I’m Motivated By Passion To Build A Gap In The Business World -Maryam Yusuf Ibrahim
Maryam Yusuf Ibrahim is a trained Makeup artist, self taught fashion designer and aspiring photographer. The undergraduate of Biological Sciences in the National Open University of Nigeria(NOUN) Abuja is the founder and CEO of mimSignature in Abuja.
TMG> Tell us about your businesses?
Maryam> I make bags, clothes and caps to specifications out of denim and Ankara.
TMG> What made you go into bag production, selling clothes and makeup?
Maryam> I have always loved to see people look good and love how makeup can be used to enhance one’s beauty. It became a passion for me, so I decided to go further into it by going to a makeup school to develop my skills. As for fashion designing, sometime back, I had encountered some health challenges which made me withdraw from school (University of Ilorin) at the time. I have always admired creativity in one way or another, so to keep myself busy, I thought of learning to make bags. I used to play with parts of trousers and pieces of Ankara lying around and seeing that I became good at it, decided to turn it into a business and thankfully, I’ve come this far today.
TMG> Tell us more about your area of specialization of your business.
Maryam> We work mainly with Denim/jean fabric and Ankara. We make bags for all sexes, kids’ caps, shoes, clothes and also do makeup for all types of events.
TMG> Which areas do you need to improve in your company?
Maryam> I would say all areas because being dynamic in business, one has to develop not just the skills but everything concerning it.
TMG> As you are into fashion, makeup and other businesses, how do you cope?
Maryam> Firstly by the grace of God, being passion driven, being able to coordinate and organise my activities in the best ways possible. Dealing with fashion and makeup, personally I find them interlinked in certain ways and I tend to draw inspiration from both aspects.
TMG> What do you feel is the next step in developing your sales and makeup skills?
Maryam> Improving on my skills(trainings), better exposure, getting machines, getting a more convenient place to carry out productions, showcase my products and have customers come over for better services.
TMG> What are some of the challenges you have faced in starting your company?
Maryam> I have had to face little challenges here and there- from low inflow of cash to mixing business and school but mostly the challenge on my health as a sickle cell patient.
TMG> What style of management do you think works in becoming successful at your kind of business?
Maryam> It will be business development skills, effective communication, evaluation, motivation and more.
TMG> Tell us about a successful sales pitch you used for a difficult client. How were you able to sell the good(s) to him/her?
Maryam> Fortunately, I have never encountered such but I’ll say having sensitivity and patience are key.
TMG> Have you ever lost during sales and what did you learn?
Maryam> Yes, I have, though business in itself is a risk. I have learnt to take positive risks in order to minimize future losses.
TMG> How do you keep up to date on your target market?
Maryam> I supervise, evaluate and strategize.
TMG> When do you stop pursuing a client?
Maryam> You never stop pursuing a client until the client proves otherwise.
TMG> Who are you comfortable selling your produts to and why?
Maryam> My business is for everyone, I’m comfortable selling to everybody because 1I produce what is used by all.
TMG> What motivates you?
Maryam> What motivates me is the drive to build a gap in the business world, passion and in trying to pass a message that there’s ability in disability.
TMG> What is your ultimate career aspiration?
Maryam> To grow my business into becoming an employer of labour.
TMG> How do you keep a smile on your face during a hard day to make sure your clients feel good?
Maryam> I do so by dwelling on positive thoughts even during those hard times.
TMG> What way do you think your organization could do better?
Maryam> By planning, avoidance of procrastination and hard work.
TMG> How much time do you spend cultivating customer relationships and hunting for new clients?
Maryam> I put in quality time to get the old clients and put in the same quality of time and even better approaches in getting new clients.
TMG> What’s your approach to handling customer objections?
Maryam> I listen to them objectively, apologize and make adjustments where necessary.
TMG> Have you ever asked a client to explain why she didn’t buy a product? What did he/she say, and what did you learn from that experience?
Maryam> Yes I have. Getting the customer to explain what he/she isn’t really comfortable with about the products/services has helped me grow.
TMG> Tell us about the greatest goal that you’ve ever accomplished professionally?
Maryam> Having come this far, creating room for employment even in the smallest way possible I’ll say.
TMG> What kinds of sacrifices have you had to make to be successful?
Maryam> I’m just at the starting line of success, there is still a long track ahead and along the line sacrifices will have to be made. One, so far, isn’t health, knowing if I push too hard I might breakdown but still go for it anyways.
TMG> Tell us something you would like to learn or improve upon?
Maryam> My communication exposure as there is always room for more exposure, business skills and a lot more.
TMG> How do you manage risk, in terms of damages or loss?
Maryam> I remember that business is all about risks then look for a better strategy to go for what’s next on the table.
TMG> What’s your advice to young people who want to be into business like yours?
Maryam> First of all, you have to believe in yourself. If you put your mind to it, by God’s grace, you can accomplish it.
You should never sit around waiting for the right time for business just go for it!… You don’t need thousands or millions to start up a business, utilize the little you have the best you can. It’s never easy but hopefully, with God, hard work and resilience, the sky will be your starting point.
TMG> How do you socialise and when?
Maryam> I am not the best at socializing but when I do, I hang out with friends or go to the movies.