Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Pearl Creations’

firsts

May 29, 2010 1 comment

It is my 23rd birthday today. I took a professional photograph over month ago, and it arrived yesterday. I guess it is a gift to myself. I watched the trailer for The Adjustment Bureau yesterday and it seems to me that the message behind the movie is essentially – Life is simply a compilation of the series of events we individually experience. I was basically just sitting and reminiscing on my life thus far, and thinking “wow! time flies!”. I decided to take a trip down memory’s lane and remember all my firsts experiences, ahem, business-wise. This should be fun!

My first Button was a National Button.Basically because they were all I initially planned to do. It was the market demand that made me go into the All-Me Buttons. Anyway, it was a Nigeria National Button as is understandable. When I held it in my hand, there was this rush of accomplishment that filled me. I put it on my t-shirt and immediately took a photo!

My first Sale was the next day to a friend, Tega O*. Well, I practically forced the button on her lol, and then, on Pelumi A*. It was only Nigerian buttons then, because I hadn’t begun to network. I wanted to start building my sales confidence, and I started with people I could easily relate to. I think I made $14.00 in my first week!

My first Contract was kind of informal. It was for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. We partnered with a bigger company because of the minute size of my company in relation to the size of the others. The more official one was for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games for which I got a Certificate of Membership from the 2010 Business Network, an official letter from the Provincial Government of British Columbia and an official lapel pin.

My first Event was when I was still coming up. It was AfroFest 2008 at the Hamilton Convention Centre. AfroFest is an annual multicultural Africa-themed event organized by the McMaster African Students’ Association (MASA). That event fetched me and the company a lot more student popularity! I was so happy making sales lol. The first more public one was the Tiara Festival. You can read more about it via link. The other events were when I had gotten more serious as a businessman ;-). The first of which was at an event in Windsor, Ontario.  You can read more about it at: You can read more about it via link.

My first Speech was on Saturday, March 28th, 2009 at the AfroFest 2009/Hands of War/Mikono Za Vita. We about half an hour allocated for the acknowledgment of student entrepreneurs. I was the MASA secretary, and therefore in charge of preparing the program and allotting time for the different segments. The entrepreneur thing wasn’t my idea though! I was actually shocked to see it in the program the President, Nnamdi N* handed to me. The entrepreneurs were Amal Awadh of Um-Aisha Orphanage, Sylvester Kay-Adade of Pearl Creations, Poize Magazine, and Olumide Adewunmi of Gidilounge. I was doing a lot of running around making sure the show went on without a hitch, and simultaneously organizing a speech in my head. Finally when the hour arrived, I went up confidently on to the very brightly lit stage to introduce myself and Pearl Creations. I spoke about where I come from, Pearl Creations, some my personal experiences and some events we have been privileged to sponsor and partner with. I was nervous and perspiring profusely! A friend in a front seat said he could see the sweat rolling down to my cheeks! I got laughs a couple of times from the audience which helped me calm down. I ended by announcing, “For the purpose of this show, we have buttons every African culture and our stand is in the back so please feel free to come, have a look and possibly buy one or two. Thank you”.
It’s all kind of blurry after that. I do know I felt a lot better later on, probably after I had the chance to cool off and wipe all the sweat off my face lol. I got a lot of positive feedback during & after the show about the speech, and even a couple of days after. Also got a couple of physical & oral pats of the back from friends, admirers and parents. Oh and as usual, business & partnership proposals from other students and entrepreneurs.

Well, I think those all my firsts…for now. I hope to have a lot more sales, attend a lot of events (national & international) and give a lot more speeches soon! Umm since it’s my birthday, I thought I’d also add some things (pluses) that I’m thankful for; and things I’m juggling in my mind.

Very recently, help came in the form of more partnerships and business offers – not too long after “complaining” in a post a while ago. I got some impressive offers this time though…thank goodness! Some being:
-> A friend wants to invest towards the next Olympics.
-> Another wants to help advertise in bigger cities.
-> Two people brought forward the same business idea which I think might be Pearl Creations’ new venture because I’ve thought of it too. But first, I want to figure out who’s the more serious of the two and hopefully go into partnership with him. When it does come out, everyone would be made aware.

Another night, I came across a group of people brainstorming over a business venture. I joined in as was expected, but for privacy purposes, I won’t disclose zip, but I will say this – the venture seems like a pretty good idea. However, it is capital-intensive and requires some labor as well. It seems to me that this venture will have a fixed consumer base almost as soon as it hits the market. It is a risk, but if you don’t take risks, you’ll never really know. We’re going to give it a shot very soon…watch out.

