Body & Soul

High bank charges on loans discourage women in business –Shyllon

Shyllon Adeola is a beautiful and amiable trained engineer-turned entrepreneur. When all efforts and agitations to get a white collar job failed, creativity crept in and this, she used to the maximum. In this interview with OLUWATOSIN OMONIYI, she speaks about unemployment, getting into business with selfstyled creativity, challenges of running a business and why youths should shun idleness, amongst other issues

 

Background

 

I am from Ogun State, Abeokuta, to be precise. I am from a family of five and I am an engineer by training. That’s why I have Engr Mrs prefix on my name. I am also happily married with two children.

 

 

How did you start the online fashion and beauty business?

 

I am an Engineer by profession. I studied in school for seven years, no thanks to ASUU. But after two years of job hunting post-NYSC, I went back to what I enjoy doing most, business. I have always been a businesswoman, selling all sorts of fashion items back in University days, ranging from clothes, shoes, jewelries, bags, and hair extensions. That was how ‘HouseofAmearypearl’ was birthed.

 

There is a belief that online commerce is just about hype and glamour. Is this the case and what’s a day in your profession like?

 

After I say my prayers in the morning, I sort orders taken from the previous day. While doing that, I take new orders as well and have them sorted out for delivery.

 

Thereafter, I post new goods we have in stock by taking pictures, doing videos of them all as well; then, I continue to attend to all my customers; those who have concerns, questions and those who just paid for goods.

 

As I speak to you, 24hours is not enough for me anymore. I work 24 hours, round the clock and I am still working out how to manage the time one has in a day.

 

What challenges do you encounter?

 

My major challenge is having to literally do everything all by myself- posting goods, taking orders and having them sorted out for delivery.

 

This is because my business is a very delicate one. It’s really not easy. You know how gold can be. You can’t really trust anyone with it. It’s quite delicate.

 

Another challenge is having to attend to all my customers at the same time. If you spend too much time with one, another will complain you are ignoring him or her. To crown it all, it’s very capital expensive and no one can even support you. Bank loans are also not an option to facilitate running the business because their interest rate is just too high.

 

Do you think social media is a good platform for business?

 

Yes, definitely, if used properly. God bless the creators of all social media apps. You get to interact with all kinds of people all over the world, who will patronise your business and even get to be friends with them.

 

Which aspect of doing business on social media is most enjoyable to you?

 

Taking pictures and posting them on social media. I can post for Africa. I am sure anyone reading this that knows me can testify.

 

How do you handle the negative parts of social media trading like the issue of scamming?

 

Scammers are all over the place. This makes customers doubt genuine ones like us but I feel everyone wanting to buy something online should always do background checks as well because a genuine seller always has his/her identity on their page. I have my pictures, family pictures and I also have my influencers’ pictures on my page. So, one way or the other, I am visible.

 

My own personal challenge presently is that customers want to even scam me. Some people send fake receipts, and they say “madam check, I sent it.” When they see that I know they won’t say anything further. Some people go all about my comment sections, pick my customers especially those ones with “how much” comment, slide into their DM and tell them they have the goods and can give them cheaper.

 

O n e e v e n u s e d m y business logo and bio on WhatsApp, adding customers and acting like me. I must say we should keep trying not to fall victims and vice versa, and customers must be careful too and should pay only into our business account.

 

So, I can’t be held responsible for any scam. I just feel I have paid my dues in full. No one should bring any scam stories to me (laughs)

 

As a woman in business, do you think women are exploring their potential in leadership?

 

Yes, women are special beings and they tend to excel in the most critical aspects of life. A woman always does well in her leadership position role. Take great women leaders such as Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, they all excel brilliantly in all their endeavours.

 

What are your thoughts on women striving for financial independence?

 

I feel it’s very, very important for women to be independent. “Our money” is different from “my money”. It doesn’t speak well if you wait on someone to foot your bills. So, it’s okay to strive; it’s okay to hustle.

 

There’s no shame in making your legitmate money. With the unemployment rate so high, would you say entrepreneurship is the way to go? Yes, but skill set is very key.

 

It’s very important to understand what you really want to venture into and at the same time, not everyone can become an entrepreneur. Some people discover their full potential working under someone and can’t just put a business of their own together. I am a very strong advocate for entrepreneurship though.

 

How do you balance all the things you do without getting overwhelmed?

 

The truth of the matter is, you will get overwhelmed working hard to strive in your business. You just have to rest whenever you can, most especially when your body calls for it. I do things I enjoy for fun just to cool off

 

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