients.
In terms of business, the greatest lesson she has learned is to Never do business on credit.
About her background, she is from Edo state, Nigeria. She has lived in Abuja for some time now, but she didn’t grow up here as a kid, she was away for about 10 years then her family moved back to Abuja.
Shockingly she mentioned that she is quite antisocial. And it’s all due to her work but she is learning to be better now, cause she learned in 2019 that aside from business it’s important that you keep good family and friends relationships. And aside from making money, have a personal life.
So it’s just her, her lovely mom, and her younger brother.
She also mentioned the opening of the Dechayilshoes walk-in shop which was launched on the 31st of July, 2021. She said before that day she was very anxious, a lot of people called and whatnot but to be honest she is extremely grateful for the people that came in, bought things, pre-order products, congratulated her, it was amazing.
Her artisans measured a lot of people’s feet that day.
They had a lot of preorders, and some people had the opportunity to go through some leather samples.
It was a good day and she is thankful to everyone who came through. It might not have met her expectations though, I’ve friends that came in from Lagos and Kaduna as well.
According to her, on forthcoming projects and plans for her business, she said the world is transforming, and as a creator, she’d like to be innovative so she has a lot on her plate that she wants to achieve. And with the stop opening out of the way, hopefully, they will launch their major product before next year. She said that they are trying to see how they can infuse technology with leather. And the release of their official sneakers collection all before the end of the year.
With more emphasis she said she wants to get to a level where when people say leather in a group of people, they should hear I have a plug, ”Dechayilshoes”, or I know someone she’s called ”missgoodshoes”. When it comes to good leather items she should be the first that comes to mind.
She mentioned some of their products which include; leather sandals, slippers, reversed belts and none-reversed belts, shoes (loafers, drivers, lace-up), sneakers, traditional & beach hats, money purses, shoe horns, etc.
In conclusion, she said that they are trying to see how they can cut across a lot of people regardless of their social class or buying power so there is something for everyone.
So men, women, and kids we care for everyone.
By Victoria Bala