Mahriedee

Meet Mahriedee – The Ankara Crafts

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Mary Oladuuni Aremu, also known as Mahriedee is an entrepreneur with a focus on Ankara craft.

She had a lot to say when she was asked about how she started. “I have always been a lover of art, but I got more interested while in secondary school. This informed my decision of taking visual art as an elective while in secondary school. In a way, being a student of visual art challenged my creative ability.”

“During one of the long vacations in secondary school, I started neck pieces with beads on my own. At this time, I made the neck pieces for myself because they were not that perfect for sale. I made a few beaded bracelets for my siblings too. It was more of a family thing at the time.”

“All through my undergraduate studies, I spent my summer breaks learning bead and bag making. At this period, I took a few bags and neck pieces for sale in school.”

“Upon graduation, I decided to take up training on Ankara craft, since I have a background in craftsmanship. And that was the pivotal moment. I thereafter decided to pursue a career in Ankara craft business in 2016 (featuring Ankara bags, accessories and souvenirs).”

  

“This was born out of my passion for creativity which upon graduation from the university I felt rather than just watch time fly and do nothing while waiting to be called up for National Youth service, I could start up a business, bless people and also earn a few coins.”

“I came in contact with a different king of bag making during my service year, which I signed up for because as they say, learning never ends. And that was how I chose my present career path.”

She admitted to have faced challenges and believes how well we tackle these challenges makes who we are. “Starting up this business, my initial challenge was how I would get people to love my products. I love what I do, but I didn’t underestimate the fact that what appeals to me may not appeal to another person. But, to my surprise, my first post about my products on Instagram attracted quite a number of likes and comments. I can remember a friend could not even believe that the products were handmade. So, that was solved.”

 

“Then, there arose another which was making sales. I realized that having quality products or getting people to love your products wasn’t enough to make sales. To make sales, your prospective customer has to transit from loving the product to willingness to pay for it. This still remains a part of the business am working on.”

She draws inspiration from God. “Ultimately, my inspiration comes from God, the giver of knowledge and all good things. Basically, I draw my inspiration from critical thinking and observation.”

Speaking about the project she engaged in that made her believe in herself, she says, “One event that made me believe so much in myself was when I had my first set of trainees (three of them). At the time, I had little time to spare for training but their persistence made me so interested in taking them in. To my amazement, they could make bags themselves just after the first class which lasted for less than six hours. That made me realize how much of a great teacher I could be.”

 

“Again, the fact that I can create products people would love and be willing to pay for motivates me everyday.”

Now, “I am open to business coaching/mentorship. I would love to collaborate with other entrepreneurs in my line of business. And, I am open taking grants and aids in whatever form to help boost my business.”

For Mahriedee, “youth empowerment is very crucial to the progress of any nation. This is because the future of the nation lies in their hands and how prepared they are to take up the task to a larger extent will determine the outlook of the nation. As such, youth need to be empowered politically, socially, psychologically, vocationally etc.”

“One way I believe youth can be empowered is through vocational training (skills training and business coaching/mentorship). The rate of unemployment in our country is alarming. Gone are the days when one studies law to become practicing lawyer. Rather than wait for the Government to provide jobs or bank or white collar jobs, vocational trainings can be organized for youths from which they can set up their business and earn a living.”

Connect with her via

Phone call: 07012349962/08101000644

E-mail: aremuoladunni@gmail.com

Instagram: mahriedee_designs

Facebook: mahriedee_ designs

 

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