I’m also thinking of expanding some more. The dealership and partnership idea is working, but I want to give more people opportunities. I’m still thinking on how to get more people with great button ideas involved without the PCC-ideology ‘cuz I want something that attracts/helps people, but also profits Pearl Kreations as well. After all, it is a business!

I’ve started paying salaries. Before now, people used to work for free, but I’ve noticed that now, with money as an incentive, they do a much better job! Plus the sales people are more aggressive lol!

That’s it! I don’t want to spend the whole day worked up in front of a computer screen. It’s a shame I have nothing planned. Well I didn’t plan because I’m not exactly thrilled, but I hope somehow I enjoy my day! After today, I’ve got to get back to work because Pearl Kreations has over a 1000 buttons order that need to be delivered in about two weeks!

Happy Birthday to me! Yay! Lol

vacancy

March 27, 2010 3 comments

The Pearl Creations Challenge (PCC) from last summer didn’t have promising results because it was apparently too limiting and competitive. To that effect, we have opened up vacancies.

Pearl Kreations is always willing to partner with new ambitious individuals of integrity who share similar values and ethics with us. As a first, we are looking to employ Dealers and Partners. Now there is a way to get more people in, while expanding Pearl Kreations’ borders at the same time!

By Dealers and Partners, we are looking those who will be involved in collecting orders, scouting for contracts and/or be involved in the distribution/delivery of our products on our behalf in various regions and countries of the world.

Please read very carefully: 

DEALERSHIP
As a Dealer, you could be directly or indirectly involved with the customers.
There are two (2) types of Dealers:

1. The D-Dealers: They deal directly with the Customers. They act as the middle men between the Customer(s) and Pearl Kreations until the deal/business is closed.
The D-Dealer collects order(s) from customers, reports them to a Pearl Kreations Customer Service Representative, and delivers the package(s) to the Customer(s) once ready.
Please note:
We have a non-negotiable sharing ratio of 60:40.
This means in dealing with us, Pearl Kreations takes sixty percent (60%) of the total revenue and the D-Dealer takes forty percent (40%) of the total revenue.
The D-Dealer pays sixty percent (60%) of the total order to Pearl Kreations and makes a forty percent (40%) profit when sold to the customer(s).

2. The I-Dealer: They deal indirectly with the Customers. They are the “ghost” connection between the Customer(s) and Pearl Kreations.
The I-Dealer just provides the names and contacts of potential customers. A Pearl Kreations Customer Service Representative continues by registering the orders, and Pearl Kreations delivers the package(s) to the Customer(s) once they are ready.
Pearl Kreations will keep the I-Dealer posted on all developments until the deal/business is concluded; except it is one’s preference not to be informed.
Please note:
We have a non-negotiable sharing ratio of 70:30.
This means in dealing with us, Pearl Kreations takes seventy percent (70%) of the total revenue, and the I-Dealer takes thirty percent (30%) of the total revenue.
We pay in Canadian Dollars ($CAD) or preference as soon as we are paid in full.

Dealers are responsible for their own advertising and market surveys. We just supply.
We believe the above are simple terms and a fair deal.
The Dealer does not have any commitments nor does he/she procure any risks.

PARTNERSHIP
As a Partner, one will be directly with Pearl Kreations.
A Partner may contact Pearl Kreations with a merchandise idea. If passed, the requested amount will be supplied at half price to the Partner.
Otherwise, Partners are usually contacted whenever Pearl Kreations has sales or special offers. If a Partner wishes to be involved in the sale or offer, the Partner is provided with any amount (not greater 100 units) for half the price. The Partner is free to the sell products at regular price to the Customers, thereby making a profit. If products sell out, an order for an additional supply may be placed.
Please note:
Partners are responsible for their own advertising and market surveys. We just supply.
In the event that after a Partner does not successfully sell products, such a Partner will have incurred a loss to which Pearl Kreations cannot be held liable.

All costs are fixed and non-negotiable.
Payments are to be made in Canadian Dollars ($CAD) or exact equivalent. 

If being a D-Dealer, I-Dealer or Partner interests you, please let us know in writing.

Send us an application package consisting of a formal cover letter addressed to Pearl Kreations indicating your preference, and your curriculum vitae/resume. 

