Mrs. Jumoke Adeyemi started bedsheets but today, she’s one of the leading interior decorator merchants in Nigeria. The CEO of Tnine Global Comsec has every reason to thank God because the business she started with the sale of nothing years back has fetched her fortunes.
On Saturday, November 1, 2014, she received ENCOMIUM Weekly at her magnificent showroom at Festac, Lagos, where she sells all kinds of furnishing materials such as window and floor treatments, sofa, throw pillow, among others. In this interview, Mrs. Adeyemi spoke on her blooming business and how she survived without capital…
How did you venture into interior decoration business?
The journey began in 1990, shortly after I had my first child. I was working with an interior decoration company in Apapa, Lagos. After about four years, I got married and became pregnant. In fact, I worked till my last day in the office. When I delivered my baby, I was given six weeks maternity leave.
One week to the end of my leave, my husband, asked me to make a choice, either to go back to work (office) or start my own business. I decided to start on my own, that gave birth to Tnine Global Comsec. I was not opportuned to start on time, until 2007, when I opened my showroom in Festac (Lagos). By the grace of God, I am still here till date.
Can you recollect how much you started with?
To start this business, I will say you don’t really need capital. Maybe because of my experience. Besides, I have been so fortunate because most of the people I had worked with paid me off even before I started the job. Some even gave me advance before I did their works after which they paid my balance. This was done based on trust, that’s why trust is important in every business you do.
When I started getting big jobs, I couldn’t cope. To the glory of God, I got loan from banks, which I returned later. Since then, the banks have been assisting me with loans anytime I ask for such.
A lot of people don’t get it right after quitting their job. Can you tell us the strategies that work for you?
Integrity. I have integrity. Also, I am talented and for you to survive in this business, you need to be creative. Hard work and perseverance. You must have the passion. When you have all these and you’re prayerful, you’ll be able to move on. I used to have a customer who gave me jobs of millions of naira and we didn’t meet one-on-one. She did it, not because she’s stupid, but on trust. So, trust is needed to be built in every business to succeed.
Tell us the categories of clients you worked for?
I have different clients, from individuals to companies and corporate organisations. My major client is Ericsson. I have also worked for Alcatel, among others. Some entertainers also patronise us. Basically, so many individuals are my clients. We have clients everywhere, in Abuja, Port Harcourt and North. It’s either we do home delivery for them or they pick for themselves.
How affordable are you?
We’re very affordable and we give our best. We treat our clients, big or small, very well. We treat them in such a way that they would love to come again.
How do you source your materials?
I have people working for me, but I source my materials locally. Virtually, all the furniture you see here are made in Nigeria. We made them here. I have my carpenters and they work under my supervision.
How has it been working in an environment like Nigeria?
Honestly, in an environment like Nigeria, infrastructure and electricity are major problems. There is no regular electricity supply and our roads are bad. I will score them zero percent, because so many times we put on generator. It has been a big challenge. We need regular power supply, and government should improve the roads.
Tell us categories of items you sell?
Our furniture are for all. We have ranges of kitchen cabinet that come with different designs, curtains, bedding sofa, throw pillows and wardrobes, among others. It depends on your choice. We try to make ourselves affordable. We work around your budget and you still get the best from us. During this festive period, we have new arrivals and they come with discounts. We want them to patronise us.
With your busy schedule, how do you manage homefront?
My husband has been very supportive. Although, my children are a bit grown up now, that makes it easier for me. Before now, I was close to my parents’ in-law, they really took care of my kids. Our maid too has been supportive. I am very grateful to God because I have good people around me.
Your advice for the young ones who aspire to go into business?
I keep telling them, nothing like “no job”. Most people keep on saying there is no capital to start business, but at times, you don’t need big money to start. I tell you, I started my business with bedsheets. I was marketing them from one customer to another and it worked out well for me before I opened my showroom.
You can start from somewhere, you don’t need to wait for capital before you start. Therefore, you must have perseverance; doggedness; don’t be distracted; you must have passion; and if you’re prayerful, you’ll get there. The sky will be your starting point.
– RASHEED ABUBAKAR