Not Growing Up With My Parents Was An Extra Push To Be My Own Boss

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Goodness Naomi Omafemi, CEO of Guddie Vheehia Industry.

Mediaage NG News – ABUJA, Nigeria

Many persons nurture the dream of becoming an entrepreneur and turning what they love doing into a business. Being your own boss can be very sweet and it’s something that so many people dream of because, it comes with freedom, adventure and flexibility. However, this can work for or against you. As the driving force of your business, you carry most of the weight on your shoulders. A light work week may quickly turn into no days off and very little sleep when something unexpected happens in your business. You make extra efforts than working on a regular job because, you don’t have a boss to pay you at the end of the month. As an entrepreneur, it is the efforts put that tell the rewards you will get at the end of the month, else you don’t get paid. In this interview with an entrepreneur in pastry and fashion, she told Mediaage what motivated her into becoming a producer of goods and services, the challenges faced and the success stories she’s had. Excerpts:

Can you please introduce yourself?

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My name is Goodness Naomi Omofemi, the CEO Guddie Vheehia Industry. I am born and raised in Lagos State where I did my primary and secondary education. I’m a BSC graduate in Banking and Finance from Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU).

The Guddie Vheehia Industry was birthed in Canaanland, Living Faith Church, during the annual Youth Alive Convention on the 23rd of August, 2023 and was registered exactly a month after. It was launched officially on the 15th of December, 2023 as a birthday gift and we began operations same month.

Guddie Munch is a subsidiary from the Guddie Vheehia Industry. It’s the pastry brand which entails the peanuts, plantain chips and the chin chin production. The Guddie Vheehia Industry also has a fashion business which entails clothing brand and bag production. In the bag manufacturing, we make bags from the beginning stage. They include lunch, travelling and school bags, even hand bags. If you have a design, we produce them for you. Sometimes, we get huge contracts for souvenirs, parties, events, school resumption, end of the year parties and others.

The clothing line officially began business last December last year. For now, we produce ready to wear, two piece production, trouser and top, trouser and skirts, skirts and tops. So, basically, what we do for clothing brand of Guddie Vheehia Industry is just ready to wear, the bu bu and gowns.

MediaageNG Not Growing Up With My Parents Was An Extra Push To Be My Own Boss Many persons nurture the dream of becoming an entrepreneur and turning what they love doing into a business. Being your own boss can be very sweet and it’s something that so many people dream of because, it comes with freedom, adventure and flexibility. However, this can work for or against you. As the driving force of your business, you carry most of the weight on your shoulders. A light work week may quickly turn into no days off and very little sleep when something unexpected happens in your business. You make extra efforts than working on a regular job because, you don't have a boss to pay you at the end of the month. As an entrepreneur, it is the efforts put that tell the rewards you will get at the end of the month, else you don't get paid. In this interview with an entrepreneur in pastry and fashion, she told Mediaage what motivated her into becoming a producer of goods and services, the challenges faced and the success stories she's had. Excerpts:

Are there motivations that led you into this business?

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There were lot of things that motivated me into my business. My mum as an entrepreneur has been able to achieve lots of things through fruits production. My aunt has a mini cafeteria where she makes barbecue and the likes. She and my mum have their houses, staff and others. So, growing up, having seen all these from those around me, I never saw myself doing routine jobs because there are lots of things I’m gifted with and I know I can do. I know I had the grace of self awareness at an early age which is a privilege from God, helped me to know lots of things above my age.

MediaageNG Not Growing Up With My Parents Was An Extra Push To Be My Own Boss Many persons nurture the dream of becoming an entrepreneur and turning what they love doing into a business. Being your own boss can be very sweet and it’s something that so many people dream of because, it comes with freedom, adventure and flexibility. However, this can work for or against you. As the driving force of your business, you carry most of the weight on your shoulders. A light work week may quickly turn into no days off and very little sleep when something unexpected happens in your business. You make extra efforts than working on a regular job because, you don't have a boss to pay you at the end of the month. As an entrepreneur, it is the efforts put that tell the rewards you will get at the end of the month, else you don't get paid. In this interview with an entrepreneur in pastry and fashion, she told Mediaage what motivated her into becoming a producer of goods and services, the challenges faced and the success stories she's had. Excerpts:

Secondly, I stayed with my maternal grannies there in Lagos, while my mom was working in Abuja. When my grandfather died, I was traumatized for more than six month because, he was the father I knew. However, I understood that this is reality not growing up with your parents. Sometimes, my mum comes to Lagos and stayed for three days and she’s gone. Imagine seeing your mum for only three days out of 365 days! Though, she will buy me goodies and gift me money while going back but, I will cry a lot, knowing that it’s going to be till the next third term holiday or December that I will see her again.

So, growing up, I never wanted to put my children through that. I want to be a career woman and still be available for my kids and husband. I want to be there for my immediate family. I don’t want any of my children to suffer lack of parental presence during childhood. The only way I understood I will be able to do this is have my own firm, be a disciplined boss and an amazing mother and wife. I want to be there for my family because, I lacked one while growing up. When we were in school then, I remember my classmates do say “my mummy did this, my daddy did that”. I never had these memories and I don’t want any of my children to pass through such. I want to right some wrongs. I am just so intentional about the lives of my unborn babies and the family I want to build.

