9jafrik: Can we meet you?
Olanike: My name is Babalola Olanike Elizabeth the CEO of Distinct Look, the brain behind Distinct Look collections magazine and also a member of Beaded Jewellery Designer Association of Nigeria (BJDAN).
I am a professional beaded jewellery designer, who specialize in making exquisite and fabulous handcrafted beaded and wireworks jewellery for women in Nigeria and aboard with good quality products such as Swarovski elements, Crystal beads, Coral beads and lots more.
I am an undergraduate of Lagos State University (LASU) studying accounting with the aim of becoming a chartered accountant in the future. I got the vision to become an entrepreneur because I have been a creative person right from my teen age and also I say no to unemployment after graduating. I began my beaded jewellery business as a part time job when I was in my 2nd year at Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro Ogun State, where I obtained OND in accounting in the 2005.
I also have an academy (training school) in Surulere where I train people in both theoretical and practical techniques needed to become a professional beaded jewellery designer.
Olanike: Distinct Look is a unique outfit center because we create and make exquisite and fabulous designs in a clearly different way that makes us stand out. The great aspect of Distinct Look is the lasting relationships we build with our client by providing good handcrafted jewelry with good materials and we always put our client first.
Our mission is: to take beaded jewelry to the next level, through innovative thinking and creativity, to beautify women of all ages, and empower youths with our professional training programme.
9jafrik: How long have you been in the business?
Olanike: I started in 2003 as a part time job. Officially, Distinct Look came into existence in 2009.
9jafrik: Briefly tell us what the art of bead making is all about
Olanike: Bead-work is the art or craft of making things with beads. Beads can be woven together with specialized thread, strung onto thread or soft, flexible wire, or adhered to a surface and a bead is a decorative object that is formed in a variety of shapes and sizes of a material such as glass, plastic, or wood, and that is pierced for threading or stringing.
9jafrik: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Olanike: I draw my inspiration from God because I commit my works unto Him and from the gift of creativity the Lord gave to me.
9jafrik: What are the challenges associated with your line of business?
Olanike: Hmm, one of the challenges is half-baked jewelers who sell jewelry at ridiculous prices with inferior material that reduces the patronage. Getting a good business location and lack of support from the government are other challenges.
Olanike: Our trainings are at an interval of two months. Our next training will come up on the 4th of November, 2013 and end on the 20th of December, 2013, for Bead and wire works classes. Also, we are having a one week free training which will commence on the 11th of Nov, 2013. We also train people in makeup and gele tying.
Location: Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria
Phone: 08029504967, 08094837066