From running an African media page on Instagram with over 38,000 followers to managing an online retail store that is fast rising to be one of Port Harcourt’s most trusted accessories brand. This lady surely knows the keys to make any small enterprise boom! I hooked up with Oliver Jennifer on a warm,Saturday morning and we got talking about entrepreneurship and what it is like to start an online store.
When you meet Jane for the first time,you may think less of her petite lady until she gets you engaged on all the ideas,projects and plans she has up her sleeves. She is smart,beautiful and down to earth.
I sat in Jovit fast food waiting for Jane to show up for our meet up. We had been super busy with our final year projects and I was pretty skeptical about if she’d be able to make it. I got busy with my phone while peeping out from time to time to check out the customers who walk through the door. Then, Jane shows up. Dressed stylishly in a t-shirt,mum jeans,flat sandals and her school bag(the symbol of every final year student lol). She apologizes for showing up late and I totally understand because,it’s Saturday and she should be sleeping to get rid of the week’s stress but she decided to show up against all odds.
I ask her about why she decided that entrepreneurship was the thing for her and she says…
It’s easier for me to market things . I don’t like asking people for money or help. Even when you want to ask others they may give excuses and I prefer giving than collecting. There are a lot of online stores in Port Harcourt but when I decided to open mine, I wanted to do something unique. So,I decided to make quality and affordable products for people in Port Harcourt and to also cut down delivery expenses from Lagos to Port Harcourt.
Her influences in business are:
- Delivery charges
- Absence of affordable online stores,
- My media page @Africansonearth inspired me because I believed if I could succeed in growing that page I could succeed in business too
- My parents are serial entrepreneurs who look for opportunities,coming from a family of entrepreneurs influenced me. I don’t like laziness.
- An 18 year old I met on Instagram who started a fashion line at 17.
About how long it took her to reach profitability in her business…
Within a month or 2 but the first 3 weeks were crazy because of the scam pages online. Through referrals,I started making profit.
About how she lived through the first years or months of business…
I got discouraged but God helped me through it and also my close friend who encouraged me to be consistent.
Walk me through the step by step process that got you where you are today…
I started with just lashes( House of Lashes Nigeria),later I changed to the ‘Jane Derry Store.’ I began with pre-orders as I had no capital. I had to make it as cheap as possible and used the little change to get more products. I also used adverts from top online pages on Instagram.
Her best advice for making money online…
Don’t put money first because you’d work for it and be frustrated at the end. Do your thing and let money work for you.
Jane’s advice for amateurs in business:
- The right foundation is God;there are lots of tips for business in the Bible.
- Have the right people around to help you
- Differentiate your personal account from your business account. You should work on making the store pay you.
- Do a SWOT ANALYSIS to know how much to put in.
- Get in contact with someone who would guide you through.
- Set goals for the business no matter how small and stick to it.
- Read books
You can connect with Jane on Instagram via @thejanederrystore where she sells beautiful and affordable fashion accessories and her personal page @itsjanederry where she dishes out daily doses of wisdom.
ALL PHOTOGRAPHS ARE OWNED BY JANEDERRY AND THE JANE DERRY STORE
What is the easiest way to build businesses in Nigeria these days?
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