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I Avoid Disappointment – Akawo

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Eyibo Sweety Akawo is an indigene of Kogi State. She was born into the family of Air Commodore JA and Mrs Mary Akawo. She is Igala by ethnic origin, the last of eight children. She had her nursery and primary education at Air Force Primary School in Jos, Plateau State and her secondary education at Air Force Girls Comprehensive School, also in Jos. She studied Biochemistry at the University of Jos, Plateau State and had her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at Kaduna. She has been in the cosmetics business for over a year.

BACKGROUND

My name is Eyibo Sweety Akawo and I was born into the family of Air Commodore J A and Mrs Mary Akawo on 14th October, 1988 in Plateau State. I am from Kogi State, Omala local government area and Igala by ethnicity. I am the last of eight children. My educational career began at Air Force Primary School in Jos, Plateau State, from there to Air Force Girls Comprehensive School, also in Jos. Then I proceeded to University of Jos where I studied Biochemistry from 2006 to 2012. The business I run is Cosmetics Manufacturing and it started in 2017 as I saw the need to have a good-looking skin as well as make money from my passion.

HOW IT ALL STARTED

The business started after my NYSC, on a very low scale. I was allergic to a lot of cosmetics that I was using at the time. I changed products but it did not get better, so I decided to pay more attention to reading the labels on any cosmetic product I bought but the allergies persisted and I made the decision to produce my cosmetics. I researched online on how to produce body lotion, bathing soap as well as petroleum jelly and I found some formulas but getting the raw materials in Jos, Plateau State was a challenge so, I made use of common essential oils available to make the products. I produced them with almost natural raw materials and before long, the allergies stopped and my skin became radiant. This made me think of others with sensitive skins that equally have same challenge like I did, so I began marketing my products to friends on various social media platforms. I got clients who were interested and they eventually purchased my products. From there, I began enjoying referrals from clients.

WHO TAUGHT YOU?

I cannot really mention a particular person but I would say having a Chemistry background gave me an idea of the raw materials I could use for the products besides the online research I did. I also watched YouTube videos, attended vocational trainings on cosmetic production with a lot of trial and errors until I got it right.

WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM COMPETITORS?

My products are made from almost natural raw materials, which are of high benefit to human skin, and they are readily available at an affordable price.

DRIVING FORCE

It has been the passion I have for good looking skin, which makes me research often to improve my products and give clients the best at all times.

MENTOR(S)

Mrs Tally Ozegbe and Mrs Akawo are my mentors.

HOBBIES

I love reading and cooking.

DREAD

My fears at all times are to avoid making a mistake in formula measurement and combination. This is because I do not want customers complaining about my products at all as I enjoy referrals from them.

CHALLENGES

The prices of raw materials are not stable and this has affected the prices of our finished products. Government policies such as obtaining NAFDAC and SON certification are very stressful, expensive and not favourable for small businesses and this has limited the ability to expand my product sales to the local market.

ACHIEVEMENTS

I have been able to train five women in cosmetology and they have the opportunity of deciding which aspect they wish to specialise in. Also, I have been able to rebrand my product package to look more appealing.

REGRETS

There is none for now. I enjoy what I do.

FUTURE PROJECTION

To get a factory space for production and to also put my products in almost every shop in Jos and environs.

SECRET OF SUCCESS

Hard work and constant research to improve my products in order to serve clients better.

HOW DO YOU BALANCE BUSINESS WITH FAMILY?

To be honest, it is not easy as there are times I have to keep late nights to brainstorm and try to tackle challenges in the business. But, I have learnt to always dedicate time for everything. I work from 8am -5pm so I must wake up early to settle the family front, start work and after work hours, I concentrate on family, which basically means I have to dedicate time for each activity and ensure I follow it.

ADVICE TO WOMEN

Do not depend on the government for jobs. Create one for yourself, learn a skill and do not be a liability to anyone. Be hard working and the business will prosper.


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