Next is, I want to be able to produce the things I love feeding on. At OOU, I I had series of food poisoning, something I had never experienced back at home in Lagos. I know I have few allergies and a fragile immune system but, never food poisoning. So, I had to learn a lot and honestly, it’s been a fun process. These are some of the things that made me learn and know more about a lot. I easily pick into business from ideas from things said casually. You might not even think of them. I thought these were not of myself but, God. I’m able to see big out of little things.

MediaageNG Not Growing Up With My Parents Was An Extra Push To Be My Own Boss Many persons nurture the dream of becoming an entrepreneur and turning what they love doing into a business. Being your own boss can be very sweet and it’s something that so many people dream of because, it comes with freedom, adventure and flexibility. However, this can work for or against you. As the driving force of your business, you carry most of the weight on your shoulders. A light work week may quickly turn into no days off and very little sleep when something unexpected happens in your business. You make extra efforts than working on a regular job because, you don't have a boss to pay you at the end of the month. As an entrepreneur, it is the efforts put that tell the rewards you will get at the end of the month, else you don't get paid. In this interview with an entrepreneur in pastry and fashion, she told Mediaage what motivated her into becoming a producer of goods and services, the challenges faced and the success stories she's had. Excerpts:

I earlier made mention of having access to funds, so, I was looking forward to when I will start making money. I always want to own my business.

There was a time I got a job with a firm and I told myself if I would be going through this stress for someone’s work, why won’t I channel that energy into my own business? I always try to put my best in whatever I do. So, I thought why not put this energy into developing yourself? Boom! This is where we are today. I was more of personal development and investing in myself. I take courses when I have the money. I want to be an asset to take care of myself, even if it is sewing a bag, dress, pastries, whatever it is, let there be a life saving production you can do to take care of things.

Are there challenges you have faced?

I’ve faced quite a number of challenges including from my mother, COVID 19, hike in prices and few others. My mum never wanted this entrepreneurial kind of zeal. She felt I am fragile and won’t be able to manage the stress and risk at startup level. She just wanted a soft life for her only daughter, like the Adanne in Igboland.

You know when you have a child and has programmed a certain kind of life for that child and she’s saying no this is not what I want. It’s a bit difficult for her to adjust to what I want. She tried so much to kill the urge and at some point I stopped informing her about almost everything pertaining my life because, I wasn’t seeing her love but something totally different. That was why I had to leave the house immediately after my youth service because, she won’t permit me to do all that in her house.

Secondly, it was COVID-19. We already had our customer base in Abuja and planning on getting our NAFDAC approval as at that time. When COVID came, it really shocked us because, we were just a growing company at that time. We were kind of not stable. Prices of things were going up daily and we couldn’t really manage the situation well. For the fear of being infected, we couldn’t really go out for marketing. Those were some of the challenges we faced.

Then, coming back to the hike in prices, since COVID 19, things have not been the same. Prices of things are still going up till now. We find it difficult managing things. So, for us that produce, it means our selling price will increase because of the hike in prices of materials meant for production. We are trying to see how we can come out of this challenge, probably, if we can get access and buy directly from the farmers. In that way, we will be able to cut out some expenses.

What impacts would you love to make in the lives of others?

We have a good aspiration for the future and we really want to make impacts in the lives of people. I wouldn’t want to reveal them here. We have the intention to own an NGO. However it’s an idea that we are still nurturing till when fully stabilised in the business world. Obviously, we create employment opportunities in our organisation which we already doing.

What success stories have you had in the business?

We all know that most big thriving businesses had humble beginnings. Guddie Vheehia Industry had its humble start. First, it was in 2019 when I was a serving youth corp member. I set a financial target for the year and I know my NYSC monthly allowance and the salary gotten from Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) where I served, cannot sum up or meet the target. And, bag production as at that time in Abuja wasn’t even an option to consider.

So, I called my friend back at OOU who is an orphan, to put me through the production of chin chin and she did. That was actually a source of income to her then. Though, I helped with the cutting process. That’s how I started and was able to step above the 2019 financial target.

We were able to have the brand and the pastry which is the subsidiary of Guddie Vheehia Industry, that’s the Guddie Munch. With the Guddie Munch, we don’t just have the chin chin, we have peanuts and plantain chips. God can decide to reveal to us another idea and boom, we will hit the market with it.

Another of our success stories are our clients/customers. Without them, there wouldn’t have been Guddie Vheehia Industry or Guddie Munch. They were always coming back, giving us referrals. Even when we don’t go for marketing, our customers will always give us referrals. We are grateful because, they are the ones that kept us in business. We love them.

Also, our drive to produce highly nutritious chin chin, peanuts and others has really sustained us. To the Glory of God, I’m sure that’s one of the reasons our customers keep coming back and trusting us with well hygienic edibles for their families.

Our secret to success is boldly God. We are grateful because He has greater plans for Guddie Vheehia Industry.

Thank you for your time.

It’s my pleasure.

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