In an exclusive interview with Geeky Nigeria, Favour Oluma spoke concerning her startup, Retyredglam.
Oluma, who is a 400 level student of Soil Science and Land Management at Federal University Of Technology, Minna (FUTMINNA) disclosed key facts about Retyredglam, which we all need to know.
She delineates a quality other youths in Nigeria need to imbibe to ensure creativity.
Can we meet you?
My name is Favour Oluma. I am from Benue state, Idoma by tribe. I am Currently a 400 level student of Federal University Of Technology Minna.
What Inspired You To Recycle Tyres?
I was inspired by the pile of tyres in my house during the lockdown. While I was at home doing nothing, I developed an idea to recycle tyres into artsy and ultra modern furniture.
Was there any Challenges at the time?
Yes, there were so many challenges during that peroid. One of my challenges was Restriction of Movement because of COVID-19 pandemic. So it wasn’t all the time I had to go out to get my tools and materials, and as at that time, I didn’t have the right equipment.
How Did You Start During The Lockdown?
So during the Lockdown, I had to look for money to start with a project, because I have actually been saying I want to recycle tyres and I didn’t start anything, So I got the money and started with a project and the project came out well. I posted it on Social Media and it was fine and everybody liked it, and a lot of people placed orders. That’s how it started.
Your Business Name Is Retyredglam, Can You Share With Us How You Came Up With It?
My business name contains three details joined together. “Re”, “Tyre”, and “Glam”. I came about it like “Retyre” means you are redefining tyres. So that’s where the “Re” came from – You are changing the state of the tyre. The “Glam” means something beautiful. Retyredglam, to me, means “Changing tyres into beautiful household furniture”.
Do You Have Competitors Or Similar Brands In Market You Are Aware Of?
For a direct competitor, I am not sure of anyone, but for an indirect competitor, there are so many of them. I mean there are a lot of people selling furniture. Those are my indirect competitors.
What Makes Retyredglam’s Furniture Standout? In Terms Of Cutting Edge
Our design distinguishes us in the market and we believe in the power of our peculiarity and uniqueness.
Do you offer customer service support, and If so, have there been any complains so far?
Yes we do provide customer service and so far I’ve gotten only one complain.
Care To Share With Us?
Yes, it was just one complain. I sent something to a client in Lagos and the logistics I used mishandled the package and when it got to the customer, a little part was damaged. Though, I asked her to send it back to me, so I can fix it. That’s the only complain so far.
Where Do You Get Most Of Your Customers?
I get most of my customers from social media like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TickTok.
Have Friends And Family Been Supportive Of Your Enterprise?
Yes, my family and friends have been very supportive. For now, It’s just me and them. Basically, they help me out with some of the productions because I don’t have workers and a workshop yet. I can’t even employ any workers because I wouldn’t want anyone to come to my house and work. So it’s basically my friends and family that have been helping me out. When I get a workshop, I will definitely get workers.
Every Startup Needs Seed Capital, Have You Made Efforts To Get Any?
Yes I’ve made a lot of efforts
And I believe my efforts would pay off soon.
What Are Your Biggest Challenges At The Moment?
One of my biggest challenges is lack of equipment. I don’t have the equipments for fast production. Working in a day, I can make like one or two pieces in a day. But if I have these equipments, I can make about ten to fifteen pieces. My second challenge is the workshop. I don’t have a workshop and it is very inconvenient working from my home, and the last one is finance. There are lots of ideas I have to put into exhibition but I don’t have the finance to do that.
Your Speaking Of Equipments Brings The Question Of How Your Production Can Be Automated By Use Of Machines. Or Are The Equipments You Speak Of Machines?
The equipments I speak of are machines that can be actually be fast in production.
Can you briefly outline examples of these machines for us?
Electrical screwing machine, Jig saw, Circular saw, Filing machine, Electrical cleaner, Spraying machine, Sewing machine.
Thank You For Clarifying That. Some Potential Customers May Find It Hard To Believe You Created The Furniture You Showcase. How Do You Cope With That?
It’s usually very difficult convincing people. Some most times, I usually post my work process online to reduce the rate of “Ohh It wasn’t done by you”, and I believe it has been helping so far.
How Profitable Has Retyredglam Been Since Startup?
Okay, so Retyredglam has been really profiting because one of our major raw material is Tyres and Tyres are not really expensive. But then the other materials are expensive though but since the Tyre we are getting is not expensive, it’s really profiting.
Can You Explain To Us How You Profit? How Much Do You Gain Per Sale And Your Working Capital?
For a center table, I actually sell it for N35,000 and my working capital there is N15,000 and my profit is N20,000.
How Do You Cope With Retyredglam And School?
I am a 400 Level Student of Federal University Of Technology, Minna, and I am studying Agricultural Course which is Soil Science and Land Management, and that means that the whole of my 400 level is going to be for my IT, and it is not everytime I get to go to my IT place. So this is the right time to get my business on set and get to work very fast before school resumes. But normally when school was in section, I usually do my work at Night. I go to school during the day.
Do You Apply Knowledge You Learnt In School To Retyredglam?
Not at all, what I studied in school is totally different from my business. So I don’t apply any knowledge to it. There are two different things.
Do You Have Any Role Models Or Mentors?
Yes I do, Not in my professional though.
Jeff Bezos Is The Founder Of Amazon, and started in a Garage, almost like you, with little to no equipment. How does this encourage you?
It’s very encouraging. I do tell people you don’t need capital to start a business. Just start, Just Get Something doing. You don’t even know how you will get the equipment you have. When I started, I started with nothing, like without any equipment. But now, I can at least boast of about two to three equipments that I own. So the main thing there is to start.
As An Entrepreneur, What Advice Can You Give To Other Youths Out There?
My advice to the youths is be creative. Just keep doing what you love doing and By God’s Grace, you will definitely get there. Don’t sit at home and wait for Government to give you Job. There is no Job anywhere. So you just have to get your hands started, and start doing something very useful.