For those who know me well I am very fashion forward, love bling and love to stand out. As a result I am constantly looking for unique things that suit my personality and that’s how I came across Xobylewa.
Xobylewa is a growing Nigerian brand dedicated to customising pretty much anything. The CEO of the company Adesuyi Omolewa Adeyinka is a hard working young woman who has defied the odds of unemployment and carved a niche for herself with her creativity. Her company specializes in customizing blinged out phone cases for those who want to stand out and make a statement whether subtle or bold. Xobylewa also deals in party and paper props amongst other things and is looking to even expand to other creative endeavors in the nearest future.
Perhaps one of the reasons MDB decided to feature her as our entrepreneur of the week is her patience and attention when it comes to customer care. In my dealings with her, I found her to be very professional, without showing any hint of irritation even when dealing with demanding customers. This quality no doubt endeared me to her and her brand.
MDB had a chat with this young creative CEO and she was able to give us an insight on what the Xobylewa brand is about and offered useful tips to smes as regards carving a niche and surfing the murky waters of entrepreneurship as a whole. Excepts below:
Tell us what you do. Everything. What your business is about.
The main thing I do is bedazzling.
I add glamour to things eg shoes, caps, cups, purses and every other thing a person wants.
I major in custom made phone cases.
So if I want you to bedazzle my laptop It can be done? Or even my lipstick or powder?
Wow. Interesting! How did it all start?
It started in 2013. I saw a picture of a phone case and I just told myself I can do this. It was a fur casing. So I went out to buy fur and a phone case and tried to make something of it.
Really? So you still make fur cases?
No I don’t do fur cases for now. But I’ll try it again.
While checking out some of the work you’ve done, I found you do somethings with paper and props…
I do paper cake toppers and party props.
And you produce them here?
Yes, everything I sell is hand made by me.
But the pieces for the casing are imported, how easy is it getting these materials?
Yes everything on the phone case is imported. It’s not so easy and right now the dollar rate is affecting the business. But I have a passion for what I do so I don’t let these challenges stop me from doing what I have to do.
So you studied German language from the University of Ibadan (graduated in 2015). Why are you not doing a 9-5 job?
I thought of getting a 9 to 5 only so I can get capital for my business. But I realized it will take me away from my craft. So I stopped looking for a job.
Have always had a flair for designing things?
I’ve always been a creative person. I used to make beaded and chain jewelry.
Your flair handcraft and designing things, does it run in the family?
I’ll say it runs in the family. My mum is a tailor. My younger brother is an Artist.
So do you still make beads? Or it’s strictly the bling business?
It’s strictly bling and paper. Hopefully I’ll add laser craft soon
Laser craft? How does that work?
With a laser machine I can make acrylic cake toppers, wedding IVs and greeting cards.
What has the response been to your work? Especially the beautiful phone cases?
Surprisingly people love my work. I have sent phone cases to all parts of Nigeria-North East South West.
Couple of weeks ago I got an order from Nasarrawa and it got delivered safely.
Even while I was in NYSC camp, I made some phone cases. I took my supplies with me. And I would go from block to block selling and making phone cases.
So will you say you’re making profit?
Well… I’m making profit.
Maybe not so much because I still sell at same price I sell when dollar was 300.
Like how many cases and bling jobs do you do weekly?
On an average I do 3cases a week. I do the props and other personalized customization as well.
Ranging from how much?
N3000 to N6500 for cases.
Do you do trainings?
No, because I am not ready yet. But I will soon by God’s grace.
Where do you see your self in the nearest future, and what plans do you have to take your business to the next level?
I want to have an outlet to showcase my blinged products.
I also want to supply cake toppers in large quantities. This means I have to employ people to assist me.
In the nearest future when I have a bigger work space then I will also start trainings.
I believe what my business needs right now is publicity, exposure. With the right amount of exposure the business will grow.
In the nearest future I also want Xobylewa to be a big part of Nigerian weddings and parties. With my customized reception caps, props,blinged bridal shoes and blinged toast glasses.
I plan to create more awareness through social media especially through the sponsored ad on Instagram and Facebook.
Impressive. What do you think stands you out as an entrepreneur?
What advice do you have for people looking to go into businsss or young graduates looking for jobs with none insight?
My advice for people looking to go into business is that the days of little beginnings are very important. No matter how small, just start it and put your mind into it. Be passionate about what you do. This passion is what makes you not to give up. Patience is key in everything we do. And I believe in prayer also.
For people that are finding it difficult to get a job. I recommend skill acquisition. There are a lot of skills. I’ve seen a young girl who is a goldsmith. I was so impressed. People don’t really think of things like that. Think out of the box. Think hard. Don’t limit yourself to being an employee take a bold step and be an employer.
See some more. Beautiful cases By Xobylewa below:
Instagram is @XobyLewa.
About MDB Entrepreneur Of The Week
Today for one job slot in the corporate world there are hundreds of young people qualified to fill the position. And more than anything, we have come to a point where young Nigerians/graduates have to look inwards and find a legit means to create income via acquired skills or otherwise.
To encourage these new breed of Enterpreneurs and graduates, MDB will feature weekly a young Nigeria Enterpreneur who is carving a niche, thinking outside the box or basically doing anything legit and commendable to create income.
We will also focus more on skills and made in Nigeria goods as more than anything we need to celebrate sme’s defying the odds and trying managing to keep their heads above water in these harsh economic times.
If you think you qualify to be featured as an MDB Enterpreneur of the Week, email firstname.lastname@example.org telling us what you do. Members of our team will reach out to you.