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her 48th

November 17, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Preparing for the first Nigerian independence that Pearl Creations was going to be a part of was tough. The buttons had to be peculiar, attractive, different and something that had never been since so they could be impressive and fun! Eventually, we came up with 5 designs. They were so nice, I couldn’t wait to display them asap! The designs were the Nigerian national button design, and 4 all-me button designs:

1. iRep Nigeria (1): written in black with the Nigerian coat of arms on a white background.

2. iRep Nigeria (2): a design gotten off facebook…which was later discovered to have been designed by a fellow young entrepreneur for his line of t-shirts.

3. Proudly Nigerian: written in white on a black background with the Nigeria map in the center in the Nigerian flag colors- green, white, green.

4. Straight up Nigerian: the Nigerian flag in the center of the button with a virtual mean look in it and “straight up” written in the upper left corner of the flag and “Nigerian” written in the lower right corner.

When they were all ready, I decided to make it a sale after all Nigerians were the majority of the clientele. All-me buttons are usually $2.50CAD, so I decided to make them all $2.00CAD. Since there were five (5) button designs, to pep it up a bit, I decided to do a three (3) for $5.00CAD sale as well…which is a good deal anytime; and no one passes of a good deal!

Next, was on how to advertise and inform? Emails were sent out to all existing customers, messages were sent out to facebook members in both the all-me and national buttons groups, and finally, as a last resort, a poster was made.

The next decision to make was where to place the posters and flyers. I started by sending the posters to friends in other schools with an impressive Nigerian student body and/or population. I sent a poster to my younger sister in Covenant University. Having already spent a year there, I know they support entrepreneurship. I also contacted the presidents and creators of as many Nigerian groups as I could find on facebook. Finally, I glued posters in some of the bus stop sheds at night…cuz I was too shy to do it in the day! lol.

I did all this mid-September. After a reasonable couple of days (about a week), I started panicking when we didn’t get any orders! But, the following week, it was like a prank was played on me cuz tons of orders came in. It was awesome. I also got replies from a few Nigerian groups. One of which gladly gave me a table at a dinner/cultural show they had planned for the occasion. I was thrilled!

So buttons ready, all packed and with my business face on, I headed for Windsor, ON which was where I was invited to sell the Nigerian buttons. It eventually paid off. Apart from selling out, I also met a lot of other entrepreneurs who encouraged and loved the buttons concept. A particular one, Kanmi O* runs Konfirmed Clothing. What he does is make t-shirts with popular Nigerian slangs printed on them. He actually designed the emblem I used for the last button on the poster! And I found it randomly in a friend’s album on facebook. Small world! Luckily, he didn’t sue me. He even helped me sell buttons alongside a close friend of mine, Petra O*. Their competition was who could sell the most buttons in 5 minutes. I can’t remember who won, but it was nice to get extra help! lol.

A lot people didn’t bring money along so they couldn’t buy :-(, but I came prepared! Remember, this happened at the Tiara Festival? And I lost those people because I didn’t have…business cards! Well it didn’t happen again, because this time, I came with a ton (an exaggeration) of them.

I displayed them of the table alongside the button so those who didn’t come along with money, took business cards and ordered later!

All in all, it was great experience…looking forward to 2009 and beyond!

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