By Anino Aganbi

They say catch them young. As children, you catch them but they may not have the zeal or capability to work with it. It is when they become youths that they can go out there and manifest what they learnt since they were young.

Running a successful business as a woman takes more than just having talents or the financial backing. If you do not put yourself into improving your talents and making a go of them, they will remain dreams. It is enlightening for everybody to envision something but we would find out that dreams without work is vain.

Olujumoke Ayinla
Olujumoke Ayinla

Every business woman lives to see her works blossom through hard work and it is this that Mrs. Jumoke Ayinla depicts through every piece she creates. She is a firm believer that the learning process enables you grow as a person and a business woman. In her chat with women in business, she tells more

How did you end up choosing the business you ended up doing?

Actually, when I finished from the university, I wanted to have my own business because of our empowerment. I read Economics and did not want to go into the banking sector. I wanted to do something for the communities out there. I discovered I loved building other peoples business apart from having mine. I had to make a decision on whether to build others business before building mine since I did not have the capital to start up.

After spending three years at home without having anybody’s business to build, I decided to wake up, go ahead and run my business in whatever way. I started out by printing my flyers even though I did not have a space. I have always been good with my hands. I just felt that by creating the awareness of what I wanted in the minds of people, I would be pressurized to start something.

What are your visions as a business woman?

The vision for Sassysaint is to empower people out there most especially because the youths have something in them. They say catch them young. As children, you catch them but they may not have the zeal or capability to work with it. It is when they become youths that they can go out there and manifest what they learnt since they were young. The nigeria of today is not giving us that chance as young ones. We have to wake up within ourselves to do that.

Let’s talk about Sassysaint as a business….

Sassysaint is caught between being a business or a ministry as my husband would call it. It could be called a ministry because I make money from it and at times I don’t make money from it. Either way, am firstly for impact, then the money. I decided to call people in . I started with free classes for crafts, tee shirt making, beadmaking, paperworks,Ankara crafts, leather works and make up.

I held this in a very remote area and funny enough people really turned up. Through that, I knew there were people out there that really needed this amd most people who showed up didn’t have the money. They had no where to. They just wanted to do something for themselves. It was a platform for people to build themselves and feel they can actually do something in the world.

Has your experience working with other people had a great impact in your business?

Yes, it has made a very mighty impact. I tell people that being a boss of yourself doesn’t mean you cannot be a servant. The true test of leadership is being a servant. If you cannot be a servant for someone then you can’t be a true leader. You might think everybody out there is supposed to be your footstool, and that is not just the truth. A great leader has to serve by putting himself out there to help others.

How do you improve yourself when building other peoples business?

When building other people’s business, I see them make their mistakes and try to give them that chance to avoid such mistakes. Sometimes we just don’t see the mistake and it happens. That way she learns and at the same time, I am learning not to make that mistake in my own business. The thing is while I am on the job, am actually learning. I am doing something for somebody and also doing it for myself; thereby building myself up.

I see building other peoples business as a training ground for me. It’s building myself to get up there later and when I get there I can show people who were in my position the way. I do not want a situation where at the beginning of my life, am impacting people and later when I come into the big bucks I am nowhere and cannot impact those around me.

Why did end up choosing your line of business?

I could have gone into the white collar jobs, banking or politics but the thing is for creativity, you do not need anything except your brains and the willingness to learn. You do not stay at one spot when you’re creative. You can always work on what you have. You diversify a lot when you are creative unlike the white collar jobs where you do the same things day in day out. And when you look back over the years, you realize you haven’t improved in anything.

Creativity is not just handy work. You do not have to know how to use a scissors to be creative. For me, it is learning. You should always open yourself to learn more. I chose that line because I know there is no stopping for that line. If I can’t do sewing, I can design and if I can’t design then I can cut. So it is wide. It’s not streamlined into one place. It is something that is vast. Am looking at the world as a global place and impacting it.

What are your business plans and how have you been able to implement them?

My business plan is to get a school where I can teach the poor. It is going to be a free school where people can come in and get educated. It would not just be restricted to the formal education but also encompass vocational studies with which you can work with. I also want to have what I call a fashion village where people can come in and have every area of their needs met. Fashion is your life and goes beyond clothing. It is a way I can reach out to the rich.

Improving your business…

The social network is beautiful. It has helped the business people reach out more than they could have ever imagined. Personally, I plan on working more with the social network, having my business online where I can teach online without having to see the person. I also would want to have seminars where I can talk to people about what they can do, who they can become as a person and reaching out without putting a lid on their creativity. I also plan on taking my business outside the shores of Nigeria and within different states in the country.


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