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inspitories xvii: lr

September 18, 2016 Leave a comment

Inspitories is my made up word for inspirational stories on young people I find interesting. They are usually interviews of other entrepreneurs, like myself, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting, stumbled upon online, or dug up that motivate me. Enjoy and get inspired!

For most of middle school, I had a best friend. We were almost inseparable. For a while, both teachers and strangers alike thought we were twin brothers. After correcting numerous people countless times, we started claiming to be! I think that led him to coin Twin Raiders, which became a clique of four friends, with code names: Syber, Vesta, TJ, and Kere – Seyi, Sylvester, Tunji (his late cousin), and Samson respectively. Like most Sylvesters, my nickname evolved into Sly. His, however, stuck all through high school; still is even.

Though no longer best friends, we’ve have managed to keep in touch and remain friends for about twenty years now. We, however, still have a few things in common – penchant for watches, one sister, got just our moms now, movies/TV addiction – he’s probably the only person I know who watches more movies and TV shows than I do, and I watch over twenty every week lol; and surprise, surprise, business.

Seyi is a master salesman. He could probably sell beef to a cow. He started off selling watches while in college, and this year, I noticed he’d started car sales – he identified a niche (which he shared with me), and now, he’s not just selling them, he can’t hold on to them long enough!

I admire his drive and entrepreneurial spirit so much. When I thought of setting up shop in Nigeria, he’s one of the few people I met with to educate me on the terrain. Through his help, I opened up a Konga.com store for Pearl Kreations. No regrets. If like most people, you’re wondering how he’s getting by on watches [and cars] sales, trust me, he does fine! It’s my pleasure to profile the street-smart and tenacious Syber.

seyi-labinjo

Seyi Labinjo
Managing Director & Chief Marketing Officer
Labson Renmax Company

Birth Name
Seyi Hafiz Labinjo

Age
30 (as of 2016)

Skill(s)/Talent(s)
Marketing

Art/Business Name
Labson Renmax Company

Business Profile


Labson Renmax Company is the parent company of LR Watches and LR Autos, which provide high-end timepieces, and new as well as certified pre-owned automobiles respectively, at affordable rates backed with great after sales service.

I started this
Small scale in August 2008 selling entry-level wristwatches to university students.

I’m driven by
My passion, from the onset, to provide products and services with the customers’ satisfaction being key.

Past Works/Portfolio

  • Merchant on Konga.com
  • Sales Analyst/Moderator on Nairaland.com (Autos Section)
  • Official Timepiece Stockist on Dikkos.com

Contact me

inspitories xvi: itoro okon

August 17, 2015 Leave a comment

Inspitories is my made up word for inspirational stories on young people I find interesting. They are usually interviews of other entrepreneurs, like myself, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting, stumbled upon online, or dug up that motivate me. Enjoy and get inspired!

I met this lady while she was still a student. She struck me as a study-really-hard-and-land-an-amazing-job go-getter, so it was no surprise when I caught up with her in 2011, that she had a really good job, at which she was already doing very well…though a bit of a workaholic (she still is). I had her pinned as a 9 to 5/job security kinda person. I’m not ashamed to say I was wrong.

Last year, I stumbled across a page called “Jewelry by Itoro Okon” on Facebook. I thought, “Itoro? No way.” I went through the page, and was stunned by the creativity. I concluded it had to be a coincidence or something, Itoro was living/working in Alberta, not Lagos. Wrong again. May, this year, I attended the wedding of a mutual friend of ours, and there she was, on the bridal train, Itoro Okon, in the flesh. I couldn’t believe it.

We met up for ice cream one evening the following month – we happen to live like 10 minutes from each other! Who knew?! Turns out she had always planned to move back to Nigeria. She also told me about her plunge into entrepreneurship, and then we swapped stories on our experiences with the NYSC program, police, and best business practices for Nigerian clients/customers.

