For Viola Ogbunude, entrepreneurship has just one language: SMART. From what started as a response to a post-childbirth experience, she has built up a successful skincare care brand to foster a healthy lifestyle among women. In this interview, she tells us how it all began and how she’s set to break the glass ceiling. Have a great read!
Can you briefly describe yourself and your business?
I am Viola Ogbunude, Founder of Body Organics, married with two kids. Body Organics is a store retailing organic skincare products for all skin types and tones. The main idea behind the products we retail is: Healthy and Clear Skin.
Body Organics has grown from a small business into a successful brand with stores in Lekki and Abuja, A Lifestyle and Wellness Magazine and Franchise deals in the works for Accra, Port Harcourt and Calabar.
What is it like being a female entrepreneur, and why did you choose to be one?
Being an entrepreneur has been an amazing and rewarding journey. I love challenges and I couldn’t have it any other way than doing/running a business.
What new innovation have you introduced to your business?
Using Technology to work smart, outsourcing and using social media. In our world today, every business must never underestimate the power of social media.
What will you say is responsible for your success so far?
Resilience and Persistence. Doing business in Nigeria requires working SMART. It requires finding innovative ways to solve the many problems small/medium scale businesses face in Nigeria.
In your opinion, would you say that there are any unique challenges that female entrepreneurs face?
The world has evolved and I believe most people are aware of the “Girl Power”. Women everywhere are breaking the proverbial Glass Ceiling, achieving, and doing amazing things
As an entrepreneur, challenges have no gender. If you run a business, you must be prepared to solve problems. However, in a male dominated business, female counterparts will likely work a little harder to prove themselves in that industry.
What values and principles have helped you so far?
Get up, dress up and Show up. No matter what happens, the job needs to be done. Read a lot; reading is to the mind like what exercise is to the body.
Being interested in others and what I might learn from them, I love to pick brains, having conversations with people helps to give you brilliant ideas sometimes.
Why did you decide to go into this line of business?
Body Organics was borne out of necessity… Scratching my own itch. After my first baby, I had bad skin! I tried every product there was then decided to go organic after watching a documentary on how most commercial skincare products are loaded with chemicals with hard to pronounce names.
Months of research led me to retail these organic products and I must say that was one of the best decisions I ever made. The idea behind Body Organics is simply: Healthy and Clear Skin. Whatever your skin tone, it should be healthy.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced, and what’s kept you going?
Staffing. Body Organics requires extremely thorough and meticulous staff. You are only as good as your staff. I have been blessed with good staff and this has been a great support while running my business.
What’s your five-year plan for your business?
We are focusing on franchising now. In five years we should have Franchise partners across states and borders God willing.
What do upcoming female entrepreneurs need to do to be successful in this path?
*As I mentioned earlier, you are only as good as your staff. Hire smart people.
*Ideas are a dime a dozen, execution is what makes a (successful) business.
*Sometimes, looking at your competition can be a distraction. It can stifle your creativity and originality.