All documents in the application must be neatly typed in ms-word (.doc) document format.
Your application can be mailed, or preferably, sent via email to service@pearlkreations.com. More than one application is unnecessary.

If your request is accepted, you will be notified via email.
If you do not receive your email due to a faulty email address, you will be contacted via other means provided.

This said email will also contain our official application form.
Please fill the form correctly, scan and send back to us within two (2) weeks of receiving it; otherwise the application will become void.

Once the filled and signed form is received and informed on your status within a week.
Once approved, you will be notified and sent an employment form.
Please return this form properly filled and signed within the stipulated timeframe.

Upon receiving the filled and signed employment form, a copy of the brochure of your preferred product(s) and a Certificate will be sent to you via email or mail. Once certified, you will be free to begin work as a Dealer or Partner.

Please do not assume the post of Dealer or Partner without our authorization.
Operating without our permission will attract legal action against you and/or your business.

If you do not receive an email or contacted through other means, your application may have been denied. You may contact us to inquire about your status after two (2) weeks to sending in your application package or filled application form.

All Applicants must be 18 years of age or older with a credible form of national identification.

A business or individual is not permitted to simultaneously be a Dealer and a Partner. It is either one or the other. To change, status, you must begin the application process all over again.

Pearl Kreations is not obligated to provide applicant(s) or the public with the reason(s) for denying or rejecting application(s).
Pearl Kreations reserves the right to terminate the employment of a Dealer or Partner at anytime. It may do so if any of the contract agreements is breached or due to managerial reason(s).

A Dealer or Partner may also terminate contract, but not during an ongoing transaction to avoid a financial penalty and/or legal persecution.

This is a sample of the application form:

Image

I sincerely hope this will be better and wish to thank prospective Dealers and Partners in advance for your interest in dealing or partnering with Pearl Kreations. We look forward to possibly working with you. This will kick off in summer.

fna experience

February 9, 2010 Leave a comment

I was first informed by a Business Colleague, Mr. Wale Abba who also happens to be nominated in a special category of his own (Best use of Technology in Nigeria) and then later by a good friend, Adeola A*. I didn’t believe it until I saw it myself – yours truly, Mr. Buttons aka Sylvester II Olusola Kay-Adade was nominated to be a recipient for the Future Awards 2010 “Business Owner of the Year” Award. I was highly honored to have been considered and nominated for this new, but apparently, prestigious award.

I didn’t know a lot about them, but they’re (as I was told) quite famous back home. If you would like to know more about them, The Future Nigeria mission, vision and general information can be found on their website and blog. All I can say is glory to God! I’m very happy. Even if I don’t win, just the consideration for an award, and the recognition was an honor.

Here’s the list of Nominees for Season 5 of the Future Awards Business Owner of the Year:

Oghenekaro Agono (Tremor Perfect)
Erefe Fynecountry (Deheney Services)
Debola Lewis (Yvent Couture)
Ayo Arigbagbu (Dada Books)
Hassan Rilwan (Focal Point Publishing)
Henry Oraika (Motomedia)
Uyi Omokaro (DM2)
Sylvester Kay-Adade (Pearl Creations)

Anyway, Pearl Creations got a call from Rick N*, an executive in the FNA team. He seemed very polite and polished. He asked for my personal email address and mobile number to keep me informed on the developments as the awards proceed. He said I had a Certificate of Nomination that I or someone I send may pick from their office on my behalf; and that there was also a luncheon/dinner for all the nominees on December 18th; which I obviously missed because I didn’t know about it and I wasn’t in Nigeria at the time. He asked, and I provided him with my email address. The next day, I received an email from the Future Nigeria Awards with a form asking all these questions about me and the company. I was a bit skeptical because of my new desire to return to my secretive and vague nature. But my mum, assured me that it was cool and legitimate as my sister went to the FNA office to collect my Certificate of Nomination.

This is the information as I filled in:

Business Owner of the Year
(Please note that when we say past one year, we mean from November 2008 till date)

 Full name: Sylvester II Olusola Kay-Adade

 Date of birth: May 29th, 1987

 Describe your business: Provision of button-badges for Personal use, effective Advertising and Marketing of Companies, goods and services; Promotions, Campaigns, Promotion of world peace and special occasions, holidays and international events

 How long have you been running this business: 2 years (in January, 2010)

 How big is the business is now: Pearl Creations is based in Ontario, Canada, but also operational in Lagos, Nigeria

 How many staff do you have: Three (3) Employees

 How many people do you work with/pay that are not staff: Two (2) Partners

 What are the challenges you have faced in the past one year:
1. Discouragement and Criticism from some colleagues who didn’t understand how profitable a $2.00CAD/$2.50CAD product could be.
2. Products given poor credibility due to my race/ethnicity.
3. A couple of rejection response letters from Comic Stores, Film Companies, Theaters, and Cinemas when I would write countless letters asking them to purchase or grant a contract to make buttons especially for movies like Watchmen, Spiderman etc or for their Online Stores.
4. No response from Banks, Companies, Conglomerates when I suggested buttons as new marketing strategies or as gifts to kids & customers for Christmas, during promos.