I’m a man who appreciates beauty and creativity, so I simply had to tell her, what I’m sure she already knows – her designs are beautiful. No, Itoro is good. As soon as I saw her men’s bracelets line, I had to have one. Her creativity and talent are astounding. She still surprises me. She is the real deal, and she’s just so modest; I couldn’t resist tooting her horn.

Itoro Okon
Founder & Creative Director
Itoro Okon

Birth Name
Itoro Feyisayo Okon

Age
27 (as of 2015)

Skill(s)/Talent(s)
Creative Design

Art/Business Name
Itoro Okon

Business Profile

Itoro Okon logo

Itoro Okon is an artistically crafted, uniquely designed jewelry line.
I create statement pieces to embody style, elegance, and the passion for the art of jewelry making.

Itoro Okon Collage

I started this
May 2014

I’m driven by
God, Creativity, Translating creative ideas to reality.

Past Works/Portfolio
Uyai Collection (as seen on BellaNaija.com)

Contact me
email: info@itorookon.com
facebook: Jewelry by Itoro Okon
instagram: @ItoroOkon
telephone: +234-814-754-2409
website: itorookon.com

inspitories xv: diet234

December 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Inspitories is my made up word for inspirational stories on young people I find interesting. They are usually interviews of other Entrepreneurs like myself whom I have had the pleasure of meeting, stumbled upon online or dug up that motivate me. Enjoy and get inspired!

Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur. I’ve known this young man for over ten years, and he’s always been quite enterprising. Interestingly, this classmate-turned-close friend has a story quite similar to mine – he’s an FGCL alumnus, ex-medical school student and serial entrepreneur. The only different is he’s just a little bit taller than me lol. On a serious note, he’s quite ambitious, business-minded, intelligent, and constantly improving himself by learning a new skill. He’s quite charismatic and very passionate about health and fitness, and that sparked his newest venture.

Collins Akanno Founder & Chief Nutrition Officer Diet234.com

Collins Akanno
Founder & Chief Nutrition Officer
Diet234.com

Birth Name

Collins Chimezie Akanno

Age

27 (as of 2014)

Skill(s)/Talent(s)

Entrepreneurship, Social Intelligence & Networking, Nutritional Counselling & Education, Project Management, and Creative Thinking.

Art/Business Name

Diet234.com

Business Profile

Diet234

Diet234.com is a resource for healthy nutrition, information and inspiration – making healthy eating your way of life. We offer nutrition/dietary care services to individuals and corporate bodies, especially the vulnerable groups.

I started this

In August 2014, and so far, we have had a steadily growing online viewership on our blog and broadcast posts/feeds. We have also had the opportunity of speaking at quite a number of seminars and networking events to educate people on health and nutrition. Our clientele for nutrition care plans has been progressive since the launch of this service.

I’m driven by

God, Family, Creativity and Guts.

Past Works/Portfolio

• Nutrition screening & survey of preschool children and administration of Vitamin A supplements in Surulere LGA (Lagos, Nigeria).

Nutritional Screening

• Branding Consultant and Business Development Assistant for LagMarket.com (Online grocery store in Lagos, Nigeria).

• Nutrition Expert and Healthcare Consultant for Vikram Hospital Bangalore, India (Medical partners to Kanu Heart Foundation and OJB Foundation).

• Social Media consultant for the Nigerian author of International repute – Ifeoma Theodore Jnr., author of “Trapped In Oblivion” and “My Daughters and I”.

Contact me

email: hello@diet234.com
facebook: Diet234
telephone: +234-701-704-6776 l +234-803-323-2216
twitter: @Diet_234
website: Diet234.com

inspitories xiv: the24sevenclub

March 1, 2014 Leave a comment

Inspitories is my made up word for inspirational stories on young people I find interesting. They are usually interviews of other Entrepreneurs like myself whom I have had the pleasure of meeting, stumbled upon online or dug up that motivate me. Enjoy and get inspired!

