#LLAInterview – “Entrepreneurship is not for the fainthearted. It is HARDWORK.” Bunmi George, CEO Shredder Gang
After struggling with living a healthy lifestyle for many years, Bunmi George used her weight loss success story to create a movement with the Shredder Gang brand. Not only does she inspire women to live and eat healthy, she also creates innovative fitness accessories to help people stay in shape. In our interview with her, Bunmi shares the story behind how the Shredder Gang brand started and has become the success that it is today.
Hello Bunmi. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
Hi LLA, my name is Bunmi George, a wife, mother to one adorable boy and fitness professional. I run Shredder Gang, a company that provides inspiration and support for individuals looking to make healthier life choices.
Shredder Gang has become a movement for those who want to stay healthy. How were you able to achieve this?
To be honest, I wish I had those answers. What I do know is I was able to share my authentic story with the world. I was overweight and struggled for many years. I want to believe that my story is much like a lot of people’s story. Those who my story resonated with have followed the journey.
You also run Shredder Kitchen. How are you able to come up with different healthy recipes to share with blog readers and customers?
I’m a real Naija girl at heart, so Shredder Kitchen focuses on creating and delivering healthier versions of staple Nigerian meals. One of our best sellers is the oil less Efo riro which still has the richness but without the excessive oil and sodium. These recipes are super easy; it just takes tweaking it here and there.
Can you tell us basic work out routines even busy women must not miss?
To be honest, there is no cookie cutter approach, I’d say JUST MOVE. So if running does it for you, go for it. If it’s a dance or yoga class that gets your heart pumping then do that. JUST MOVE.
There are a number of health and fitness coaches in Nigeria. How have you managed to differentiate yourself?
I think it helps that I was the first to approach weight loss and fitness the way that I did, but clients also gravitate towards Shredder Gang because we are certified experts, not just me but I have a team of experts in nutrition, pharmacy and fitness.
In between managing your company, writing for The Guardian, being a super mom and an amazing wife, how do you find your ‘me’ time?
To be very honest, it is super hard to find me time. I can go weeks without any time when the office front is very busy, but it also helps that I have a very supportive husband who allows me to do me. But when he sees that I am somewhat struggling, he takes charge and forces me to rest. As a new mum, it is something I am still navigating,
Why do you think a lot of people find it difficult to stay healthy and eat right in Nigeria?
Not anymore, there is a wave of awareness about staying healthy, many gyms have opened up, and healthy lifestyle challenges across social media platforms. Also, there are many cafes that sell healthy food so it is no longer difficult.
There is a belief that eating healthy is expensive. What are your thoughts about this?
How do we define expensive? Being sick is expensive. Eating healthy is a bit more costly, but I think if you can buy designer items you can afford to eat healthy.
Shredder Gang seems to be doing so well but can you share with us some of your lowest points since you started this business and what you did to come out of it.
Combining the roles of being a wife and a new mom while running the business was a daunting task. I had to put proper structure in place so that no one suffers.
In running Shredder Gang, what gives you the greatest joy and satisfaction?
When I see a client hitting their goals, this is my greatest satisfaction.
What’s one advice you wish you knew before going into entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is not for the fainthearted. It is HARDWORK.
What will you say is your biggest achievement as an entrepreneur so far?
I think I love the fact that I’ve been able to inspire a lot of women to take control of their health.
Many businesses have been badly affected by the recession in Nigeria; can you tell us how your business has managed to stay afloat?
We’ve tried to remain innovative, think outside of the box and provide services that people cannot do without.
You recently launched the Shredder Fit belt to the market. What inspired you to launch this product and what has been the attitude of customers since it was launched?
One of our goals is to provide modern fitness accessories at affordable prices. We want Nigerians to have access to a wide range of products that they would usually only find abroad. The response to the belt has been mind blowing, We knew it was a great idea but we did not anticipate this sort of demand.
Where do you see the Shredder Gang brand in the next five years?
We want Shredder Gang to change the mindset of every single Nigerian about a healthy lifestyle
The Leading Ladies Africa Series is a weekly interview series that focuses on women of African descent, showcases their experiences across all socio-economic sectors, highlights their personal and professional achievements and offers useful advice on how to make life more satisfying for women.
It is an off-shoot of Leading Ladies Africa, a non-profit that promotes women empowerment and gender inclusion for women of African descent.
Do you know any woman of African descent doing phenomenal things? Send an email to email@example.com and we just might feature her.