 How have you overcome them?
1. Endless prayers and faith
2. Encouragement from Family and Friends
3. Relentless Optimism and Drive
4. Supportive Customers
5. Positive Attitude
6. Taking necessary steps to prove Pearl Creations’ worth and credibility

 What expansion/growth/changes has the business experienced in the past one year: From just selling buttons to friends, to supplying buttons to Groups and Organizations within Hamilton, to supplying buttons to individuals, International Events and Companies within Canada, the PR of China, United States, Nigeria, Mexico, England, and now, we’re global.

 What companies have you worked for/what jobs have you done in the past one year:
Worked with:
1. The Invisible Children
2. The 2010 Business Network for Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics
3. Cure Canada

 Done Jobs for:
1. The Hope for David Charity Show [Hamilton, ON, Canada]
2. i-Rep Fashion Show [Hamilton, ON, Canada]
3. Ontario Universities’ Competition for Hip-Hop (O.U.C.H.) 2008 Dance Off [Hamilton, ON, Canada]
4. University of Lagos Engineering Faculty [Lagos, Nigeria]
5. University of Windsor African Union [Windsor, ON, Canada]
6. The Legacy Festival’s B.H.M. Event [Toronto, ON, Canada]
7. The McMaster African Students’ Association (M.A.S.A.) [Hamilton, ON, Canada]
8. Erindale College African Students’ Association (E.C.A.S.A.) [Mississauga, ON, Canada].

 How profitable has it been in this same period: Very Profitable

 Any awards: None, but a couple of Recognitions and Certificates

 Any other thing you do by the side: The Parent Company of Pearl Creations is The SKA Group; and it will be starting up “Suave Clothing” soon which will be making Dress Shirts, Suits and Ties; and selling classic Watches (partnering with LR Watches), Cufflinks, Tie Clips and Belts from Reputable Designers and Jewelers like Cartier, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent.

 Please provide us with at least one reference, or someone you can vouch for your work:
1. Suzanne B* (+1-905-526-****): Columnist, The Hamilton Spectator
2. Jennifer A* (+234-702-528-****): University of Lagos (UNILAG) Engineering Alumni
3. Mobola R* (+1-519-991-****): President, University of Windsor African Union 09/10

 Any other information we need to know (that could help your nomination):
1. Pearl Creations is the official button-badges Supplier for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, and Past Supplier for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
2. Pearl Creations and I were featured in The Hamilton Spectator (the biggest and most widely read newspaper in the city), by GidiNoize and by Be-e.
3. We make monthly donations to the Juravinski Cancer Centre Foundation and World Society for Animals.

FYI voting was done online by selecting  Sylvester Kay-Adade (Pearl Creations) in the “Business Owner of The Year” Category via link, and by SMS by “TFA (space) Sylvester Olusola Adade (space) Business Owner of the Year” via 33120 for Nigeria, 81696 for the UK and 97605 for the US.

The Award Ceremony was strictly by invitation and since I knew I wouldn’t be attending, I had 2 invitations sent for my mom and sister. The name of the invitee was on the reverse side. I think it was a very creative invitation. I liked the classy look and the old english font used. My sister kept me informed the whole time via bbm. According to her, the venue was very crowded with lots of celebrities around. She sent me photos of crowd while she was in line, and another of mum and her once they were seated.

        

 

When she informed me that I didn’t win, she sounded so upset (and apparently she was very upset), but she quickly got over it after she realized she had so many artistes to mingle and take photos with. Anyway, I was happy for whoever won. I had a “may the best man win” mentality. We were all very innovative so I feel anyone of us deserved it. I actually thought it was going to be either Hassan or Henry who would win as I felt they were my closest rivals – to my surprise, they didn’t win either! The winner was: Debola Lewis, C.E.O. Yvent Couture.