A few years ago, a young man approached me. He had an exciting business idea. The way he talked about it, I got excited too lol. I liked the idea, but I loved it more because of the passion. Not to mention, he reminded me a little about myself in 2008 – young, Nigerian, McMaster student with exciting business prospects. I signed up with his venture for his first week and offered some feedback. I couldn’t continue because I cooked my own meals and supported another home-cooked meals venture, 1108. That didn’t stop him from reminding to sign up again and again every chance he got lol. You’ve got to love the enthusiasm. I’m very impressed the venture is still forging ahead and evolving, while being profitable too!

Toby

Toby Laleye
CEO
The24SevenClub

Birth Name
Oluwatobi Laleye

Age
22 (as of 2014)

Skill(s)/Talent(s)
I’m a fast learner. I also have unwavering focus on validated learning (learning on the job).

Art/Business Name
The24SevenClub

Business Profile

The24SevenClub is a subscription-based African meal delivery service. The objective at The24SevenClub is to foster happiness through culture; as a result, we aim at building and growing a united community through the shared experience of our services. This shared experience is accomplished by providing members with a convenient outlet for delicious meals.

I started this
The24SevenClub was launched October 2011. It started in Hamilton, Ontario, and this is still the only location we service currently. We hope to open up in multiple locations in the nearest future.

I’m driven by
Entrepreneurship and creativity. I have witnessed and been a part of several ventures that have grown and transformed from simple ideas into things that are way bigger than was imagined. The process of creation continuously drives me.

Past Works/Portfolio
• 24SevenClub Quarterly Buffets.

24SevenClub Quarterly Buffets • McMaster University & University Of Toronto Mississauga African Associations’ Buffet.
• Provided services to Candor Foods Ltd.
• Gidilounge group was an active sponsor during the infancy of the business.

Contact me

email: the24sevenclub@gmail.com

facebook: The24SevenClub

telephone: 1-855-7-THE247 l 1-855-784-3247

twitter: @LalzToby l @The24SevenClub

website: The24SevenClub

inspitories xiii: todun designs

May 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Inspitories is my made up word for inspirational stories on young people I find interesting. They are usually interviews of other Entrepreneurs like myself whom I have had the pleasure of meeting, stumbled upon online or dug up that motivate me. Enjoy and get inspired!

As an entrepreneur, sometimes you might have to try a couple different things until you find what works. Successful entrepreneurs and business people never give up. Perseverance is key.

One person that knows this all too well is a certain young lady I’ve known for close to six years. She started a nails service business called Nail Tha Occasion, worked at it, but eventually closed it. About a year later, she started a freshly cooked meals delivery service called 1108 Catering, I believe. It was a success and I was a patron lol. I’m not quite sure if it has been re-branded or on hold for now, but mid last year, she shared her plans with me to launch an accessories line. She showed me some of her creations and they were pretty good. They are even better now. It may seem like she bounces around, but I believe she has found her niche. She works extremely hard at it and invests in quality materials; without a doubt, Todun Designs is here to stay.

Lajipe Faleyimu
Founder & Creative Director
Todun Designs

Birth Name
Omolajipe Ifedayo Faleyimu

Age
22 (as of 2012)

Skill(s)/Talent(s)
Cooking, dancing and sewing

Art/Business Name
Todun Designs

Business Profile

Todun Designs deals primarily with afrocentric-based accessory designs inspired by African fabrics and the unique, rich African culture. As a self-taught designer, all Todun Designs products are handmade from carefully selected materials from a convenient home workshop. Over the next few years, Todun designs aspires to establish itself all over the world as a brand familiar to both individuals interested in that personal touch as well as those looking to create an identity on a large scale.

I started this
January 2012

I’m driven by
My love for creativity. The ability to imagine concepts and see them transformed to tangible products.

Past Works/Portfolio
• The Fashion Show of Africa Unveiled.
• The Fashion Show of Afrobeat IX.
• For more past works, please view the website.

Contact me

email: todundesigns@gmail.com

facebook: Todun Designs

tumblr: Todun Designs

twitter: @Todun Designs

website: Todun Designs