If you think your inexperience, lack of choice location and start-up capital are enough reasons to be jobless and dejected, then you need to sit up and seriously consider going into bead jewellery making. This is because bead making is one of the cheapest business options that require little capital, a lot of creative potential and financial benefit.
The prospect of the business of bead-making is awesome. This could be attributed to the booming population, and keen desire by people, especially women, to look beautiful and fashionable. Again, the growing sense of pride in cultural identity and the impact of Nollywood, Africa’s biggest movie industry, is helping to spark the interest in African fashion. Hence, it is now very common to see both young and not-so-young Nigerians adorned in traditional attire and laced with bead jewellery at weddings, social engagements and traditional festivals. Also, the influx of tourists to Nigeria has given huge acclaim to the beauty and quality of these delicate art pieces.
Little wonder then that bead making has become a booming business and many unemployed individuals and housewives earn a living making eye-popping designs of beads in the comfort of their homes and selling it with enough profit.
Mrs. Ngozi Nwokoye, CEO of Vibrations Beads, is one of the very many entrepreneurs reaping bountifully from making and selling beads in Nigeria and abroad. Her story is a proof anyone can turn an ordinary craft or hobby into a successful business venture.
She is a graduate of Mass communication at the Institute of Management (IMT), Enugu, and worked as an air hostess in the defunct Kabo and Traix airlines. Later, she resigned after her marriage because of the huge demands of flying and working in a cabin crew. She tried her hands on several businesses until she stumbled into bead making- a business that yields instant cash turnover.
“Before I shut down my last venture, that was when bead making started blooming, I tried my hands on it and discovered my love for handiwork. I developed more passion for it and that is why I tarried. And today, I thank God the business is thriving because Nigerian ladies are very conscious about their looks, we want to look good, fashionable and not to be left behind.
“And I can tell you that the business of bead making is really very lucrative”, she said slowly nodding her head.
Starting up the venture
Beads are small (or large) decorative objects or pieces that are pierced and strung on threads or thin copper wires. They can be made into all sorts of jewellery and ornaments such as necklaces, earrings and bracelets.
Anyone can start up and bead making. All you need are a few simple tools and a little creativity. It is a business that needs minimum capital to start and can be learnt within a very short time especially if the person has the passion for it.
According to Nwokoye, to start and excel in bead making, one must keep abreast of the latest and trending designs, via means like the internet, through the social circuit.
“Bead making is fun,” she said, “and it doesn’t require too much capital to start up. N10, 000 or N15,000 is enough to set you on your way to owing a thriving bead business. You can buy every material you need with less than N5,000 and then you get to learn the basics and the nitty-gritty in bead making. From there you can start.”
This is an important aspect in every business and bead making is no exception. And because many people make beads and sell, the market is usually flooded with all kinds of bead jewellery. The key to survive and succeed in this business is to carve a niche in the market with your designs, and advertise in fashion and wedding magazines.
Again, marketing beads online via social platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, etc and having a blog where you could upload your latest designs are also credible in attracting and making brisk sales to interested clients.
Another viable means to get the attention of potential customers is to be your advertiser. You should be the model of your business by donning your most colourful and beautiful beads whenever you are on the go.
“Your body should be your mobile shop”, Nwokoye agrees and hints on her own marketing strategy, “Whenever I make new designs I wear it to places I expect to see a huge turnout of women from different cadres. When they see it they would be attracted to buy beads from me. Some of my colleagues in the business would even come and pay me so that I can teach them the designs. So, you should be the first advertiser of your product. Forget about whether you have a shop or not, I have friends that don’t have a shop yet they make so much money marketing their beads around various locations.
Advice to women and youths
Advising, the light skinned mother of two again harped on the money spinning potential of operating a bead making venture and called on the youths and wives depending on their families to brace up and tap into benefits and freedom of being an entrepreneur.
“Right now the economic situation doesn’t support someone who would just sit down, waiting for their parents, boyfriends or whoever to provide for them. They should get themselves empowered by learning a skill. I don’t believe those that come up with excuses that they don’t have shops to start up their venture. The most important thing is to get the skill first and then float your own venture. It pays a lot. An adage has it that a handful of skill is worth more than a million naira. Money would finish one day, but skills would never stop fetching you money unless you stop. Skill is a knowledge that would never leave your brain unless you are lazy to tap into you ability and make money from it.”