I checked a couple of blogs for the winners’ list since it hadn’t been put on their (Future Nigeria Awards) blog or website when the event was over. I found it eventually:

LIST OF FUTURE NIGERIA AWARDS 2010 WINNERS

Actor of the Year —> Kemi Lala Akindoju

Best Use of Advocacy —> Tolu Sangosanya (Dustbin Estate Children)

Best Use of Science —> Ify Aniebo (Research in malaria)

Best use of Technology —> Bade Adesemowo (Bincom)

Business Owner of the Year —> Debola Lewis (Yvent Couture)

Creative Artist of the Year —> Adekunle Samuel Owolabi

Excellence in Public Service —> Fatima Zara Modibbo (Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria)

Journalist of the Year —> Ruona Agbroko (NEXT)

Magazine of the Year —> Sound City Blast

Model of the Year —> Warebi Martha

Musician of the Year —> M.I.

Music Producer of the Year —> Jesse Jagz

On-Air Personality of the Year (Radio) —> Matse Uwatse (Wazobia FM)

On-Air Personality of the Year (TV) —> Andre Blaze (Nigezie)

Professional of the Year —> Ifunnaya Maduka (Dean of Students, Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls)

Screen producer of the Year —> Kenneth Gyang (“Finding Aisha”)

Sportsperson of the Year —> Janet Dung (Athletics)

Style Entrepreneur of the Year —> Linda Ikeji (Blackdove Communications)

Team of the Year —> Africa Youths Unite for Change

Young Person of the Year —> Ify Aniebo (Scientist)

From all indications, it seems I should be happy I didn’t go all the way to Nigeria to attend,  because contrary to what I was told and made to think of the awards, just like everything else, politics was the rule of the day. Anyway, congratulations to the Management of Yvent Couture on the 2010 Business Owner of the Year Award, as well as all other winners!

Hahaha I just saw some very interesting comments on a website – here are some of the comments and reactions to the list as made on Olamild Entertainment. I think one of them was made by one of my very protective & loving sisters, or the sister of someone with sisters like mine lol. Enjoy!

Anonymous #1 said:
Alright, now I just lost all faith in the so-called Future Awards. Debola Lewis is a sponsor of the Awards, but yet he was nominated for Business Owner of the Year category. This is his 3rd nomination and they finally awarded it to him. Shame on Future Awards and they better not nominate my brother next time. The lady that won last year was nominated thrice too. Shame on the Future Awards Organizers…. Nigerians will never change.

Anonymous #2 said:
Chocolate City is all over the list…I suspect foul play o.

Anonymous #3 said:
Please who are all these people? I am a very active young professional, but I have never heard nor seen any of these above except MI and Jesse Jagz. Please Future Awards this Awards is a total flop!

Anonymous #4 said:
This award is done by group of friends just to celebrate themselves in the name the future awards.

Anonymous #5 said:
The Future awards sucks..they only nominate people who can help them and friends.

Well, at least Pearl Creations got some publicity out of it by being a nominee, and also a sponsor of the event. We supplied them free “Nigerian Coat of Arms” button-badges. In the end, more of Nigeria got to know about Pearl Creations, and to me, that is more than enough. I’m grateful to God, and I know there will be more nominations and bigger awards to win 🙂

young boss

January 19, 2010 15 comments

Guess who is a nominee for the Future Awards 2010 “Business Owner of the Year” Award? 😀

I did an interview earlier on and it was for a closer look at this year’s nominees. This was my close up:

Sylvester Olusola Kay-Adade
The 22-year-old owns Pearl Creations (a subsidiary of The SKA Group), which he started two years ago, after moving to Canada in August, 2006 to complete his tertiary and medical education at McMaster University. This company essentially makes two (2) products: button-badges and lapel pins. It provides button-badges for personal use, effective advertising and marketing of Companies, goods and services; promotions, campaigns, special occasions, holidays and international events
Pearl Creations, which has 3 employees, is based in Ontario,Canada, but also operational in Lagos, Nigeria. Despite poor credibility due to his race, rejection letters from comic stores, film companies, movie theaters, and cinemas when who he approached for contracts to make buttons he now supplies buttons to groups and organizations within Hamilton, and supplies buttons to individuals, international Events and Companies within Canada, the PR of China, United States, Nigeria, Mexico and England, in the past one year working with The Invisible Children, the 2010 Business Network for Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, and Cure Canada. He has also had as clients, the Hope for David Charity Show [Hamilton, ON, Canada], i-Rep Fashion Show [Hamilton, ON, Canada], Ontario Universities’ Competition for Hip-Hop (O.U.C.H.) 2008 Dance Off [Hamilton, ON, Canada], the University of Lagos Engineering Faculty [Lagos, Nigeria], the University of Windsor African Union [Windsor, ON, Canada], the Legacy Festival’s B.H.M. Event [Toronto, ON, Canada], the McMaster African Students’ Association (M.A.S.A.) [Hamilton, ON, Canada] and the Erindale College African Students’ Association [Mississauga, ON, Canada].
The Parent Company of Pearl Creations is The SKA Group; and it will be starting up “Suave Clothing” soon which will be making dress shirts, suits and ties; and selling classic watches (in partnership with LR Watches), cufflinks, tie clips and belts from reputable designers.

