TRAILBLAZER: How a 23yr old built a major bling brand in Kaduna in just 7 months! (Exclusive interview)

Could you please introduce yourself?

I am Stephen Edegbo, an Entrepreneur and Electrical Engineer.

1

How old are you?

23 years old

 

What do you do at the Hour glass?

We sell quality accessories such as wristwatches, bracelets, sunglasses, necklaces, earrings and rings.

 

What inspired you to launch into the business world?

Every man making impact in the business world today saw a need, a problem or a challenge somewhere and provided the solution to it, the same applies here; I discovered a need in my school  and decided to provide a solution to it. I discovered that there was a need for wristwatches and other fashion items in my location especially for students, so we started to make them available.

 9

You just mentioned ‘we’. Who are your partners?

I launched the business January 2016 with two of my friends, Kolade Emmanuel and Ella Ezra

 8

What was your startup capital?        

Our capital startup was about N350,000.

 

How did you source for capital?

From our personal savings

 7

How do you manage and inspire your team to deliver optimally?

In every establishment, every stake holder has something to offer, meaning that every suggestion made by each person is valuable. We reckon with good ideas and this gives each team member a sense of belonging and motivates them to do more. Also, I lead by example. Remember what John C. Maxwell said in the law of the picture: people do what people see. Your team members will eventually do what they see you do. This is why I always inspire my team to work hard and relentlessly by first working hard.

 6

How do you tackle your competition? What distinguishes the hourglass brand from its competitors?

We offer quality products at affordable prices and our customer service is excellent. At the hour glass; quality is our watch word and our customer satisfaction is our gratification.

 4

Do you have any mentor or role models?

My mentor is my dad and my business role model is Alhaji Dangote. Dangote sees opportunities and taps into them without wasting time.

 

What branding strategies have you employed in your business that has made you stand out?

We have been very active on social media especially instagram and facebook. We offer mind blowing discounts periodically to our customers and amazing gift-boxes to wow our clients.

3

Where do you see the Hour glass in the next 5 years?

This is our seventh month of operation and we are already well known in Zaria, Kaduna state, at this rate, I see the hour glass going international; I see us becoming a multi-million naira company, I see us being transformed into a global brand, primus inter pares’ and a vanguard in the fashion world.

 

Are you in a relationship?

Smiles… Yes

 

What qualities should an entrepreneur watch out for in the choice of a life partner?

An entrepreneur should look for a hardworking and industrious partner who shares similar goals and is capable of inspiring you to succeed.

 

What would you have done better as an entrepreneur if given the chance?

I would have saved more and invested more, I would have started out as an entrepreneur much earlier.

2

What are your last words for upcoming entrepreneurs?

For aspiring entrepreneurs, “the best time to start a business was 5 years ago, and the next best time is now”, for active entrepreneurs, “Reinvest your profits in your business wisely and be active in management”

 

 

That’s it on this week’s episode of BRAND REPORT. What did you learn today? Do you have any question for our guest? Drop it in the comments section.

 

Published by Ogunbowale Olugbenga

Ogunbowale Olugbenga is a multiple award winning social entrepreneur & digital skills expert. An alumnus of the Leadership in Business Institute of Kellogg School of Management (USA), He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria). Inspired by the plight of millions of unemployed youths, Olugbenga founded Epower.ng, a digital agency passionately growing businesses & accelerating the application of digital skills for economic prosperity across Africa. To help institutions prevent scandals & promote performance, Gbenga founded Polivoice.Work, an anonymous employee feedback tool that captures & analyses feedback anonymously in real time to detect, predict & improve work place conditions. A Mandela Washington Fellow, Tony Elumelu Fellow, Royal Common wealth society fellow, YALI star of business & YALI network influencer, Olugbenga is the founder of Africa’s biggest orphanage outreach, The Orphan Empowerment Society, with a 5,000 strong volunteer force and a presence in 19 African countries empowering thousands of orphans with free vocational skills, medical care, & food. He is also the co-founder of the communication & leadership organization, Pacesetters Leadership Club.

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