Faith Amarachukwu Nwaneri, is all shades of inspiring! She says, “I started Lafame Perfumery out of passion for scents. I had always loved perfumes a lot, but I never thought I could turn this love into a business, until one day, I stumbled on a ‘Mixed in Nigeria’ Fragrance and I was amazed at the fact that it could be done here. I proceeded to ask the person who had the fragrance to teach me, but she declined. This fuelled my desire to know and understand the Art of Perfumery the more… ”
Can you briefly describe yourself and your business?
My Name is Faith Amarachukwu Nwaneri, a Perfume Girl with a passion to see Africa placed on the Perfume Map of the World. I started Lafame Perfumery out of passion for scents. I had always loved perfumes a lot, but I never thought I could turn this love into a business, until one day, I stumbled on a ‘Mixed in Nigeria’ Fragrance and I was amazed at the fact that it could be done here. I proceeded to ask the person who had the fragrance to teach me, but she declined. This fuelled my desire to know and understand the Art of Perfumery the more.
Today, we have 10 Variants of body mists in the market, and a New Eau De Parfum, called ADDICTIVE, already making Waves. We have also trained a lot of individuals on this art both privately and in a group. Just recently we hosted a Perfumery Training Session in Dubai, were we had 10 participants from Nigeria and we also invited a British Born Perfumer, Melanie Jane as the Guest Perfumer. We hosted this Perfumery Session via our Institute of Perfumery called LAEL Institute of Perfumery (A Partnership Company).
We also curate perfume lines for brands and individuals, people who want to have their own perfume brand without undergoing any sort if training. We have worked with 10 brands and counting, some of them are well known and some are upcoming.
It’s been a bitter sweet ride but in all financially rewarding.
What is it like being a female entrepreneur, and why did you chose to be one?
Well, it was tough initially, getting people to believe in your brand without doing that ‘extra’ thing was a bit of a challenge. But as time went on, when they see that you are consistent against all odds, they just buy into your vision. The decision to be a female entrepreneur was just instant. I saw a need, and I decided to put on my Perfume Cap and fill that need. I didn’t see any gender difference when I made this decision.
What new innovation have you introduced to your business?
I would say that we are one of the first ‘Mixed in Nigeria’ Body Mists in the Market Today. The regular trend was imported Body Mists, but we came in and changed the Scenery, we are not yet we’ll Circulated yet, but we are in almost all states in the country, via independent distributors.
We were also the first to start curating, branding and packaging perfume lines for brands and individuals. We have worked with both celebrities and normal individuals and they have constantly sold out.
We are also the First to Host an International Perfumery Training Session in Dubai, which was a Huge Success. We did this through Our Institute – LAEL INSTITUTE OF PERFUMERY (We Partnered with another Amazing Perfumer to form this Institute). We have another Perfumery Training Session coming up in June, 2019. This Time, We are Bringing a Renowned Perfumer from France to Dubai to Co- Host this Session.
What will you say is responsible for your success so far?
1. GOD. From the Get go, I have always handed Lafameperfumery to him to manage, I am the Creative Director, He is the Chief Executive Officer.
2. INTEGRITY – I have tried to uphold integrity in this business. Most of the people that I have worked with have never met me in person before, but I make sure that is not an issue. If I have a job and I am paid, I make sure my part of the deal is never questioned.
3. HARDWORK – I try my Best to put in the work, I wait for no one to promote my Brand, I try to push it myself and imploy whatever means to see that it works.
4. CONSISTENCY – Consistency is the bane of success. I make sure I show up every time. We have been in this business for 4 years, through the glitches, delay, stops, we keep pushing.
In your opinion, would you say that there are any unique challenges that female entrepreneurs face?
Speaking from a personal point of view, one unique challenge is being taken serious by Men. Sometimes, they want something more before they even consider listening to your ideas. However, if you stand your ground and maintain professionalism, their attitude Change.
However, other challenges are peculiar to everyone.
What values and principles have helped you so far?
5. Constantly Investing in Knowledge of my Craft
Why did you decide to go into this particular line of business?
Love for Perfumes. I am totally obsessed with perfumes; you can’t stay close to me and not hear, see, or smell perfumes. This was what drove me.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced, and what’s kept you going?
One Major Challenge we faced was convincing Nigerians that ‘Mixed in Nigeria’ Perfumes were as good as or even better than the Foreign Brands. It was quite challenging because Nigerians are Pro Western when it comes to Perfumes. We were very Consistent with changing the Status Quo and right now, We have about 75 independent Distributors all over the Country, and One in Australia.
What’s your five-year plan for your business?
1. Complete Our Factory, which is already in the Works since we moved to Abuja, Nigeria.
2. Penetrate and circulate the whole country and beyond. The main goal is to help the average Nigerian live a fragrant lifestyle without having to break the bank.
What do upcoming female entrepreneurs need to do to be successful in this path?
First, understand and hone your craft very well.
Never give up, because there would be glitches, stops, naysayers and hitches but you have to always encourage yourself and rise above.
Integrity would take you far, once you gain the trust if people, it would be easy to do business with you.
Above all, let god be your Chief Executive Officer, just be the managing director or creative director, leave the top most post to him and watch him take over your business.
The LLA Lady Boss Series is a weekly interview series that highlights the achievements and entrepreneurial journeys of African female entrepreneurs. The idea is to showcase the Leading Ladies who are transforming Africa and the African narrative through enterprise and business.
It is an off-shoot of Leading Ladies Africa, a non-profit that promotes leadership, inclusion and diversity for women of African descent.
If you know any kick-ass women of African Descent doing phenomenal things in enterprise, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and she could possibly be featured.