I did yet another interview for the Future Nigeria Awards again today. I’m told this one is for a press release for a Newspaper. I have never done so many interviews in my life in one stretch. I guess it’s important to do as many as possible. After all, it is a medium through which people can read and know my story. Anyway, the Future Nigeria Awards 2010 has been set for Sunday, February 7th, 2010. I plan to be there, but it is still uncertain. I think I should though. The publicity, not to talk of the opportunity to meet and mingle numerous Nigerian celebs and public figures. I love to make Pearl Creations and The SKA Group ring in their ears lol. Anyway, here’s interview:

INTERVIEW

I’m Sylvester II Olusola Kay-Adade, President of The SKA Group. For the purpose of this interview, I’m the Chief Executive Officer of Pearl Creations.

1. What business do you do?
Pearl Creations manufactures and sells two (2) Products: Button-Badges (All-Me Buttons and National Buttons) and Magnetic Lapel Pins (Mag*Lapels). Both are used for Advertising, Awareness, Campaigns, Personal & Corporate Use, and as Fashion Accessories & Collectibles/Souvenirs at Local, National and International Events.

2. How did this begin?
It all began with an idea a good friend of mine, Sombiri and I had planned for Nigeria’s 45th Independence Day Celebration, but unfortunately, we couldn’t actualize it due to several setbacks. Sometime in late 2007, I remembered the buttons idea and since I was in Canada, I figured I could give it a shot. I had access to a lot of the resources we lacked then so I discussed starting up the business with my friend, but he had moved on into other things so I continued on my own. I researched buttons designing, the materials needed, the machinery, company registration etc. and began operation in January 2008.

3. Your educational background?
I attended ABC Nursery Land, Ilupeju, and then I transferred to St. Mary’s Private School, Agele. I had my secondary school education at Federal Government College, Ijanikin, Lagos. I attended Covenant University for a year, and then transferred to Houdegbe North American University, Republic of Benin and was there for 2 years. Finally, I transferred to Canada, through Southern Ontario College, Hamilton, Ontario to continue Medicine. I’m presently in my 3rd year of Health studies at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.

4. Why did you choose business over a 9 to 5 job?
I never thought I had it in me, but a couple of things factored this decision. For one, I always never liked the idea of working for someone. One of my philosophies is: “Why use your brain to get paid a fraction of what you’re making for someone when you can use it to work and make money for you?”
The drive to pursue entrepreneurship was instilled into me at Covenant University through a compulsory course called Entrepreneurial Development Studies (E.D.S.).
When I decided to, an older friend encouraged me by saying, “with a job, you earn a certain amount every 30 days; with a career/owning a business, you make varying amounts almost daily”. Personally, I like the challenge of pushing myself and being my boss.

5. Was starting up easy?
No. It’s never easy and it wasn’t for me either. I had to become very thrifty and save painfully, but the commitment has paid off.

6. What challenges did you encounter?
I made a number of mistakes and bad decision, but in a nutshell, criticism, masked racism, near bankruptcy and self.

7. How did you combat these challenges?
I don’t think one can ever rid oneself of criticism. I actually like constructive criticism, i got a lot of it and it helped me improve my business. I listen to what everyone tells me, but not necessarily act on it though.
My father once told me, “people will always try to put their fingers in your business. Learn to know who’s being helpful and who’s not”.
I had a tough time proving myself as credible person as a young black man, and as a trustworthy person being a Nigerian (as we have a certain stereotype). I was turned down a lot because of this, but I pushed on and was unrelenting. Bankruptcy was partly due to bad early business decisions and self. I learnt good decisions the hard way and in time. As for self, I started living a lavishly expensive lifestyle after I made my first lump sum, but came to myself when I almost hit rock bottom. Now, by God’s grace, with more than I had then, I’m remain humble and the thriftiest businessman my age!

