Onyeuka Sophia Anwuli is the Chief Executive Officer of Sophie Couture Boutique. She explains how Sophie Couture has gone from a start up to a household name in 10 years. Excerpt:
How would you describe the experience of running a boutique?
My Experience running Sophie Couture boutique has been challenging especially when I initially started off my business over 10 years ago.
From sourcing goods abroad, to unsteady dollar rates which hasn’t been stable in the past years, to managing staff, and many others. All of this has not been an easy. But we are greatful to still be in business after a decade.
There are many online stores on social media these days, has it in anyway affected real time shopping?
It hasn’t in any way affected our business what has made Sophie Couture Boutique stand out in recent times has been the quality of Clothings that we sell, Good customer service, and of course GOD’s grace upon us.
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More so in recent times of today, technology has made things easier considering the busy schedule of an average Nigerian people now live to seat at the convenience of their home to shop. This has also affected our walk in sales as we do not tend to get a lot of walk in customers unlike previous years when we had very limited social media’s .
How did you arrive at running a boutique?
I started my boutique business firstly in my home. Venturing into clothing business I must say has been divine grace of GOD cause it was never planned for. Passion grew when I formerly used to work 8-5pm job and when I dress up to work my colleagues always admired my outfit so whenever they want it I just tell me I have it they make payment and I go source if for them. Little by little business started growing I was able to save up captital to rent a store operating it while I continued with my office job. 10 years after here we are today. It’s been a long time journey
Average Nigerian lady sees boutique as fallback when there is no job, what would you say to this?
I tell every one who has ears to listen that if you choose to be idle and choose to capitalise it on the fact that goverment has refused to provide jobs for Nigerian citizens then it completely means you have chosen to be lazy. Why, because there happens to be a lot of things one can venture into legitimately that can serve as a full time job which can get you well paid .
A lot of people do not want to follow process gradually or would I say low In on pride or better still cultivate their passion and make a job out of it. Hence choice is yours to choose on what you want
Right now, I know a lot of youths who are graduates and couldn’t get a job that has commenced online selling without having capital or even a walk in store.
Instagram/Facebook/website is all they need.
And trust me they even get higher profit than bankers monthly.
Some also use it as a cover up for shady business, is that true?
Yes, some use it as cover up for shady business but at the end of day one who ventures into shady business in camouflage do not last forever .
With time the reality of life unfolds itself.