When I first came in contact with Vivien online and then moved to send a friend request, it was because of her sometimes funny, controversial or serious-minded posts. And a lot of her engaging social posts are centered on relationship stuff, women empowerment, or trending stuff. In fact, she shares social posts about a lot of things. her timeline is never dull, as it gives you the opportunity to know and understand her better.
Vivian started and has built/still building her Made in Nigeria Brand business which involves the making of handbags, footwear, and accessories with leather and Ankara. And she ships worldwide too. So there’s a lot of reasons why you should patronize this awesome craft.
You can see a design of one of her bags below:
So, we caught up with Vivien, and below is the interview chat.
Pelleura: It nice to have this chat with you.
Vivien: It’s my pleasure
Pelleura: Please can you share details of your background with us?
Vivien: My name is Vivien Adaeze Obidike. I’m a graduate of Mass Communication from Ebonyi State University. I am an entrepreneur and the Founder of Vivien Adaeze Collection; a fashion line that makes bespoke fashion accessories for both sexes.
Pelleura: What were your dreams like when you were in school?
Vivien: I had dreams to work in my field of study, be a successful entrepreneur with chains off businesses. I just wanted to be a successful person doing what I loved doing and making an impact in the society.
Pelleura: Are you full time into business? Or do you have a daytime job? Why?
Vivien: Yes, I am fully into business. I don’t have a daytime job as I am putting my whole energy into making my business a brand and I really enjoy the fulfillment I get while doing this.
Pelleura: Please tell us what your business is about.
Vivien: My business is an indigenous brand that makes bespoke fashion accessories for men and women using the ever beautiful and versatile African material to create beautiful pieces that suits the preferences and taste of our client.
We produce handbags, footwear, and accessories. We are looking forward to expanding our line of products into garments in the nearest future
Pelleura: What inspired you to start this business?
Vivien: I wasn’t inspired by anything to start this business. I would say I stumbled upon bag making when my younger sister, knowing my love for bags, told me about a classmate of hers that made handbags. I decided to pay her a visit in her hostel to see the bag her friend makes and probably buy one if I liked it so much. That was when I saw the beautiful pieces she made with Ankara and I told her on the spot that I would love to learn the craft from her. I did a three days crash course with her and from there I went on to learn the craft properly from a fashion school and that was how I gradually started producing and we are here today.
Pelleura: Awesome! What are the obstacles you’ve faced and how have you been able to overcome them?
Vivien: There are so many obstacles faced by SMEs and startups ranging from inability to access loans/grants to facilitate your business due to the general perception of the public regarding products made in Nigeria. This then results in limited resources and a whole lot of other factors. You have to struggle to put your market out there and also battle with a bad system that does not encourage start-ups to thrive.
Pelleura: In a country like ours, do you think the government has put in place structures that help small business survive?
Vivien: There are no structures to help small business survive. We are talking of a country that produces an insignificant amount of electricity in a day. No structures whatever. The policies, the things you have to do and pay for to start your business, the struggle to get loans from the banks etc There are just no structures to help up and coming business to stand strong and thrive. You just have to make do of what you have at the moment and push as hard as you want to and hopefully break into your targeted market.
Pelleura: So presently, what are those achievements you’ve made in your business and what future goals are you aiming for?
Vivien: Every little step I take has been an achievement to me. From getting recurring clients to having to ship my products outside the shores of this country, to share my knowledge to those who intend to start this line of business, and so on. Every little step since I started this brand has been an achievement to me. My goals in the future is to diversify; introduce more collections to the existing ones, have a standard institute where one can come in and learn all things fashion and be a name to reckon with in the fashion industry.
Pelleura: Nice! I look forward to that day. So have you been able to use social media to your advantage?
Vivien: Yes I have. Social media has been a blessing to startups. Social media has come to stay and every brand that wants to survive in this 21st century has to incorporate social media into building their brand and making it sustainable. The traditional media of marketing and disseminating information is becoming obsolete as the New Media has taken over with technology savvy youth who make up about 80% of the market force spending huge time and resources there.
It is very important for a brand to move along with the tide. Through social interaction and one on one interaction with prospective clients, social media has bridged the gap between entrepreneurs and end users giving them the power to showcase their product to diverse audience and getting feedbacks immediately. It is a huge social place and a very great opportunity to sell your brand to the world.
Pelleura: Which two social platforms do you mostly use in growing your business?
Vivien: Facebook and Twitter,
Pelleura: Do you have your own online platform?
Vivien: I’m working on my online platform presently
Pelleura: If you were to do it all over again, would you choose to start and grow a business, or would you rather stick to paid employment?
Vivien: I would choose to grow a business. Nothing more satisfying than that
Pelleura: What advice do you have for other small business owners?
Vivien: Entrepreneurship is hard work. Do not be fooled by the sweet talks, it is hard work. You have to be consistent, consistent and consistent lest you fall off along the way and give up. When you are consistent, it is only a matter of time before you begin to reap the benefit of your hard work
Thanks so, so much for your time and words of advice, Vivien. Your words are fire. You guys can connect with Vivien on social media, and don’t forget to place your orders.
Connect With Vivien on Facebook
Connect with Vivien on Instagram