8. How did you source your start-up funds?
Simply saving and staking up for the rainy day. In my case, the rainy day eventually happened to be the start of Pearl Creations.

9. What are your achievements?
I have experience great growth in such a short time and I am thankful to God for that.
My achievements all started with being published in the Hamilton Spectator (one of the biggest and most widely read newspapers in Ontario); that gave me an edge and some credibility.
As a result of that, I was registered as a/the Supplier of Button-Badges for Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics; that gave me an early leverage and I was made Partner Supplier of Flag Badges (the National Buttons) for 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing with a standing contract.
I recently became a certified member of the Vancouver 2010 Business Network. Presently, a Nominee for Business Owner of the Year Award in the Future Nigeria Awards 2010.
I have also worked with the Organizing committee of the Ontario Universities Competition of Hip Hop (O.U.C.H.) Dance Off in 2009. I partnered with The Legacy Festival for their 2009 Black History Month Event, with the Invisible Children for their annual Peace of Chic Fashion Show in 2009, with the University of Windsor African Union for the 2008 African Culture Show, and its Nigerian Students’ Association for the Nigerian 48th Independence Gala, with the University of Toronto Mississauga’s Erindale College African Students’ Association (E.C.A.S.A.) for Sync-Afrique 2009, with the McMaster African Students’ Association (M.A.S.A.) for Afro-Fest 2008 and 2009.
When I introduced the buttons in Nigeria in December 2008, I underestimated the reception. In January 2009, I was awarded a Contract, to supply the University of Lagos Engineering Faculty with Graduation Memorabilia/Souvenirs. The same month, practically became the unofficial Supplier of button-badges to, Covenant University. The Nigerian youth are presently our second largest market.

10. Any low points?
Of course! I experienced some rejections; and was going to shut down.
Even with the Olympics and winter Olympics, it wasn’t that easy. I had to write letters to and call different people, pitch ideas, give suggestions etc before I was accepted. I also had a couple of brilliant ideas of new movie-themed buttons that would probably accepted and purchased from Cinema Houses, but the proposals were rejected by McDonald’s, Warner Bros, Marvel and the likes over and over again. Most Cinema Houses actually liked the ideas though, but informed most of them too late. There was a big improvement with “the twilight saga: new moon” movie. I’m hoping it was the start of a beautiful partnership.

11. Apart from God, what else has been instrumental to the survival of your business?
Optimism, determination, my Parents and Sisters, my Partners- Alice and Levi; and some very special friends like Pelumi, Mobola, Toyosi, Teni, Doris, Adeola, Fade, Nnamdi, Kasope and others that rather stay anonymous.

12. Have you reached the point where you missed a regular, rewarding employment?
This epiphany powers me – why use your brain and get paid a fraction of what you’re making for someone else, when you could use it to work and make money for yourself. I haven’t missed a regular employment. I like that fact I have control, define my goals, set my limits and have freedom to do as I wish.s much as a try not to, there times where I have had to delay some certain orders because of clashing deadlines or amounts, but never missed or declined an order.

13. Have you reached the point where you declined an order?
As much as a try not to, there times where I have had to delay some certain orders because of clashing deadlines or amounts, but never missed or declined an order.

14. What inspired you to do this?
I guess a quest for independence, to make a mark, to encourage others, and a thirst for the unknown.

15. Has the business given you time for other personal things?
I’ve learnt t manage by time efficiently though in the beginning I had very little time for socializing because I was juggling school and business.

16. A word of inspiration for others starting up?
Well, number one, have faith and trust in God.
Keep your dream alive. Be optimistic. Believe in yourself and ability. Start small.
Develop the entrepreneurial eyes and open them to the numerous possibilities around.
Make sacrifices and use of every chance and opportunity to showcase yourself, you might never get a next time. Be friendly, socialize and introduce yourself you never know you will be meeting.
Use criticism as stepping blocks. See them as challenges to re-invent and improve yourself, image and business. The world is very competitive so make sure you always have the edge. Put your brain to work and keep coming up with new ideas and innovations.
Never ever give up on yourself. Remember, winners never quit, and quitters never win.

Link to the Original

That was it! I called my mum and asked her to buy a copy, but I believe she bought 3 or 4 copies lol. I love her!

happy 2010

January 1, 2010 18 comments

Happy New Year!

This is a year of promise and we’re excited to share it with you.
To that effect, all orders processed will receive a complimentary 1.5-inch 2010 button free until February 1st.

Here is a sample:

I’m particularly pleased because on January 28th, 2010, Pearl Creations will be two years old!
I’m very excited and I like to say a big thank you to everyone has ever ordered a button, encouraged and patronized us. God bless you all!

Happy 2010!

Categories: stories Tags: ,

spam

December 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Spam is a subset of scam/junk mail that involves nearly identical messages sent to numerous recipients by e-mail. A common synonym for spam is unsolicited bulk e-mail (UBE). Definitions of spam usually include the aspects that email is unsolicited and sent in bulk for mostly commercial purposes.

Colleagues and a few friends have been on my neck as to why I send the same emails to them a gazillion times. Okay, I have 4 business groups: The All-Me Buttons, The National Buttons, The Mag*lapels and Pearl Creations. Buttons sell the most and I usually have more ideas for new ones every now and then. Now, the problem is some people are in either one (1), two (2), or all three (3) of them. I send the same message once but in all groups at once. So some people get it once and some get all three (3). What’s even worse is, I send the same to people in my emailing list…all customers. So some people actually get the same email four (4) times.

Over time, it has become a bother, so I decided to just stop. I sent a message twice that Pearl Creations will not be sending messages to everyone in the All-Me Buttons and the National Buttons groups anymore. Those who would will like to continue getting information on sales, new buttons etc, were asked to please join the Pearl Creations group, send an email to mr.buttons@live.ca or give their names & email address via the web messenger at link.

I hope this makes every one happy! lol!

Merry Christmas!

Categories: lessons, nuggets Tags:

vanoc

November 30, 2009 1 comment

So I was sent my Vancouver Winter Olympic Games Business Committee documents today , compliments of Vancouver Olympic Committee (VANOC) and The 2010 Business Secretariat. The package contained the official lapel pin, Certificate of Membership, Letter of Membership and a sticker.

lapel pin

certificate of membership

letter of membership

I feel very honored and somewhat accomplished. At least now in my letters of contractual application, I can add the 2010 Business Network to the list of Business Organizations that Pearl Creations belongs to! Actually, it will be the first!

I thought I would give you info on the games – not too many people know a lot about it. The XXI (21st) Winter Olympics tagged: Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games begin on February 12th through to February 28th, 2009 and the Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympic Games begin on March 12th through to March 21st, 2009. The Button-Badges Memorabilia/Souvenirs are out now! I think we did a good job 🙂

The Mascots are Miga: a young sea bear, Quatchi: a young sasquatch and Sumi: an animal spirit. They have British Columbia as their origin and are peculiar to only that region/Province. Miga and Quatchi are the Mascots for the Olympic Games, while Sumi is the Mascot for the Paralympic Games.

The initial logo was unveiled on the 25th of April, 2005 in Vancouver, BC. It is called, “Ilanaaq, the Inunnguaq”. Ilanaaq is the Inuktitut word for friend. It is in the shape of a totem tower. We also have a button for that. Then three (3) more logos were released: The Paralympic Games Logo, The Totem Tower and The Vancouver 2010 Logo to make four (4) logos. We’ve got those too! The seven souvenirs will be sold in two (2) packages: The Van2010 Olympics Mascot Collection (3 buttons) and The Van2010 Logo/Totem Collection (4 buttons).

      

This year, 86 events under Bobsled, Luge, Skeleton, Ice Hockey, Figure Skating, Speed Skating, Short Track Speed Skating, Curling, Alpine, Freestyle, Snowboarding, Biathlon, Cross Country Skiing, Ski Jumping, and Nordic. They are however grouped under 3 major categories – Ice sports, Alpine/skiing and Nordic. The 8 sports categorized as Ice sports are: bobsled, luge, skeleton, ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating, short track speed skating and curling. The 3 sports categorized as Alpine, skiing and snowboarding events are: alpine, freestyle and snowboarding. The 4 sports categorized as Nordic events are: biathlon, cross-country skiing, ski jumping and nordic combined. The Games will be declared open by the Governor-general of Canada, Michëlle Jean.

Presently, I’ve set the prices at $5.00CAD and $8.00CAD respectively. They are presently only available online from Pearl Creations. Provisions are being made to have them also available on the online store via link as soon as possible. Now, let the games begin!